In recent weeks, radio talk host John DePetro has been taking Facebook Live out on the streets of Rhode Island to offer coverage of left-wing protests in a way that our local news media is apparently not willing to do or interested in doing. Last night, he posted video of an arrest after the more-significant conflicts with police had quieted down. In that video, you can see a green laser hunting around his face:
Here’s his subsequent report on his own website later in the evening:
A Black Live Matter protester was arrested for shining an illegal laser on John DePetro Facebook Live outside the Providence safety complex after a violent night of protest to defund the police. DePetro was covering the protest when the illegal laser was pointed at him, initially did not understand what was happening and even joked about it. DePetro then lost vision and was unable to drive home after the incident. This week, three federal officers were permanently blinded by protesters in Portland using an illegal green laser.
The cookie-cutter reports from the local TV news stations mention the arrest, reporting that the laser was pointed at officers (without mentioning the significance of that act). The Providence Journal does not mention the incident, and arguably slants its coverage toward support of the protestors, given a headline that describes the protest as “raucous,” like a tailgate party or something, rather than “violent.”
So far, no local news media appear to have mentioned DePetro’s experience. In the last year, several conservatives in the state have mentioned the impression that local journalists have muted or blocked them on social media and are deliberately ignoring us.
UDPATE (7/27/20 12:30 p.m.):
John has put a statement up on his site:
Shortly after that, the protesters got closer to me and the one who lasered me in the eyes was apprehended by Providence police. I am left with blurry vision, nausea, and headaches. I sought immediate medical treatment and was told I may have permeant cornea or retinal damage and I am uncertain of my long term prognosis.
Unless I’ve missed it, I haven’t seen anybody in the RI media mention the incident, yet. Keep that in mind as you try to understand what’s going on by means of the news media. What is happening is becoming less important than to whom it is happening.