Armed demonstrators appear at Georgia Capitol – but it’s ok with everyone because they’re not conservative?

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The following article contains editorial content written by a current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today

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ATLANTA, GA – When Georgia Republicans went to rally for election integrity on March 31st in Atlanta, they had encountered some armed citizens that were characterized as left-wing demonstrators.

While there were reportedly no incidents that transpired within the State Capitol that day and people are certainly well within their right to exercise their Second Amendment, a rather strange thing occurred with respect to this armed demonstration.

There really weren’t any sensationalized media portrayals, “outrage bait” or fear mongering crafted from this display where citizens can be seen lawfully displaying arms.

Former state senator and the Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, David Schafer, had brought attention to this media anomaly – or perhaps intentionality – with respect to there being a lack of media rabble-rousing of images of armed men outside of the State Capitol.

Taking the Twitter, Schafer wrote:

“Masked, helmeted private militia carrying AK47s and AR15s showed up today at the State Capitol. You have not heard about it because the gunmen are radical leftists. Imagine the news coverage if one of them was wearing a MAGA cap.”

While Schafer was being a bit hyperbolic in his Twitter post with characterizing the individuals as “radical leftists”, which can’t really be discerned by a mere still image and no reports of any actual radicalism transpiring – he did still raise a viable point worthy of examination.

The Georgia GOP chairman rightfully cited that there probably would be some more intense media coverage, and specifically media scrutiny, from such a display if the demonstrators could be at all connected to either a conservative or libertarian group/movement.

One thing that immediately comes to mind was the copious amount of media coverage regarding the armed protesters that amassed at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing back in April/May of 2020.

And nearly every prominent outlet that covered those armed demonstrations at the Michigan State Capitol framed the reports with emotionally charged headlines.

NPR, for example, headlined one story from May of 2020 with “Heavily Armed Protesters Gather Again at Michigan Capitol to Decry Stay-At-Home Order.”

Another report from NBC News that came out on May 13th of 2020 featured a headline that read “’Calls to violence’: Michigan Gov. Whitmer says armed protests could lengthen stay-at-home order.”

Now to be fair, there are some differences between the still images that have surfaced depicting armed demonstrators outside the Georgia State Capitol on March 31st and the armed individuals that were protesting lockdown orders in Lansing, Michigan in April/May of 2020.

The obvious differences being that it appears Lansing wound up attracting a larger number of armed citizens attending the protest, some demonstrators wound up going inside the State Capitol building in Lansing, and there were of course multiple armed demonstrations in Lansing as opposed to what appears to have been an isolated instance that occurred in Georgia.

However, the national coverage and media “outrage bait” with respect to armed demonstrations at the Michigan State Capitol in April/May of 2020 came to the forefront once the first iota of an image cropped up showcasing armed individuals that were clearly within the libertarian/conservative realm of ideologies.

If one were to be intellectually honest, had these images from the Georgia State Capitol from March 31st showed these armed citizens wearing a MAGA shirt/hat, bearing insignias of the Gadsden flag, or were surrounded by a group of people simply waving American flags – it would have been immediately scooped up from outlets like MSNBC, Reuters, CNN, NPR, and the Associated Press and would be rife with emotionally charged headlines.  

We, as in the American people and any consumer of mainstream media news outlets, would be inundated with cyclical images of these armed citizens on TV.

You’d hop onto Facebook or YouTube and see Trevor Noah doing a confessional style video from his home talking about how ‘disappointed’ he is with the ‘state of the nation’ if these images showed conservatives or libertarians doing the same exact thing as the men in Georgia.

I’m certainly not going to admonish the demonstrators exercising their Second Amendment rights – as they have every right to peacefully protest while displaying arms. The criticism here is aimed directly at the establishment media’s handling, framing, and pushing of narratives.

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Speaking of media narratives, back in December of 2020, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report on how the mainstream media outlets were seemingly dodging coverage of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment allegations as they first started cropping up. 

While they’ve since picked up the story, the silence was deafening at the onset. 

Here’s that report from December of 2020. 

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ALBANY, NY – Several major primary and cable networks failed to report on sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo made on Sunday, according to a media watchdog group. 

A recent blockbuster story about a former aide to Governor Cuomo, strongly alleging years of sexual harassment and mental abuse, received little mainstream media coverage.

CBS, NBC, and ABC were all silent on Sunday night, the same day Cuomo’s former aide Lindsey Boylan tweeted out the claims against her former boss, according to the Media Research Center.

The group said the same networks’ Monday morning news shows also failed to report on the allegations, which Cuomo has denied.

Fox News, meanwhile, ran a report on the news at about 6:10 p.m. Sunday evening.

Boylan served as Cuomo’s deputy secretary for economic development and as a special adviser from March 2015 through October 2018, when she resigned amid scrutiny of her own workplace conduct, an element she has argued. 

Boylan has a less-than-stellar opinion of the man she used to call her boss.  She alleges sexual harassment against the governor, a claim that could derail both his re-election as governor and his appointment as United States Attorney General.

Boylan has asserted that the Governor would often discuss her physical appearance, something she said occurred over the course of several years.  She added that the Governor would either sexually harass her or criticize her work. 

Boylan explained via Twitter:

“Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it and watched it.

“I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years.”

She continued:

“Not knowing what to expect (was) the most upsetting part aside from knowing that no one would do a damn thing even when they saw it.

“No one. And I know I am not the only woman. 

“I’m angry to be put in this situation at all. That because I am a woman, I can work hard my whole life to better myself and help others and yet still fall victim as countless women over generations have. Mostly silently (sic).

“I hate that some men, like @NYGovCuomo abuse their power.

“It was then how I learned how hard it is for women. How hard this world can be for us when we are trying to be taken seriously and help our community. How easily jerks can destroy the lives of women.”

Breanna Morello responded to Lindsey Boylan, piling on to Cuomo:

“Many women have made these accusations about the Governor but won’t go public with them.

“Even heard he joked around about a lesbian advocate who he’d love to sleep with, but she wouldn’t sleep with him. Room was filled with male staffers who just laughed it off.” 

Lindsey Boylan is now running for Manhattan Borough President.

In addition to ABC, CBS, and NBC, attention must be given to CNN and MSNBC’s coverage of the story as well.

CNN’s most-watched anchor Chris Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo’s brother, ignored the newly-surfaced sexual harassment claim against one of the country’s most prominent Democrats.

The controversial story about the New York Governor was not addressed by “Cuomo Prime Time” host on Monday night, along with the rest of his on-air colleagues, during the 48-hour period since the story broke, who also avoided the subject throughout the day.

Chris Cuomo’s stature as a so-called straight news anchor was drawn into question as his governor brother was a frequent guest on his show in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC made no mention of the story at all, according to Fox News.

The Media Research Center has reviewed transcripts from all the major networks, and only Fox News covered the story.  They confirmed that MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC all skipped on-air coverage of Boylan’s claims 24 hours after Boylan came forward.

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