The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Right before I sat down to write this article, I clicked on MSN to see what the headlines were and I could have read about the George Floyd funeral, Black Lives Matter protests in the suburbs, Trump’s comments about the injured Buffalo protestor, and the removal of a Confederate statue.
Then I went to Google News and the top story was Biden addressing George Floyd’s 6 year old daughter, a million dollar treasure buried in the Rockies that had been found, and a police officer being arrested over pushing a protestor.
As for CNN, they were featuring the WHO discussing asymptomatic spread of Covid19, Daniel Radcliffe’s views on the trans movement, and the reopening of Las Vegas.
Since I’d read about all those things already, I figured no news was good news.
I sometimes venture onto the hellscape known as Twitter, and on Twitter, I follow a variety of people from all across the political spectrum because I want to know what’s actually going on in people’s hearts and minds rather than being in an echo chamber. And on Twitter over the weekend, I had started to read some pretty crazy stuff coming out of Chicago. Members of Antifa celebrating that “Chicago had fallen” for example (sadly deleted and I didn’t screenshot it, because silly me, I thought if it was true it would be on the news), that people were driving the wrong way down one way streets in stolen buses, that the cops were in retreat and parts of the city were effectively lost.
I talked to my dad about this, and he hadn’t heard anything either, so he called our cousin who lives in Chicago. She said she was scared to go outside, there were fires in the distance, gunshots, sirens, and chaos in the streets. Yet there hadn’t been a word on the news anywhere that we had seen. While I felt worried about the disparity of what I was hearing vs. seeing in the media, naively I was still inclined to believe the media. It just couldn’t be true that anything newsworthy was happening in Chicago, because it wasn’t being told to me by the people I have long trusted to tell me things that are worth knowing about.
Yesterday morning I woke up and it appeared that what my cousin had been saying was true. There has been enormous unrest in Chicago, buses had been stolen, police were spread so thin they were useless (911 was not even answering phone calls). The aldermen and mayor of Chicago were upset, frightened, and passionately debating what to do about it. And despite this, the situation in Chicago is STILL not the headline story on any of the news organizations I usually frequent. Even on more right wing sites like Drudge and Knewz any hint of civil unrest was treated like an afterthought, far behind Trump tweeting and Lori Daybell.
Even more shocking, on Twitter I read rumors that seemed fairly convincing that parts of Seattle including Capitol Hill and at least one police station was abandoned and taken over by protestors – by the sounds of it, COMPLETELY, with little to no police presence. Yet when I went onto Seattle news sites like KING, KOMO, and KIRO it was impossible to find real information about what was really happening in the city – KING did not appear to have a single mention of any unrest on its main page at all. My three local stations over here in the eastern half of Washington State had no news of the Seattle situation whatsoever other than a human interest story about a hometown girl who could smell tear gas from her Seattle apartment.
It smelled bad and made her cough.
Protestors have taken over a part of the biggest city in my state and there was next to nothing in national OR local news about that. Rioters have ripped apart neighborhoods in several major cities and Google News is suggesting to me an antiracism reading list. You know where I finally saw found the first mention of the Seattle situation? Breitbart, a site I don’t usually bother to read at all. Only after the protestors stormed into City Hall was it finally reported on in Seattle area news, and not in any national news I saw.
When I posted about it on Twitter I was doubted, both regarding the Chicago situation and the Seattle one. But there was already a Wikipedia page set up for what is being called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone and yet there was NOTHING on the news organizations that many people rely upon.
I thought Wikipedia was an encyclopedia, not a news organization.
Now, it may be that by the time this piece is finished and published, the media will have no choice but to start spreading the news, but my question remains, why was this not front page, top story news as it happened??
During the LA riots we all saw tons of footage of people looting and the images of the beating of Reginald Denny being played again and again. Yet the civil unrest of 2020, which by any metric is far worse, is barely being covered in an age of handheld camcorders and security footage. Twitter, for all its flaws, is apparently a better and more reliable source of news and information than the mainstream media is.
Does this strike anyone as a bit weird? Because I sure find it weird. I feel like I have a blindfold on and can’t tell what is actually happening in the world. I built my expectation around getting reliable news from reliable sources, the powers-that-be in fact told me again and again that I should ONLY get news from these mainstream, ostensibly fair and balanced sources, and the people who have been tasked with that sacred duty are completely out to lunch.
After months of nonstop wall to wall coverage of events like the death of Kobe Bryant, the “raid” on Area 51, and the ongoing battle of wits between Chrissy Teigen and Alison Roman, after YEARS spent giving America weekly breathless updates on whatever happened on Saturday Night Live and daily briefings on the the inner thoughts of Taylor Swift, things that have the actual potential to disrupt my life and the lives of my family are being ignored.
Regardless of anyone’s opinion on the protests or their aftermath, the civil unrest across America is news. Big news. Important news. News that could save lives. Where are the journalists? Are you seriously telling me that I now have to assume that Breitbart is more reliable a source of information than CNN? Because if that’s the case, no one ever, EVER needs to be shaming people for watching Fox News ever again – maybe they’re getting some news on there that the rest of us haven’t heard.
I don’t care if you’re conservative, liberal, or otherwise, a media blackout on critically important news is concerning. Deeply concerning. This level of unrest should be reported on. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Because otherwise, this is some Pravda shit here.
Sadly, you heard it here first.