Raw Feelings in Minneapolis

Last Thursday, the President came to Minneapolis for a rally with his supporters at the Target Center. Thousands of those supporters descended upon the downtown area in MAGA hats, red-white-and-blue apparel, hopeful that their point of view would rule the day.

Meanwhile, thousands more gathered in the streets around the Target Center, signs in hand, chants on lips, to protest what is widely seen as a corrupt, inept administration led by a man many of us consider unfit. Yes, us – I was there in the middle of the throng of protestors, most of us peaceful.

Later, while watching a clip from WCCO Channel 4 News, my husband (who chose to go to the protest even though it was on his birthday) and I realized the news station reported incorrectly on what happened out there in the streets. I can’t speak for what happened inside the Target Center, but I sure as hell can speak to what happened outside and am terribly disappointed that our hometown news station focused on fear and incomplete information to characterize our raised voices. Peaceful protestors, which were the majority, were not shown in that news report.

As a former journalism student, I understand that reporting is supposed to be fair and unbiased. As a human being, I also understand that such reporting can, at times, be difficult especially if the reporter has strong personal beliefs about a given topic. As an American citizen, I understand that feelings are strong all the way around about the current administration and the remedy for what is going wrong right now.

All this does not make me any less angry at inept reporting or inept administrations.

What it does do is remind me, as perhaps it will remind others, that using facts to tell a story is so, so, so important if we are to govern, effect change, heal wounds. Drawing conclusions from incomplete information or from emotional accounts that are not accurate only deepens divides and makes people on both sides dig in their heels with an I told you so sort of attitude. Some protestors were waiting for the President’s supporters to make a mistake and some supporters were waiting for protestors to do the same. I am not going to make a sweeping generalization by saying all here for either side.

What I am going to say is that we must not only be accurate in our stories and reporting. We must also remember that human beings all want the same things, no matter what belief system they follow: happiness and security. It comes down to those basic things for conservatives, liberals, religious, nonreligious, men, women, non-binaries, citizens, immigrants, climate-change deniers and climate-change believers. All of us.

Every single one.

We can absolutely do better.

8 Comments

  1. I totally agree! Also being a product of public affairs and journalism I think and feel that the media has forgotten the original charter of being non biased. Sad. But then we all let it happen- myself included when we started letting the government and the media only report what we wanted to hear. Many times that is not factual or true!
    All sides must be heard and compromise made in accordance to our constitution if our country continues to more forward as a democracy or backwards to a dictatorship. I hope and pray for democracy! Let your voices be heard people!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good to hear there were lots of protesters (at least we all haven’t sunk into apathy and indifference). But what exactly did the news station focus on? How was it “incorrect” in its reporting? I’m guessing a few protesters became violent, and the station focused on this anomaly?

    I can understand focusing on a small piece of a larger picture if the small piece is newsworthy. But if it was merely incidental, minor violence (e.g. a few people throwing tomatoes), then to solely focus on this would obviously be biased and is poor journalism. It’s closer to the propaganda one sees and hears so often on cable news, talk radio, and extremist websites.

    Contact your news station. Keep them responsible. If they’re worth anything, they’ll listen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The new channel only interviewed Trump supporters and used a reporter who stood outside while looking like she was fearful and tearful as she reported that police deployed teargas and things had turned violent, when the majority of the time protestors were peaceful. Protestors got a little testy when Trump supporters threw Trump campaign items (like MAGA hats and campaign signs) at protestors; protestors gathered those items into a pile and burned them with sage. The report on the news? “Protestors burned Trump campaign paraphernalia in the street.” No backstory. They also underestimated the number of protestors present (“a few hundred” versus the thousands that were actually there). There was more – Change.org has organized a petition to WCCO to correct their reportage of the event.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is pretty incredible. One expects this kind of slanted reportage from FOX News. But a local news station?? Now I see why you chose to write about it. I might write about it, too, and I don’t even live in Minneapolis.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you were there and were witness to what was really going on. I’m old enough to remember when news tried to be fair. The real story should have been what was going on outside, not inside. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

    Liked by 1 person

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