At a Sunday press conference, Baltimore's Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told reporters that she and the law enforcement in the city she runs have a de facto responsibility, in the name of "balance," to give "space" to "destroy" to "protesters" who have such a desire.
This obviously newsworthy pull quote condoning property destruction is not present in coverage at the Associated Press's main national site, in several stories where her comment could have been mentioned at the wire service's "Big Story" site, or in two additional stories at the New York Times containing Sheryl Gay Stolberg's byline. Video and a transcript follow the jump.
Transcript (bolds are mine):
... and I've made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech.
It's a very delicate balancing act, because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other, y'know, things that were going on, um, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we, uh, work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate, and that's what you saw.
Here's the full AP coverage of the Mayor's press conference at its national site found in a "highlights" story:
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake held a news conference to call on protesters to be peaceful as they demonstrate against the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died a week ago after sustaining serious injuries while in police custody.
She referred to protests that turned violent in downtown and west Baltimore on Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
"At the end of the day we are one Baltimore. We need to support peaceful demonstration and continue to enforce in our communities that rioting, violence, and looting will not be tolerated in our city," the mayor said. "Together we can be one Baltimore and seek answers as we seek justice and as we seek peace."
The headline in the raw video at a separate AP story (UPDATE: since revised and replaced, with the video removed) has a predictably passive headline — "Violence Erupts During Freddie Gray Protests" — and shows "protesters" given "space" to "destroy" two vehicles which appear to be those of private citizens in the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone should ask them their feelings about the Mayor's view of "balance."
Thanks to Rawlings-Blake, who is now the city's chief criminal enabler, business owners and their customers in Baltimore now know that their property is not safe whenever and wherever "protesters" need "space" to "destroy."
What business owner with any kind of realistic alternative would continue to operate under such conditions?
Meanwhile, the establishment press, blatantly refusing to communicate obviously important facts and statements, sits and wonders why trust in their work continues to evaporate.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.