NowThis News framed anti-lockdown protests across the country as “monuments to white privilege” on its Twitter feed. It captioned video footage of lockdown protests with, “What would happen if protesters of color acted this way to police?”
What would happen if protesters of color acted this way to police? pic.twitter.com/sEQPKQmsXL
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 9, 2020
The video demonstrated some of the aggressive tactics from anti-lockdown protesters directed towards police officers surrounding state capitol buildings in places such as Denver and Sacramento. The majority of protesters were white and waved American flags to demand that their respective governors re-open the state’s economy.
NowThis News included ominous-sounding music to accompany video footage of protesters yelling at police officers and pushing officers to gain entrance to the state capitol building in California. It also selectively edited protest footage to only included violent behavior. The website did not acknowledge that the protesters’ primary concern is re-opening the economy to allow citizens to go back to work and make money to maintain their livelihoods and homes.
NowThis News’s video also included the hypothetical question, “What would happen if protesters of color acted this way to police?” It did not provide evidence or an answer to its question and left the audience to come to their own conclusions about the anti-lockdown protests. The video was not labeled as an opinion or editorial video, though it should have been categorized as such.