After a long night of violence in Hamburg at the international G20 Summit, where left-wing, anti-capitalist rioters injured over 70 police officers, ABC and CBS still found a way to blame Trump for the violence. Despite both networks acknowledging that violence at these summits is “nothing new,” ABC and CBS spun that Trump’s presence was one of the primary reasons activists were inspired to commit violence.
Friday morning’s Good Morning America broadcast on ABC treated the rioters with kid gloves. Despite setting cars on fire, looting businesses and throwing bottles and rocks at police, ABC’s James Longman simply called them “protesters” instead of the more accurate “rioters” or “looters.” Not to mention that no political affiliation was ascribed to them. From watching ABC’s report alone, the viewer would have a hard time understanding who the “protesters” were and what exactly they were protesting. The only hint comes at the end of Longman’s report, which finally calls them “anti-capitalist” but frames their actions around Trump:
“Anti-capitalist protests always target G20 meetings but this year the stakes are higher than ever as President Trump comes to town,” Longman urged.
If it wasn’t clear already what ABC was implying, Longman repeated this sentiment again in his report the next hour of Good Morning America:
“It's unclear who was provoking who but I think it's fair to say that with Donald Trump in town, the stakes are certainly higher.”
While ABC refused to clearly describe who was committing this violence, CBS’ Margaret Brennan’s report was more balanced, repeatedly calling the rioters “left-wing activists” and “anti-capitalist.”
But Brennan began her report by sitting down with one of the organizers of the “protest,” asking her what message she had for Donald Trump and giving her air-time to air her grievances against capitalism instead of asking if she condoned throwing rocks at police and setting cars on fire.
ACTIVIST EMILY LAQUER: These protests are against the violence of the G20. We believe that there is no hope coming from the G20. We want the American people to know that Donald Trump has no friends here and that when we -- when Donald Trump comes to Germany for his first visit to Germany, there will be a massive opposition.
BRENNAN: Laquer and her fellow left wing activists hold G20 leaders responsible for a host of problems. Including climate change, the migration crisis and economic inequality.
After this interview Brennan acknowledged that “Violence at international summits like this are nothing new,” citing other violent riots this year in Sicily and Toronto. Still, CBS, like ABC, tried to frame this riot as worse than others and seemed to blame Donald Trump for it.