Shaping the Narrative of Protests in Rhode Island

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Look, we all know that the news media tilts its coverage to favor progressives and Democrats.  It’s really beyond dispute at this point.  If their work weren’t evidence enough, we see it when they move on in their career to become government communications officials and we see it with absolute clarity in their Twitter streams.  Still, it’s remarkable to see it in action.

Take a typical article covering a conservative or Republican event — in this case, the recent pro-Trump boat parade  — by Laura Damon in the Providence Journal.  The article actually stood out for comparative integrity, compared with WPRI’s Jacqui Gomersall.  Although Gomersall’s article has since been changed, it originally stated that only dozens of boats participated, whereas Damon reported the official number at around 300, with thousands watching from the shore.  Damon also presents comments from some of the participants in the rally.

But… of course… she also sought out and quoted a couple of anti-Trump spectators in the area, one of whom has “a broad smile and light sense of humor,” which she contrasts with a quote about “the ugliness of what [Trump] stands for.”  Damon goes farther, using a quotations and clothing from the pro-Trump participants as justification for getting in a political jab at the president related to QAnon.  The other anti-Trump person in the article has a Black Lives Matter sign and accuses the rally goers of telling her to go home “among other unsavory things.”

Contrast this with Madeline List’s Providence Journal article about the Black Lives Matter action on Federal Hill on August 24, when a marching crowd stopped in the middle of DePasquale Square on Federal Hill, stopped traffic, and berated outdoor diners.  The spectators she interviews are all sympathetic.  She reports that one “woman became incensed, standing up from her table to yell at the demonstrators that they were being disrespectful and inappropriate,” but List doesn’t bother to get her name or ask her to elaborate.  “The protesters did not back down, and the woman left with her family shortly thereafter.”  Meanwhile, List manages to find a drive who actually appreciates the opportunity to be inconvenienced.

Once again, however, Rhode Islanders are fortunate to have John DePetro filling out the massive gaps from the mainstream media.  Thirty seconds into his Facebook Live video from the event, we can apparently watch Madeline List (in the red oval) look at a man with his dog shouting out in opposition to the protesters (in the blue oval) and decide not to interview him.  In fact, she subsequently moves a few steps away, as if the additional space justified not including the man in her article.

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(Note that John later identified List in the video and made explicit that the man in purple was criticizing the protesters, some of whom “taunted” him.)

DePetro also has clips showing some of the aggression toward the people whose meal the mob was disrupting.

Granted, media bias has gotten so bad in recent years that this is a very mild example, but it’s arguably more important for that reason.  Every article on every subject involves these little tweaks to change the way people understand what’s going on in the world.  At the boat rally of thousands, two people in opposition are quoted and described favorably, while an outside expert is brought in to warn about a group that had nothing to do with the event.  At the BLM action of hundreds, the mainstream journalist chooses not to give voice to anybody with a different view.

The social justice journalists want conservatives to feel like those with whom they are aligned are “unsavory,” while the other side is not threatening.  And they want others to feel like everybody else believes the same things they do.



  • ShannonEntropy

    My fave recent example of this pervasive media bias is CNN describing rioting looting and burning as “fiery but mostly peaceful”

    My trip on the Hindenburg ?? It was “fiery but mostly a pleasant ride”

    https://nypost.com/2020/08/27/cnn-blasted-for-caption-calling-kenosha-protests-fiery-but-mostly-peaceful/

    • Rhett Hardwick

      As to the Kenosha shootings, one has to seek “right wing” media to find that all three had records for violent felonies.

      • Lou

        So I guess they deserved it?

        • ShannonEntropy

          Society will be better off without them. Too bad he didn’t ice all three

          • Lou

            You’re a real class act. Idolizing Kyle Rittenhouse says quite a lot about you.

          • ShannonEntropy

            Taking the side of violent felons and child molesters says a *lot* more about you than taking the side of someone acting in self-defense from the guys you back says about me

          • Lou

            No one is “Taking the side of violent felons and child molesters”, but if that’s what you need to believe to feed your warped view of the world it’s pretty sad. Blaming the victim is a common distraction that apparently has worked on you. The fact that you want to believe a defense lawyer’s claim of “self defense” also speaks to your gullibility. Why don’t you comment on the five felonies your boy has been charged with? That’s the only thing we know for certain in the aftermath of this sad event.

          • ShannonEntropy

            The fact that you believe a defense lawyer’s claim of “self defense” also speaks to your gullibility.

            Actually, I saw video of the events in question. I have never in my life seen a clearer case of self-defense. Those three guys were armed and that kid would be dead right now but for him defending himself

            Now you can argue that it was a pretty idiotic thing to do to show up at a riot armed with a rifle with the intention of protecting some stranger’s property; but that it was self-defense is unarguable

          • Lou

            Quite a “patriot”, did he get all three in the back in “self-defense”? Maybe this video is the one you should be sharing about your hero.

            https://nypost.com/2020/09/01/video-shows-kenosha-shooter-kyle-rittenhouse-punching-a-girl-report/

          • ShannonEntropy

            Women are always begging for “equality”… unless it’s a fistfight. Then they can punch a guy but he isn’t supposed to punch back. Welcome to Equal Rights World, Sister !!

            If that chick had just walked away from that confrontation instead of trying to escalate it, she never would have been touched

          • Lou

            I’ll bet you would have rationalized him shooting her in the back as self-defense, too. Pathetic.

          • ShannonEntropy

            Why do you keep saying “Shoot in the back” ??

            Get your facts straight and then talk to us. Start here:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdMTghlrFiw&feature=youtu.be

  • Lou
    • Rhett Hardwick

      I think you really have to consider who controls the “narrative”. Reading through your link, I notice many “right wing extremists” are teenagers. So, does 3-4 teenagers subscribing to an aberrant philosophy form an “extremist group”? I have no doubt that SPLC would think so; I would think a bunch of kids gone horribly wrong. I notice much of the mainstream press is referring to the kid in Kenosha as a “militia member”. I have heard nothing of any organized “militia” being there.

      • Lou

        So they get a pass for being teenagers?

  • Christopher C. Reed

    Just a couple of data points, but could it be that the increasing nervousness of our minders indicate they’re beginning to realize the minnows are slipping their net?

    One of my deplorable pals visits the local gun shop, looking to stock up on buckshot (like ya do) the owner tells him, “We’re out. But I can fix you up with slugs.” Slugs are kinda spendy…so what’s with the run on double-ought?

    Then two ladies of a certain age walk in, shopping for 9mm parabellum. It’s an indicator, but of what? If it’s FMJ (ball) ammo they want, they’re just plinkin’. If it’s hollow point, they’re prepping to go social.

    Someone should warn the DePasquale square larpers — bring it to South County at your peril. Unless they’re secretly working to re-elect OMB. Soros wouldn’t fund that, would he?
    #MostlySuperPeacefulDemocraticMarxists

    • Lou

      OMB?

    • Rhett Hardwick

      I don’t think BLM will get the reception they might expect if they move to the suburbs. I think I may have mentioned that quite recently one of my neighbors, truly a giant of a guy, was approached by three black guys at a gas station (in Mass. intersection of Rtes 123 and 95). They demanded he remove the NRA sticker from his pickup. He literally picked one up and tossed him into the bed of his pickup, the other two reconsidered. Most of the blacks I know, largely successful women, are embarrassed at the rioting. They believe the only answer is education and work skills, they’re right.

  • Lou

    I love it when you point out alleged bias in the media and claim to be “nonpartisan”.