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FOX News Overstates Number Of Violent Protesters At Republican Convention

Reported by Ellen - September 2, 2008 -

Sean Hannity falsely announced on last night’s (9/1/08) Hannity & Colmes that “thousands of violent anti-war protesters descended on the site of the Republican National Convention earlier today assaulting police officers, breaking windows and throwing bottles at convention goers.” But moments later, even Newt Gingrich noted that the number was much lower and that the vast majority of the protesters were not violent. What was never discussed, unfortunately, was the appropriateness of the reactions of the police. Also not discussed was the wrongful arrest of journalist Amy Goodman and two of her producers who were there covering the protests. With video.

After Hannity made that announcement, which was a FOX News alert, Gingrich (part of an all Republican line up of guests), noted, “I think there are two different groups out here, in all fairness... There are probably 7,000, 7500 people who are anti-war protesters – peaceful, you know, walking around – no mask, no problem. There’s about 200 people who are nuts, who call themselves anarchists, who put masks on.”

In fact, there have been complaints about police crackdowns on protesters before the convention began. It led St. Paul City Council Member Dave Thune to speak out against the pre-emptive strikes. "This is all about free speech," Thune said. "It's what my father fought in the war for.”

Regardless of what you think of the protesters, it’s hard to justify the arrest of prominent alternative journalist Amy Goodman or her two producers. An update from the Democracy Now website says that all three have been released but with charges pending against them. The two producers face felony charges. YouTube video of Goodman’s arrest shows the police manhandling her without justification.