NPR Disinformation: GOP Bills Attacking ‘Mostly Peaceful’ Protests

Posted on Sun 05/02/2021 by

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By Tim Graham ~

Liberals have gone from fretting over “restrictions” on voting to restrictions on rioting. They like to call them “anti-protest bills.” So Republicans are opposed to voting and protesting? On Friday night’s All Things Considered on NPR, their segment was titledWave Of ‘Anti-Protest’ Bills Could Threaten First Amendment.” Anchor Mary Louise Kelly turned to the usual leftist expert to scare people about how Republicans across America are trampling on “mostly peaceful” protests:

MARY LOUISE KELLY: We’re going to check in now on the record number of anti-protest bills that Republicans have introduced this year. Several have already become law. In Florida, for example, Governor Ron DeSantis signed what he calls anti-riot legislation. It includes new penalties for protesters and for local governments that decrease law enforcement budgets. In Oklahoma, drivers who unintentionally hit protesters now have immunity. Now these bills and others follow months of large scale, mostly peaceful demonstrations against police brutality. And these bills are raising red flags among First Amendment experts.

“Experts” is the usual description of liberal activists. In this case, it’s Nick Robinson of something called the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, who’s monitoring all these bills for the leftists, including the leftists listening to NPR. He claimed “Since the killing of George Floyd this past May, we’ve seen over 90 anti-protest bills introduced in 35 states that undermine the right to peaceful assembly.”

They kept hammering “peaceful” assembly. Kelly askedAre these bills constitutional? I mean, we’ve all read the First Amendment. It protects freedom of speech. It protects the right of people peaceably to assemble.” Robinson expressed concern for non-violent protesters who get caught up in a violent event, that they could be charged for crimes that would lead to a year in prison. That certainly sounds like it will get a constitutional challenge. But is this the way NPR feels about “mostly peaceful” protesters caught up in the January 6 riot at the Capitol? Or the anti-Whitmer protesters in Michigan?

Kelly stuck to her theme: “Governor DeSantis says what he has signed, and I’ll quote him, “is the strongest anti-looting (ph), anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country.” He is framing this as support for police. And I want to note that most of the protests in Florida, as elsewhere in the last year, were peaceful. There were some incidents of violence, yes, but mostly peaceful. But this is a message that will resonate, and clearly is, among Republicans across the country.”

Robinson hit the point that these bills will be challenged for “viewpoint discrimination,” that they are designed to target the Left. They always pretend protesting is just their thing, that conservatives somehow don’t protest. But what really stuck me is how NPR aggressively practices “viewpoint discrimination.” There’s no Republican or conservative response in this, as in many, many NPR stories. There’s a one-sided bubble.

Robinson concludes that Republicans hate “positive social change.”

ROBINSON: What these bills are doing is they’re sending an intimidating message to peaceful protesters.

I think we should step back and realize that, you know, when we think about positive social change in this country – whether it was the civil rights movement, fights for LGBTQ rights, women’s suffrage — they all came out of protest movements. And so now we’re seeing these acts that undermine peaceful assembly. And this comes with, you know, serious costs to the future of our democracy.

As usual, “democracy” equals liberal activism. Trying to curtail rioting is undermining “peaceful assembly.” NPR is brought to you by….taxpayers

Tim Graham is the Executive Editor at NewsBusters, and he is the Director of  Media Analysis at the Media Research Center. His career at the MRC began in February 1989 as associate editor of MediaWatch, the monthly newsletter of the MRC before the Internet era.

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