CNN Covers for Protesters Intruding on St. Louis Couple

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Monday's Erin Burnett OutFront, the show presented a pre-recorded report by correspondent Tom Foreman in which he tried to cover for protesters in St. Louis who broke into a gated community and trespassed, leading a white couple to brandish weapons out of fear for their safety.

The report hinted that couple were doing something wrong in defending themselves as Foreman lumped them in with a video President Donald Trump tweeted out which showed a couple of white men provocatively shouting about "white power" during a demonstration.

Host Erin Burnett set up the piece:

[video:https://www.mrctv.org/node/551422 align:center]

ERIN BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump tweeting a video of a white couple in St. Louis pointing guns at protesters marching outside their homes, but there is much more to this story. Tom Foreman is out front.

After a clip of the two men shouting about "white power," Foreman began the report by linking them to the couple who were defending themselves:

TOM FOREMAN: Of all the President's tweets, these two fiery clips have raised the summer heat the highest, but, like so much on social media, the full story is more complicated. Start with the video Trump retweeted from ABC News showing a couple in St. Louis brandishing guns while protesters move past on a private street.

He then showed a clip of the man from St. Louis explaining why he and his wife felt the need to hold up guns when the protesters came near their home: "I was terrified that we'd be murdered within seconds, that our house would be burned down, that our pets would be killed."

Without informing viewers that they had broken through a gate to get into the private area, Foreman undermined the homeowners' concerns:

FOREMAN: But the demonstrators were not targeting that house, according to a reporter at the scene. They were going to the mayor's home nearby to demand her resignation after she publicly announced the names and partial addresses of some people who want police reform.

After explaining what the mayor had done to anger protesters, and noting that she has a history of being a victim of violent crime, Foreman then cited one of the protesters to argue that they had done nothing wrong:

FOREMAN: But was this protest threatening anyone?

AVERY RISCH, PROTESTER: I think that's ridiculous.

FOREMAN: Avery Risch took video of the armed couple and simply does not believe they were menaced in any way.

RISCH: These people are coming out to disrupt the peace and to bring attention to a cause, but, in no way are they coming out to incite violence.

The CNN correspondent then moved to the other more provocative video, recalling that President Trump deleted it after it was criticized.

This segment that covered for the criminal behavior of protesters was sponsored by Liberty Mutual, Tractor Supply Co., and Full Exterior cleaning fluid. Their contact information is linked.

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Monday, June 29, Erin Burnett Outfront on CNN:

7:50 p.m. Eastern

ERIN BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump tweeting a video of a white couple in St. Louis pointing guns at protesters marching outside their homes, but there is much more to this story. Tom Foreman is out front.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: White power!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: There you go! White power!

TOM FOREMAN: Of all the President's tweets, these two fiery clips have raised the summer heat the highest, but, like so much on social media, the full story is more complicated. Start with the video Trump retweeted from ABC News showing a couple in St. Louis brandishing guns while protesters move past on a private street. The man holding the gun explained to a local TV station:

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: I was terrified that we'd be murdered within seconds, that our house would be burned down, that our pets would be killed.

FOREMAN: But the demonstrators were not targeting that house, according to a reporter at the scene. They were going to the mayor's home nearby to demand her resignation after she publicly announced the names and partial addresses of some people who want police reform. … The mayor has apologized for that, even as she maintains a strong law and order stance. After all, her husband was murdered in a carjacking attempt 25 years ago in front of her home. But was this protest threatening anyone?

AVERY RISCH, PROTESTER: I think that's ridiculous.

FOREMAN: Avery Risch took video of the armed couple and simply does not believe they were menaced in any way.

RISCH: These people are coming out to disrupt the peace and to bring attention to a cause, but, in no way are they coming out to incite violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: #1 White power!

FOREMAN: The other video shared by the President shows some of his supporters rallying in Florida and clashing with others who oppose his reelection. Trump calls his backers in the video "great people," even with one saying:

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: White power!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: There you go! White power!

FOREMAN; The video triggered immediate outrage from a Republican Senator.

SENATOR TIM SCOTT (R-SC): I think it's indefensible -- he should take it down. That's what I think.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: White power!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: There you go! White power!

FOREMAN: The "white power" comment comes in loud and clear just a few seconds in, but the President's staff portrays the post as an honest mistake.

AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS HOST: Did he accidentally tweet that?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: So the President did not hear that phrase and that portion of the video, and when it was signaled to him that this was in there, he took that tweet down.

FOREMAN: This, of course, is something we've seen many times before. The President does something that ratchets up tensions and inflames passions, and then he seems to encourage racism and violence, and then his team or he says, "Of course, he's not a racist at all, and of course he never meant any of that."

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