(A warning that the language in that video is a little NSFW.)
Courtesy of Fox News:
An angry mob of rioters stoked by the death of a black man at the apparent hand of a Minneapolis cop turned its rage on a Fox News crew early Saturday, chasing and pummeling the journalists outside the White House in a harrowing scene captured on video.
Veteran reporter Leland Vittert was covering protests in Lafayette Park just before1 a.m. with three crewmembers when as many as a dozen masked protesters surrounded them, in footage caught by the Daily Caller.
After a protester lunged at Vittert while he was reporting on air, the team made a beeline out of the park, with the hostile and growing crowd in pursuit.
Vittert and the crew were punched and hit with projectiles as they fled, and a Fox News camera was broken when a member of the mob tried to grab it.
“Imagine what it’s like to be a black man, feeling like this every f***ing day,” a woman is seen shouting at the crew as they hurried away, surrounded by a growing mob.
Vittert, a veteran reporter who has been in countless tight spots during his 15-year career, including violent clashes in Egypt, Libya and the West Bank, war in Eastern Ukraine and coverage of the 2015 Baltimore riots following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, said the Saturday morning attack left the crew shaken.
“This was the scariest situation I’ve been in since I got chased out of Tahrir Square by a mob, and this was equally scary,” said Vittert, referring to his coverage for Fox News Channel of the 2011 Arab Spring and ousting of Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak.
I think most of us are not in support of protesters attacking journalists, but I would point out that this is a crowd of people agitated by the death of yet another black man, who then encounters the propaganda outlet for the racist who lives in the White House.
I think I can understand their emotional response without condoning it.
I would also point out that while Fox News found themselves targeted by the protesters, other journalists from other news outlets found themselves targeted by the police.
Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter:
MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, CNN commentator Keith Boykin were among journalists recounting being hit by rubber bullets, attacked, and in some cases arrested while covering protests.
As tensions escalated across the United States during protests over the death of George Floyd, many journalists found themselves in the crosshairs of covering an unprecedented moment with some getting hit by rubber and pepper bullets.
MSNBC host Ali Velshi, who has been reporting live from Minneapolis, tweeted Saturday that he had been hit by rubber bullets “but I am fine,” he posted. “State police supported by National Guard fired unprovoked into an entirely peaceful rally.”
Prominent CNN commentator Keith Boykin posted details of his arrest while covering protests in New York. “The NYPD arrested me at 96th Street and West Side Highway while I was taking photos and video to post to Twitter. I told the police I was with the Press, they walked by me and then turned around and arrested me,” he wrote Saturday evening once he was released. “The police locked me in tight zip ties that bruised my wrists. They held me in a van for an hour. Then a hot police bus for an hour. Then they took me to 1 Police Plaza and held me in a jail cell with about 35 others with no social distancing and many of the others unmasked.”
KCRW’s Cerise Castle tweeted Saturday that she was struck while covering massive protests in Los Angeles, where residents gathered at The Grove for a peaceful gathering until the situation escalated. “LAPD just shot me and protestors gathered at Beverly & Fairfax with rubber bullets. I was holding my press badge above my head,” said Castle, whose Twitter bio lists associations with other news outlets including Vice News and The Daily Beast.
There were a few other non-Fox News reporters who had scuffles with the protesters, but for the majority of those covering these protests, the real danger seemed to come from the police, especially if the journalist in question was not lily-white.
I think that says something important about where we are as a country right now.