Aug
14
2014

USA Today Changes Its Mind About Ferguson Police

The news out of Ferguson, Missouri, has been grim and outrageous. After the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, US television viewers have watched a heavily armed and militarized local police force attack and threaten protesters and arrest journalists. As NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams (8/12/14) put it, Ferguson "looked like a police state, using the same tactical getup and the same weaponry we've come to expect in urban warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Today, the front page of USA Today looked like this:

 

USAT-Ferg-2

But that's not what every edition of the paper looks like. Here's the one I found on the newsstand this morning:

USA Today: 'Police Seek Order'

 

So at some point, someone at the paper decided that the police are not necessarily "seeking order." To be fair, the paper's story appears to have been written before the events of last night, which appeared by many accounts to be an escalation.  But there was plenty of evidence before yesterday to know that a headline about the police looking to enforce "order" in the face of "furor" was, to say the least, problematic.

(h/t @mattbinder)

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.