Some residents of Toledo, Ohio looted a tavern and tossed rocks at cops, and it was carried live and continuously on Fox News Channel for over an hour.
MSNBC and CNN primarily stayed with tape. CNN did offer a brief "breaking news" update at 3:30pm, and notice Fredricka Whitfield's tone: "When we get more information about the kind of alleged violence that has taken place, the fire, the alleged looting...we'll be bringing that to you throughout the day here on CNN."
Alleged. Her words were thoughtful and measured. By contrast, FNC's Julie Banderas referred to the situation as a "racial war." Banderas said Toledo had historically been a "tinderbox" for racial tension. FOXNews.com called the people "rioters." It was treated as an Alert for almost all of the 3pm hour, even though details were few and far between. It would be easy to question FNC's news judgment; critics could suggest that broadcasting the images was unethical and dangerous. But you know what? I was on the way out at 3:15, but when I turned on the TV, I was glued to Fox until 3:45...
But [the mayor] said the people who confronted him angrily at Central Avenue and Mulberry Street about 3:30 p.m. included not just gang leaders, but other people, including women and children. He said they were furious that the police and mayor protected the neo-Nazis in their neighborhood.
"They were angry that I, as a black man, would uphold the Constitution," Mr. Ford said. "They didn't accept that. For them, it was a turf issue."
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