NBC Ignores Burning of American Flag by Oakland Occupiers

NBC whitewashed the anti-American activities of the violent Occupy protests in Oakland. The network dedicated only 34 seconds to covering the riot, but refused to mention the fact that Oakland protestors burned an American flag - despite the fact that both its sister networks, ABC and CBS, had done so.


On Saturday, Jan. 28, nearly 400 Occupy Oakland protesters were arrested for their actions in a violent riot. Occupiers vandalized Oakland's historic City Hall and burned an American flag (which they stole from the City Hall). They were harshly criticized by the Democratic Oakland Mayor, Jean Quan, for their destructive actions. MRC TV obtained footage of the American flag being burned by Occupiers in Oakland while the Occupier shooting the video recited a mocking, anti-Semitic version of the Pledge of Allegiance.


The major morning shows on the broadcast networks provided a sanitized version of these events. On Jan. 29, each of the major morning news shows on Sunday broadcast a short segment covering the violence and arrests in Oakland. ABC's ''Good Morning America'' segment lasted 21 seconds, NBC's ''Today'' segment lasted 16 seconds, and the CBS ''Sunday Morning News'' segment lasted only 14 seconds. None of the morning shows mentioned the fact that an American flag was burned.


CBS provided much more complete coverage of the events in Oakland in the evening. CBS ''Evening News'' ran a one minute, fifty-four second segment about the Occupy protests, and included in its broadcast a picture of the Oakland Occupiers burning an American flag.


The other two networks gave much less coverage to the flag burning. ABC mentioned the fact that the American flag was burned by Occupiers - without providing a picture of the flag burning - in a 22-second segment. NBC provided an 18-second segment covering the violence in Oakland, without mentioning the flag burning at all.


MSNBC.com did show a picture of an American flag being burned in its coverage of the Oakland riots. However, anyone relying on NBC TV for news would not have known that the Occupiers in Oakland burned an American flag during their destructive riot.


Anti-American radicalism has been a part of the Occupy movement since its inception - but the media have sought to ignore that radicalism. In October, the Business & Media Institute examined the traditional media's embrace of the Occupy Movement, despite its radical designs. NBC is merely continuing the media's refusal to fully examine the Occupy movement.