On Thursday morning, CNN and MSNBC pounced on their latest opportunity to ignore police violence-related stories that do not fit the narrative that cops mostly target black suspects for shootings and excessive force. In fact, there were two significant stories highlighted by ABC, CBS, and NBC morning shows which stand out as being ignored by the two liberal cable news networks.
Additionally, on the same morning, Fox and Friends hosted Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley to discuss an article in which he argued against the perception pushed by the liberal media that police shootings are up and that cops target blacks for violence.
One big story of the day was the manhunt for a cop killer in Tennessee -- a story which Fox and Friends led with each of its three hours, and gave almost nine minutes of coverage. The morning shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC also each gave it a full report during their respective first 15-minute blocks, each giving it a couple of minutes each.
But, on CNN, the only coverage so far of the cop killing was buried between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. Eastern in two briefs totaling just 44 seconds, and MSNBC has not mentioned the story at all.
Additionally, the three broadcast networks updated viewers on a story about a white woman in New Jersey who was punched by police when she resisted arrest, showing viewers police bodycam footage which recalls how the physical confrontation started. CNN and MSNBC did not cover the story that the other networks found so newsworthy, although CNN's Early Start on Monday at 5:54 a.m. did spend about one minute on the initial video that was released.
By contrast, as previously documented by NewsBusters, when bodycam video of Milwaukee police tasing NBA player Sterling Brown was released last week, CNN gave it more than 16 minutes, and MSNBC gave it almost 20 minutes. No doubt, if the woman involved were black, the two liberal news networks would have touted it as the latest racial controversy.
Back to Fox and Friends, at 8:15 a.m. Eastern, co-host Brian Kilmeade spoke with Riley about the issue of police violence and the NFL's decision to bar players from kneeling during the National Anthem. Riley argued:
The narrative is simply not true. Police shootings -- use of lethal force by cops is down. It's down by more than 90 percent since the early '70s here in New York, but it's also down in Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles. It simply isn't true that cops are running around gunning for young men or young black men in particular. The data doesn't support that.
After Kilmeade brought up the argument that social media and video footage of arrests have increased the media coverage of police shootings, Riley added:
What we've seen in recent years is an increase in the coverage of these incidents. We can't mistake that for an increase in the incidents themselves. That is not what the data support.
He went on to argue that the distorted coverage is creating tensions between police and minorities, even though minorities need police protection the most.