Nets Bemoan ‘Pro-Palestinian’ ‘Protest for Peace’ Turning ‘Violent’ Outside DNC

November 16th, 2023 12:25 PM

On Thursday, the major broadcast networks used their flagship morning news programs to grovel about Wednesday’s riot outside the Democratic National Committee by a pro-Hamas mob that went from being an “anti-war” “protest for peace” “calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war” to “violent clashes between police and pro-Palestinian demonstrators”.

ABC, CBS, and NBC were as esoteric as possible, refusing to call the scene a riot and never assigned a far-left or pro-Hamas label to the hooligans. Instead, they said a “protest” consisted of “pro-Palestinian protesters” or “demonstrators” “organized by a coalition of groups”.



CBS Mornings co-host Tony Dokoupil said in the “Eye Opener” that “[p]olice clash[ed] with protesters demanding a Gaza ceasefire outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington” and was accompanied by one person who whined about “intense police brutality.”

Co-host Nate Burleson opened the actual segment by just stopping shy of referring to the fracas as mostly peaceful: “[A] protest for peace descended into violence last night in Washington. Police used pepper spray on demonstrators outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. The organizers say they were there to demand a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas.”

Congressional correspondent Nikole Killion admitted that mob “blocked the entrance of the Democratic National Committee Wednesday night as officers tried pulling them away from the door” and the Capitol Police’s description of the mob as “illegally and violently protesting.”

However, she had sound from someone screeching in a video about “[p]eople getting thrown down the stairs” and the Democratic Socialists of America’s Sumaya Awad whining about being “shocked by” the conduct of police.

Over on NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie called what happened “tense moments” with co-host Hoda Kotb fretting the “chaos in Washington” was because “[a] protest over the war in the Middle East turn[ed] violent.”

Talk about a tad vague, Hoda. What was their point of view? What do they think Israel’s borders should be? NBC might want to consider that!

Kotb later cued up White House correspondent Gabe Gutierrez by explaining there were “violent clashes between police and pro-Palestinian demonstrators at the DNC headquarters in D.C.”

Gutierrez refused to assign blame (click “expand”):

GUTIERREZ: Barricades are still here outside of the DNC headquarters this morning. But last night, Democratic representatives and candidates were inside for a campaign reception when it was interrupted by chanting. Police say that the protesters got violent. The demonstrators say they were peaceful but then it was police that escalated the situation. Either way, it devolved into chaos. [SCREAMING] This morning, tensions over the Israel-Hamas war boiling over into clashes. Pro-Palestinian protesters calling for a cease-fire, clashing with police in front of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C.

PRO-HAMAS THUGS: Ceasefire now! Ceasefire now!

GUTIERREZ: Videos posted to social media show protesters standing with their arms interlocked, blocking the DNC’s doors, as they get into a shoving match with police.


GUTIERREZ: Dozens of Democratic politicians...were inside the building. Capitol Police say about 150 people gathered and were illegally and violently protesting, which resulted in six officers needing treatment for injuries, including minor cuts, pepper spray, and being punched while event organizers say at least 100 demonstrators suffered injuries after they were pepper sprayed and pushed by police.

AWAD: And we came here tonight to say as Democrats you need to listen to what Democratic base is demanding. 80 percent of Democrats are demanding a ceasefire.

Gutierrez concluded by hyping the letters from “more than 400 federal employees” and “[t]wo dozen Democratic lawmakers...urging the Biden administration to call for a ceasefire”

Kotb stuck to her framing in the second hour with the “pro-Palestinian rally in D.C.” having “turned violent overnight” amid “demand[s]” for “a ceasefire.”

ABC’s Good Morning America was similarly incredulous in its descriptions. Co-host Robin Roberts despondently teased the lead-off story on “[a]n anti-war protest in Washington turning violent” as “demonstrators demand[ed] a ceasefire in Gaza, protesting the war outside the Democratic National Committee, coming face-to-face with Capital Police.”

Co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos also called it a “protest...that forced the evacuation of several lawmakers last night,” but at least shared the “illegally and violently” line from Capitol Police.

Senior congressional correspondent Rachel Scott struck a neutral tone in each hour of the show, which certainly wouldn’t have been the case if this were, say, white supremacists with tiki torches outside the Republican National Committee (RNC). Here were highlights from the first hour (click “expand”):

SCOTT: And those protesters demanding a ceasefire blocked the entrance of this building here overnight, clashing with police. Nearby Capitol officers were put on lockdown, members of Congress had to be evacuated, and several officers were injured. Overnight, violent clashes in the nation's capital. [SCREAMING] 150 demonstrators demanding a ceasefire in Gaza —

PRO-HAMAS THUGS: Ceasefire now! Ceasefire now!

SCOTT: — protesting outside the Democratic Party's headquarters in Washington, coming face-to-face with Capital Police. Several lawmakers were inside the building as the protests erupted, quickly evacuated to safety. Police cutting off access to nearby offices on Capitol Hill. A heavy police presence here near the Capitol building. House buildings on lockdown as police got those members of Congress who were inside of the DNC out. 


SCOTT: Outside, police pushing back the crowd of protesters. Officials say six officers were injured, ranging from minor cuts to being pepper sprayed and punched.

PRO-HAMAS RIOTER: All we wanted to say is our demand is that President Biden and Congress demand a ceasefire now. And so, we came out here to tell them. We do not expect the hostility we got.

Scott ended with the dubious claim that “one group behind last night's demonstration says 90 protesters were injured,” but took a slight dig at them by noting Tuesday’s “major” gathering “in support of Israel” at the National Mall was “peaceful.”

To see the relevant transcripts from November 16, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC).