A CNN anchor has been the target of much backlash on social media after this morning suggesting that police could break out water cannons and use them on protesters in troubled Ferguson.
In a conversation with her colleague Tuesday morning, Rosemary Church said “Talk to us about what police are saying to you. Why they are using this strategy? Why the use of tear gas, stun grenades? Why not perhaps use water cannons?”
Viewers immediately took to Twitter to point out the historical context of police hosing down predominantly African Americans protesters:
— Sakita Holley (@MissSuccess) August 19, 2014
— Nig-ella Lawson (@JanvierNoir) August 19, 2014
— 2nd Collection Plate (@RockE_ATL11) August 19, 2014
She really asked why not use water cannons. Why not bring out the dogs also and time travel back to segregation since we're at it
— xxclusivee (@xxclusivee) August 19, 2014
— Lars Olsson (@larsolsson) August 19, 2014
CNN has been the target of much ridicule online concerning its poor coverage of the Ferguson unrest. It even failed to cover a huge protest over the weekend that occurred outside its own building in Atlanta. MSNBC, by the same token, today suggested that cops in Ferguson may need military gear in order to deal with the threat posed by “anti-government groups,” even though the vast majority of protesters are peaceful.
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) August 19, 2014
Despite their dissemination of such provocative talking points, Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson praised the TV news media this morning, saying “You know I get home each morning, I look at the news and I am really grateful to the media for what they’ve done.”
In the same breath, however, Johnson slammed the alternative media, claiming that reporters who have not acted in step with the police are effectively enabling violence in Ferguson.
In an interview with MSNBC Johnson claimed some independent reporters are guilty of following around agitators, giving “them a platform and glamoriz[ing] their activity.”
“We have a lot of media that have not done a great job. Last night, when crowds were walking and small groups — and they got larger, and they were just walking — and then when a certain element — that criminal element, that got out here with masks on, that wanted to agitate and build up the crowd, would stop in front of the media — the media would swarm around them, give them a platform and glamorize their activity,” Johnson said.
The captain claims that it is only when the media promotes the protesters, that their numbers grow, enticing in violent individuals and groups.
“…before we knew it, the crowd was 100. Now it’s 200. Now it’s 300,” Johnson said. “And now those criminals began to start throwing things out of the crowd that was standing within the media.”
Reports continue to emerge of the police in Ferguson arresting journalists, camera operators and photographers who are trying to do their jobs, covering the actions that police are taking. Meanwhile, a ‘We The People’ petition to have all police wear cameras to prevent them abusing their powers has exploded online, easily reaching the threshold at which the White House must issue an official response.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.