(NY POST) -- Here’s a quiz for you folks in the media: What happens if you’re out doing “man on the street” interviews but none of the men on the street fit your “narrative”?
If you’re CNN, you stop interviewing them.
It has been remarkable to watch the last few days as America’s self-styled “most trusted news network” has sent out teams of reporters to various areas of Ferguson, Mo., ostensibly to cover the protests there. While their cameramen are watching cars on fire and stores being looted, the reporters ramble on about how “most people here” are “peaceful protesters.”
Where are these peaceful protesters? The reporters can’t seem to find any. Instead, they turn to outside experts and some carefully vetted religious leaders to talk about “the real message” of the protests.
On Tuesday night, CNN correspondent Jason Carroll was reporting, “Most of the protesting we saw in front of the Ferguson Police Department tonight was peaceful.” Then as he started trying to explain the fires burning behind him, he was approached by three of the protesters, who proceeded to get in his face and yell at him because he was promoting a “certain narrative” — the police narrative. “You don’t understand!” one screamed.
Anchor Don Lemon quickly went elsewhere, saying he was worried about Carroll’s safety. When Lemon returned to Carroll later in the broadcast and asked him what the men were saying to him, Carroll refused to say. The reporter was stonewalling because, he explained, these men didn’t “represent” the peaceful protesters who were really the story.
CNN’s “narrative” was laid out early on Monday evening as correspondent Van Jones (formerly of the Obama administration) warned the audience not to pay attention to “a few knuckleheads” who later became a “bunch of knuckleheads” who “started a bunch of nonsense.”
Knuckleheads? Nonsense? When did knucklehead become a synonym for arsonist? When did taking a baseball bat to store windows become “a bunch of nonsense?” Talk about defining deviancy down.
On Tuesday night, Lemon even asked Jones about the difficulty they were having in finding peaceful protesters to interview, and Jones replied that “a lot of these young people are on the knife’s edge between violence and nonviolence.” What does that even mean?
Lemon did not ask. Instead, he returned to Marc Lamont Hill, who explained that the problem is not the protesters but the police who have been “disingenuous” by closing off a road to protesters after they heard shots being fired.
Again, he notes that the protesters were very peaceful — and would have remained so if it weren’t for those police officers making people so angry by stifling their voices.
This is a news organization that has lost all sense of its role.
There was even a debate among these knuckleheads — sorry, correspondents — over whether they should have aired video of Michael Brown’s stepfather standing on top of a car yelling, “Burn this bitch down,” right after the verdict was released.