PBS Reporter: Some Trump Fans Think It's Okay to Shoot Unarmed Protesters

September 2nd, 2020 9:49 PM

The things that PBS people think that conservatives believe! That "it's okay to shoot unarmed protesters in the street," as if people were shooting docile men just standing around with signs. On Tuesday’s Deadline: White House, PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor sounded exactly like your standard hyperpartisan MSNBC contributor.

Host Nicolle Wallace acted amazed that President Trump wouldn't denounce 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, but suggested he was acting in self-defense when he shot three in Kenosha. This is beyond-the-pale stuff at MSNBC. Alcindor agreed this was bizarre.

ALCINDOR: I was writing my package for PBS today, and I had to write – “after justifying a Trump supporter killing two people and after comparing police shooting people to golfing, the president went to Kenosha.” That's the opening line of a package I never thought I would be writing.

And I think what we're dealing with is the president really not wanting to lose any voters and also wanting to not look like he's giving even an inch on the idea of law enforcement – sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes unjustifiably killing African-Americans. And he doesn't want to deal with the reality that black people are killed at higher rates than white people in this country. So what you see the president doing is doubling down and really going to this part of his base.

Here’s where it turns mean:

I don't think all Trump supporters are like this, but going to the part of his base that think that it's okay for a 17-year-old to shoot people in the street who are unarmed, who are at a protest, who are upset about the way the federal government is treating African-Americans, and it's not -- never before I think in the history of America has a president used the bully pulpit of the White House to defend somebody who is charged with homicide in a way like this.

Someone should tell this journalist that Rittenhouse shot one man armed with a handgun, who was not "unarmed." He was being chased as gunshots rang out in the air. You can be fine with President Trump talking about self-defense without thinking it's generally okay to shoot "unarmed" protesters.

A few hours later, Alcindor's PBS NewsHour report -- clearly not reported from Wisconsin -- was every bit as snotty as she recounted on MSNBC. In the second half, she promoted how "Democrats across Wisconsin repeatedly requested the president not to visit, saying he would only ignite tensions....And the national Democratic Party released an ad today that echoed that, blaming President Trump for scenes of violence."

After noting Trump "also encouraged a baseless conspiracy theory that powerful people in, quote, 'dark shadows' were behind the protests," she brought on leftist Rep. Marc Pocan from Madison, Wisconsin: 

POCAN: We don't want people coming in from out of state with guns, acting like vigilantes, thinking that they're running the streets. And yet that is exactly what Donald Trump is promoting, as he promotes his racial division.

ALCINDOR: The president's comments are not the first time he has appeared to condone violence. After a woman was killed protesting against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in 2017, he said this.

TRUMP: You also had people that were very fine people on both sides.

ALCINDOR: And on the campaign trail in 2016, he said of a protester interrupting a rally:

TRUMP: I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you.

ALCINDOR: Back in Kenosha, the family of Jacob Blake led a community cleanup, food drive and voter registration event at the site where he was shot. They are still calling for the officer who shot him to be charged. For the PBS NewsHour, I'm Yamiche Alcindor.

It's hard to tell the TV ads the Democrats buy from the "news" that Alcindor makes.