On Monday night, word trickled out and was amplified by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles that 69-year-old Phil Kessler died Sunday from injuries suffered after his skull struck the sidewalk following what the group alleged was an attack by a pro-Hamas protester who allegedly smacked him to the ground with a bullhorn. Kessler’s alleged offense? Standing at a corner with an Israeli flag.
But, when it came to network news coverage of this Tuesday morning, CBS Mornings saw no reason to tell viewers about what’s likely to officially be deemed an antisemitic murder.
In contrast, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today had full stories with 67 and 109 seconds each on the murder, respectively (along with stories on Spanish-language outlets Telemundo and Univision). However, in contrast to coverage on the Fox News Channel, Newsmax, NewsNation, ABC and NBC downplayed it as the new “some people did something”.
ABC equivocated and minimized the anti-Jewish beating from the get-go with the chyron used for the segment: “U.S. Tensions Rise as Mideast Conflict Rages; Jewish Man Dies After Incident at California Protest.”
Seriously? This is like those stories when a “truck” commits mass murder.
Co-host Robin Roberts's intro: “And as the war escalates in Israel, the tensions are rising here. One protest appears to have turned deadly.”
“Tensions are rising?” “Appears to have turned deadly?” Are you kidding me?
Then came correspondent Matt Gutman. It started off okay with the basics but then came the mealy-mouthed rhetoric.
Referring to pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian (read: pro-Hamas) supporters as “demonstrators,” Gutman insisted that, somehow, “Kessler...became involved in a physical altercation with a counterprotester.”
And, since liberal journalists were in the pocket of the pro-Hamas radicals at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Gutman ended with their cowardly statement demanding “all individuals...refrain from jumping to conclusions” about why Kessler was murdered.
NBC led with the murder and even had it twice in the opening teases with co-host Savannah Guthrie’s vague claims that “a war protest...turns deadly” and co-host Hoda Kotb added: “Fatal altercation. A Jewish man dies after suffering injuries at dueling protests over the Israel-Hamas war...What witnesses are saying about the potential hate crime”.
At least they repeatedly noted the incident was being looked at as a hate crime.
Correspondent Stephanie Gosk reiterated police in Thousand Oaks, California “are investigating the possibility that this was a hate crime” from another case of “rallies on both sides” that have “spread here in the U.S.”
“[O]vernight, a vigil for a 69-year-old Jewish man in southern California who died after a fight during dueling pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protests on Sunday,” she added.
I don’t know, but most people wouldn’t call chants about killing Jews to be a “rally!"
She acknowledged the Jewish Federation “suggest[ing] Kessler had been struck with a megaphone,” but expressed serious doubts since “the sheriff’s office [said]...’we don’t have evidence that occurred’” even though it’s “possibility that may have occurred.”
Gosk also chose to suck up to CAIR’s pathetic statement implying they’re concerned about Islamophobia in the wake of the attack.
The NBC reporter zoomed out to talk about “dueling protests” more broadly, continuing the left’s disinformation campaign to give pro-Hamas and pro-Israeli supporters equal respect (click “expand”):
GOSK: Dueling protests nationwide since Hamas attacked Israel a month ago, mostly without serious incident. Police often keep protesters separate. In New York City Monday, hundreds of activists from the group Jewish Voice for Peace staged a sit-in at the Statue of Liberty, demanding an immediate ceasefire and end to the war while near Central Park, thousands of pro-Israel supporters showing their solidarity with Israel and support for each other.
PRO-ISRAEL RALLYGOER: So nice to feel a part of a community and all the support.
GOSK: Back in California, authorities are hopeful that someone at the event has video evidence of the altercation and is willing to share it with investigators. A news conference is going to be held later today and we should get some more details[.]
Kotb led off the second hour’s news coverage with an 18-second brief about the “dueling protests...turn[ing] deadly” with Kessler having died from “[falling backwards, hit[ting] his head on the ground” and thus made it seem as though it was something Kessler did on his own.