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By: The James Madison Institute / July 1, 2010

The James Madison Institute


July 1, 2010

By Robert F. Sanchez, JMI Policy DirectorTags: Media, Tea Party, GlobalizationWhenever leaders of the nations with the world’s largest economies gather for a G20 summit, you can always count on a gaggle of anti-capitalist thugs to show up. It has happened repeatedly — in Seattle, in Pittsburgh, in Switzerland, and again the other day in Toronto.The pattern is familiar: Rampaging demonstrators set cars afire, break shop windows, steal merchandise, and clash with police. In Toronto, the violence occurred even though Canada spent more than $1 billion on security and shifted a Toronto Blue Jays baseball series to Philadelphia.Many businesses near the Toronto summit closed as a precaution. Tourism fell, and the U.S. government even issued a travel advisory: “U.S. citizens should avoid traveling in or through downtown Toronto during the Summit, if possible.”How are these events covered by the mainstream media? The “world leaders” get a lot of face time, staging press conferences to boast that they’ve achieved great things to justify the enormous expense incurred for them and their entourages to travel securely in the luxury to which they’ve become accustomed.Meanwhile, the violence is portrayed as a mere aberration caused by a tiny minority within an otherwise idealistic group of “young people” protesting capitalism in general and “globalization” in particular. There is also a tendency to blame the police for “provoking” the violence and overreacting to demonstrators who refuse to obey lawful orders.Contrast this with the mainstream media’s coverage of the tea party movement’s peaceful rallies. There, one untoward remark or a single offensive sign is portrayed as representative of the whole movement. This kind of unfair and unbalanced coverage reveals more about the left-leaning mainstream media than it does about the groups being covered. Bottom line: Take all media coverage with the proverbial grain of salt.