ABC’s “World News Tonight,” “NBC Nightly News” and CBS’ “Evening News” opted not to call riots that took place Sunday night following the deadly shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by a police officer by the dreaded “R” word.
Violence erupted in the Minneapolis suburb in response to the shooting, which Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Police Chief Tim Gannon suggested was a mistake by the officer who confused her gun with her Taser and fired at Wright as he attempted to drive off in his car. Demonstrations outside the Brooklyn Center police department grew violent as rioters threw objects at officers and several areas were looted, but the flagship newscasts on ABC, NBC and CBS didn’t refer to the chaos as a riot during Monday night broadcasts and only used the word to describe gear worn by law enforcement officials.
“The truth didn’t matter to the broadcast networks as they gaslit their audiences,” NewsBusters analyst Nicholas Fondacaro wrote.
ABC described the riot as “protests turned violent,” while NBC used the term “unrest” and CBS went with “violent protests.” ABC’s David Muir even admitted police were “in riot gear” to combat what he called “protesters.”