Accuracy in Media

CBS News buried relevant information in its coverage about stay-at-home protests in Michigan, while echoing the Michigan governor’s claim that the protesters were racist.

The network headlined the governor’s narrative, “Michigan governor says ‘some of the worst racism’ fueled protests over coronavirus response.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said that the stay-at-home protesters “depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country.”

CBS News highlighted the presence of the Michigan Liberty Militia, whose members protested with their firearms present and visible.

But CBS News did not verify Whitmer’s claims about how the protesters represented “the worst racism” and the “awful parts of our history.”

Militia groups, according to the Anti-Defamation League, tend to be “armed paramilitary groups” that have “anti-government, conspiracy-oriented ideology.” The ADL did not mention that militia groups hold racist views but did note that militia groups focus on the right to bear arms and freedom from government interference.

CBS News also failed to discuss that stay-at-home protests include concerns about the economy, rising unemployment and loss of wages and small businesses.

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