TV Manages the News by Ignoring Protests

If you watched the television stations that I watched this past weekend, you might think that nothing in the world was happening except in Japan. That’s all CNN covered, and the networks were almost as bad.

I concede that the Japanese tsunami and the resulting danger from a nuclear meltdown are big news. And I can understand why TV would give them headline treatment. But I don’t see why the important domestic issues of the day should be ignored.

I am particularly disappointed in the lack of coverage given to the Wisconsin protests.

I was wondering if the protests had ceased and the unions were cowering in defeat. But, as I learned from the Internet this morning, that was far from the truth.

A crowd estimated at up to 100,000 people (photo above) turned out in Madison on Saturday to protest Governor Scott Walker’s sneaky attack on organized labor in the state. According to reports on the Internet, it was larger than any protests the city has witnessed, even those during the Vietnam War (click here for Reuters report).

Reporter Judith Davidoff describes it this way on The Capital Times web page:

By 1:30 p.m. you could hear the crowd at the Capitol five blocks away along the Lake Mendota shoreline. By 2:30, protesters on the Square were moving no faster than a shuffle. By 3 people could not move. And at 3:05, “Wisconsin’s 14” got a heroes’ welcome on the steps of the state Capitol.

“You go away for a couple of weeks and look at what happens,” said Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, who, along with his smiling colleagues, kept surveying the crowd, seemingly awed by the turnout. “It’s so nice to be home in Wisconsin.”

Saturday’s crowd, estimated by Madison Police to be between 85,000 and 100,000, surrounded the podium on the State Street side of the Capitol and showered the senators with shouts of “Thank you! Thank you!”

The senators returned the sentiment and clapped for the crowd. “We left because the Republicans gave us no voice,” said Sen. Spencer Coggs, D-Milwaukee. “Thank you for being our voice while we were gone.”

Saturday’s protest was the fourth straight week of weekend protests that have drawn tens of thousands of protesters to the Capitol Square.

Four weeks of sustained protests!

And hardly a mention on CNN or the networks.

If the protest in Madison had been staged by the Tea Party, I bet the corporate news outlets would have been all over it.

But when a bunch of progressives get together to vent their outrage, the media look the other way.

Do you think this is just happenstance?

Or is it part of the managed news the American public gets fed these days?

I know which I think it is.