Protesters clash with police at low-profile RNC

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Guests: Bob Hennelly, WNYC reporter; Ben Calhoun, Chicago Public Radio

Comments [1]

Chris Manschreck

I was put off by the binary way in which the the reporters of this story referred to the "peaceful" and "anarchist" demonstrators at the convention, as though those were mutually exclusive categories. While I disagree with many anarchist ideas, the anarchists I have known and worked with have been some of the most peaceful and gentle people I have ever met. I also object to the characterization of these protesters as "self-proclaimed anarchists" as though republicans, democrats, or for that matter, journalists were not self-proclaimed.

This piece overplayed the role of violent demonstrators at the RNC while reducing the diverse political opinions of the demonstrators to a false dichotomy between "peaceful" protesters in the "Ghandi" tradition and "anarchist" protesters in the "intifada" tradition. This coverage essentially defined "anarchism" and "intifada" as amongst an "axis of evil" of extreme or terrorist associations, when the reality of the situation is much more complex and nuanced than good axis vs evil axis. We the public need that kind of nuance and complexity to be acknowledged and reported, especially from a program which hopes to bring a fresh approach to the news.

Sep. 02 2008 01:56 PM

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