On Friday, both NBC's Today and CBS's The Early Show offered news briefs on two deadly shooting incidents at two separate Occupy Wall Street protests Thursday night, while ABC's Good Morning America failed to make any mention of the deaths.
On Today, news anchor Natalie Morales reported: "Occupy Wall Street protests turned deadly overnight in two cities. In Oakland, California, Police are investigating a gun fight that left one man dead....And in Burlington, Vermont, a 35-year-old war veteran apparently shot himself..." On The Early Show, news anchor Terrell Brown noted: "In Oakland, California last night, a man was shot and killed just outside the anti-Wall Street demonstrations....A Wall Street protester committed suicide in Burlington, Vermont yesterday."
Both broadcasts worked to separate the violence from the movement itself. Of the Oakland shooting, Morales added: "Police say they're not sure if the shooting was related to demonstrations." Brown similarly explained: "Police say that shooting was apparently not related to the protest."
However, neither made any mention of the homicide prompting Oakland's liberal mayor, Jean Quan, previously supportive of the protest, to call for its end. The San Francisco CBS News affiliate reported:
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan called on "Occupy Oakland" to voluntarily dismantle their encampment after a man in his early 20s was fatally shot in Frank Ogawa Plaza Thursday night. Though protesters say the shooting was not related to the encampment and police have said there is no apparent connection between the two, the mayor said in a statement Thursday night that this kind of violence is unacceptable either way.
Of the suicide at the Burlington protest, Brown pointed out: "Police say the 35-year-old man shot himself to death. Other protesters say he had mental health issues." Morales simply noted: "Police responded by trying to shut down the protesters' camp, meeting resistance from demonstrators."
While both cases are still under investigation, it's hard to imagine that the media would have given such little coverage to these acts of violence had they occurred at Tea Party events.