Over the summer of 2020, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a number of devasting, deadly riots erupted across the nation and caused untold economic and physical damage to multiple American cities.
At the time of the deadly wave of anti-police demonstrations, left-leaning media outlets like CNN were ridiculed for labeling the riots as “mostly peaceful protests.” Now, according to Breitbart, a new poll shows a majority of Americans do not agree with the media’s descriptor, and instead, consider the events to have been full-fledged “riots.”
The numbers are in
“Were the widespread disturbances in U.S. cities last summer ‘mostly peaceful protests’ or were they riots?” a Rasmussen Reports poll asked in a survey of 870 Americans representing both political parties.
The results of the poll determined that across the board, 52% of Americans believe that last year’s events were, in fact, “riots.” Only 35% of respondents believed that “peaceful protests” occurred.
When the data was broken down on party lines, only 54% of Democratic voters believed that the protests were “mostly peaceful,” while 27% of independents agreed. Just 22% of Republicans polled felt the same.
Unsurprisingly, a whopping 69% of Republican voters felt that last year’s protests were “riots,” with 32% of Democrats and 55% of independents agreeing with that assessment.
Perhaps the most interesting data from the survey was that 56% of non-white and non-Black respondents described the protests as “riots.” Fifty-two percent of white voters felt the same, along with 42% of Black voters.
“Fiery, but mostly peaceful”
In perhaps one of the most awkward gaffes in media history, it was during the summer of 2020 when CNN interviewed a reporter on the ground in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with a banner on the screen that read, “Fiery, but mostly peaceful protests after police shooting.”
It’s like a weather report from hell:
“Fiery but mostly peaceful protests are expected today, with a chance of looting in the evening, with perhaps just some scattered raping and disemboweling after dark. Back to you, Brian!” pic.twitter.com/KGBYWSHvpe
— Keefe Nash (@NashKeefe) August 27, 2020
The moment was widely ridiculed on social media and by a number of mainstream media reporters at other networks, as most of the protests that occurred at that time were destructive, literally deadly, and were overall lightyears away from any intellectually honest person describing them as “mostly peaceful.”
According to Fox News, not long after CNN’s infamous reporting on the unfolding events, host Brian Stelter admitted that describing the dangerous demonstrations as “mostly peaceful,” especially as building and vehicle fires raged out of control in the background, was a “mistake.”
“I think that CNN banner the caller mentioned that said there were ‘fiery but mostly peaceful protests.’ That banner was probably a mistake,” Stelter said, blaming the “mistake” on a “young producer who’s trying their best under deadline in a breaking news situation.”