When there is a liberal protest with signs comparing Republicans to Hitler and calling for violence, journalists tend to carefully avoid those images on network TV. But a few bigots and nuts who attend anti-lockdown protests must be representative of the group at large. That was the message on Friday’s CBS This Morning. Co-host Gayle King ominously warned, “There are growing concerns this morning over who is turning out for demonstrations against public safety measures in the coronavirus crisis.”
According to King, “Some say [this] is a pattern of very unsettling incidents.” Reporter Jericka Duncan explained, “A third protest at the Michigan state capitol Thursday as demonstrators there continue to rebel against the governor's coronavirus restrictions. This time, a fight broke out between demonstrators over a doll with a noose around its neck.” She added that the organizers “quickly distanced themselves from the incident.” But CBS clearly won’t let them do that.
Who better than Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer to call as a witness for the disturbing nature of all these protests? Instead of verbally pointing out that Whitmer is a Democrat (this was done only in an onscreen graphic) and angling to be Joe Biden’s vice presidential nominee, Duncan allowed the governor to fret about the “really political rallies” in her state.
These have been really political rallies where people come with Confederate flags and Nazi symbolism and calling for violence. This is not appropriate in a global pandemic, but it's certainly not an exercise of democratic principles.
Many of these rallies are stridently anti-Whitmer. So perhaps that has something to do with the governor's dismissal of “political rallies” as “not an exercise of democratic principles”? Duncan didn’t ask. A network graphic warned, "Anti-Lockdown Protests Concerns: Signs of Hate Spotted at Rallies Nationwide.”
Instead, she focused on isolated incidents of Nazi imagery and a noose on a doll. Obviously, these examples are disgusting and should be condemned by everyone. However liberal and Democratic protesters aren’t forced to condemn their nuts and extremists.
During the Iraq War, many far-left rallies carried images like this:
They also compared Bush to Hitler. More recent examples include the singer Madonna’s message of virulent hate directed to Donald Trump at the Women’s March on Washington in 2017.
A partial transcript of the segment is below. Click “expand” to read more.
CBS This Morning
7:38 AM ET
CBS Graphic: Anti-Lockdown Protests Concerns: Signs of Hate Spotted at Rallies Nationwide
GAYLE KING: There are growing concerns this morning over who is turning out for demonstrations against public safety measures in the coronavirus crisis. Protesters swarmed Michigan's state capitol again yesterday over statewide stay-at-home orders. Some of them had guns, big guns. The state's governor says she's concerned about possible racist elements among the crowd. Jericka Duncan reports on what some say is a pattern of very unsettling incidents.
MAN: Open that business right now! Today.
JERICKA DUNCAN: A third protest at the Michigan state capitol Thursday as demonstrators there continue to rebel against the governor's coronavirus restrictions. This time, a fight broke out between demonstrators over a doll with a noose around its neck. Organizers of the protest quickly distanced themselves from the incident. It comes two weeks after protesters, some armed, walked into the capitol building in another attempt to rally against the state's shutdown.
GOVERNOR GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-Michigan): These have been -- these have been really political rallies where people come with Confederate flags and Nazi symbolism and calling for violence. This is not appropriate in a global pandemic, but it's certainly not an exercise of democratic principles.
DUNCAN: In Chicago, a photo of a woman holding a sign with the phrase similar to the one displayed over the gates of several concentration camps has gone viral. And in Raleigh, North Carolina, police say they have reviewed this interaction between an anti-lockdown demonstrator and a black family from last weekend.
BETH THOMAS: That experience was terrifying and surreal.
DUNCAN: Deonte and Beth Thomas were out on a walk to celebrate Mother's Day weekend when they came across the armed group. One man carrying a pipe wrench is seen crossing the street while Thomas asked him to stay away from his family. Thomas says he was forced to keep his composure because of the armed men just feet away.
DONTE THOMAS: Just a millisecond I'm thinking if I jump on him, if I fight him, I'm going to get shot. It sucks that I still get emotional about it. And -- hopefully me getting emotional about it will pass quickly. How quickly, you know, I could have been another hash tag.