Since last week, CNN has again demonstrated its double standard in spending substantially more time on stories that suggest police officers are being racist against black suspects while ignoring other instances of police violence that do not support the narrative. Between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, CNN Tonight and New Day both pounced on video of a black man being beaten by police in Arizona for refusing to sit down when ordered to.
But the same CNN ignored video of a white woman on a New Jersey beach with her child who was punched by cops as they confronted her about underage possession of alcohol. In fact, ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning both went so far as to air interviews with the woman, Emily Weinman, on Wednesday morning, following up from all three broadcast networks first highlighting the case early last week.
On Wednesday night, CNN host Don Lemon introduced a report by correspondent Nick Watt recounting the Arizona beating involving black suspect Robert Johnson, with Lemon posing for viewers: “Isn’t this what NFL players wanted to bring attention to?” The CNN host then hosted a discussion that included liberal CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill — who complained about “police terrorism” — and conservative contributor Ben Ferguson.
Hill and Ferguson got into a heated debate as Ferguson argued that the Arizona case was not about race because the main officer throwing punches was also black, leading Lemon at one point to almost call Ferguson “dumb,” before suggesting instead that he was “uneducated.”
Ferguson warned against going too far into making accusations of racism during discussions of police excessive force: “Police brutality has to be talked about with the issue of police brutality, and it can’t always be turned into a race issue when you’re watching an African-American pounding another African-American.“
Lemon condescended: “That is the dumbest — you can’t be that d- — you can’t be that uneducated.”
The entire segment lasted more than 12 minutes.
The next morning, New Day ran the same story by Watt and then spent an entire segment speaking with race-obsessed New York Times contributor and former MSNBC analyst Michael Eric Dyson. In total, New Day gave the story nine and a half minutes.
By contrast, the only attention CNN has given to the New Jersey story came last week when Early Start gave it just one minute at 5:54 a.m. Eastern on Memorial Day. A Nexis search shows no sign that it has been mentioned since.
As documented last week by NewsBusters, CNN also mostly ignored the story of a Tennessee police officer who was murdered but did find time to discuss the arrest of the NBA’s Sterling Brown. The network also mostly ignored the murder of a police officer in Maryland.
But the broadcast networks all took notice of the New Jersey case, with all three morning shows airing full reports. And, on Wednesday morning, ABC and CBS both revisited the story and ran interviews with Weinman.