Rioters – lets be clear, these are not protesters – descended on the headquarters of the global news network, and set about graffitiing the landmark, as well as partaking in wanton opportunistic destruction.
President Trump, no friend of CNN, retweeted a tweet which said; “In an ironic twist of fate, CNN HQ is being attacked by the very riots they promoted as noble & just.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference; “What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest, This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. This is chaos. A protest has a purpose.”
She added that the protests are in fact now “disgracing the life of George Floyd.”
CNN is certainly coming off worse from both sides in this situation, arrested by the police in the morning, and attacked by the rioters in the evening.
Regardless of your politics, or your view of the media, there is absolutely no justification for this hooliganistic violence and criminal damage. This is not how to protest and make your feelings known in a civilised society. This is vandalism for vandalism’s sake.
These thugs are distracting from the message that the genuine protesters in Minneapolis are trying to get across. Whether you have a legitimate grievance or not, thuggery risks the initial message from being lost.
Is it just a co-incidence that CNN is being targeted? Is it because CNN Center is a landmark in Atlanta, and would garner attention, that it was criminally vandalised in such a way? Why have the media been targeted in all of this?
Those are questions that remain to be answered.
One thing is for sure, those professionals – journalists, editors, producers, technicians, staffers and many more – did not deserve that.
They have a right to go about their business without fear or violence.
That right was taken away from them by these thugs.
That’s where the irony ends.