Eco-Rioters Burn, Shoot and Throw Bombs; CBS Sees Only 'Activists'

Violent rioters on Thursday burned a bridge, shot at police and threw bombs in order to stop the building of an oil pipeline in North Dakota. Yet, the journalists at CBS This Morning saw only “activists” and kept the focus on their environmentalist plight. Reporter Barry Petersen interviewed four of the radical protesters, but just one representative attempting to stop the chaos. He also ignored the Molotov cocktails being hurled at law enforcement. 

A CBS graphic spun, “Activists Burn Bridge, Fire Shots at Police in ND.” Petersen mildly noted, “Activists set fire to debris on a bridge yesterday to stop police from clearing their camp.” Covering the story from the site of the violence, the journalist minimized, “There was a chance this could have turned deadly. A woman was arrested for allegedly firing three shots at police. Police said they did not shoot back.” 

Is someone an "activist" if they are shooting at cops? Instead of wondering this, Petersen focused on protesters: 

WOMAN: Over 300 riot police came. They came with force and they bulldozed the camp and they bulldozed teepees. 

SECOND WOMAN: They maced people today. They tased them in the face. President Obama needs to stop this pipeline from happening.

As though it wasn’t totally necessary, he told the CBS audience: “Police, obviously, have the upper hand here. They are armed. They have got Billy clubs. They also had pepper spray, bean bag guns.” 

Talking to yet another protester, Petersen sympathetically wondered how this all ends. The man responded, “We win. They don't build this pipeline and these guys get charged with human rights violations for the way they have been treating people.” 

Unlike CBS, Good Morning America’s Amy Robach on ABC noted that protesters were “even throwing homemade explosives at the officers.” On NBC’s Today, Miguel Almaguer warned, “After blocking a bridge and starting fires, police say one demonstrator fired a gun at officers.” 

A transcript of the segment is below: 

 

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CBS This Morning
10/28/16
7:17:26
            
CBS GRAPHIC: Pipeline Protests Chaos: Activists Burn Bridge, Fire Shots at Police in ND

CHARLIE ROSE: Violence erupted during protests over the controversial Dakota Access Oil Pipeline. Activists set fire to debris on a bridge yesterday to stop police from clearing their camp. Officers made more than 140 arrests. Barry Petersen is in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, the site of the confrontation. Barry, good morning. 

BARRY PETERSEN: Good morning, Charlie. Well, there was a chance this could have turned deadly. A woman was arrested for allegedly firing three shots at police. Police said they did not shoot back. 

MAN: Stand up! Rise up! Find your warrior spirit! 
                                
PETERSEN: The bitter protest continued into the evening with protesters setting a bonfire on a bridge. Protesters who challenged police were arrested. 

WOMAN: Over 300 riot police came. They came with force and they bulldozed the camp and they bulldozed teepees. 

SECOND WOMAN: They maced people today. They tased them in the face. President Obama needs to stop this pipeline from happening. 

PETERSEN: Ending a day of ongoing confrontation, protesters who challenged police were arrested. Police, obviously, have the upper hand here. They are armed. They have got Billy clubs. They also had pepper spray, bean bag guns and a long-range acoustic device blasting high pitch tones used to disperse the crowds in riots. Activist Jonathan Edwards on the front line. Jonathan, how does this end? 

JONATHAN EDWARDS: We win. They don't build this pipeline and these guys get charged with human rights violations for the way they have been treating people. 

PETERSEN: The roughly 1,200 mile pipeline will carry crude oil from the Bakken oil field to Illinois. Native Americans are angry about plans to tunnel it under the Missouri River. A leak would damage what they consider a tribal life line and pollute water for millions of Americans downstream. North Dakota’s Governor Jack Dalrymple had mobilized the state’s national guards to end the protest. 

JACK DALRYMPLE: We cannot allow our state highways and our county highways to be taken over by agitators from other areas of the country. 

PETERSEN: Native Americans and the environmentalists say they are still determined the pipeline will be stopped but as we have seen this state's government and the pipeline's owner are just as determined that it will be built. Gayle? 

NB Daily Environment Pollution Oil spill CBS CBS This Morning Video Barry Petersen
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