Crazy Protest News

by Yining

If there is something I like more than politics, Pet Shop Boys and comic books, it is pointing out cultural differences. I have been known to lecture to strangers about Chinese customs and language, among other things and so today as I was checking various news agencies’ coverage of the G20 protests I noted the different ways the events were covered in publications from across of the political spectrum. Sure, The Daily Telegraph, which was generally considered rather conservative was harsher on the protesters than The Guardian, a pretty much leftist paper, was. But I was struck by how American news sites treated the story.

Take The Huffington Post, which after all is a liberal blog. This is how they treated the protests:

Police control protesters outside the Bank of England, during the G20 protests in the center of London Wednesday April 1, 2009. World leaders are gathering in London for the Group of 20 summit amid an unprecedented security operation to protect the meeting from violent protests and terrorists.

Terrorists. Sure, they weren’t saying the protesters were terrorists, but the use of that word certainly makes it easier to accept stronger police response.

There’s more. Check out these two screen grabs.

The first is from The Huffington Post and the second is from The Guardian. Just contrast the phrase “Riot police confront rioters” with “A man stands up against the police”.

Anyways, there wasn’t really any point to this, except to point out the interesting differences that I observed. So this was my first Highway 35 post. It’s a little different from what usually goes on here, I suppose, but Jamie said I could write about anything and at least I didn’t decide to write my perverse love for Lord Byron or whatever. Now I should go back to trying to write an essay about superheroes and national identity.

Oh yeah, also this:

This is not, as you may be thinking, a police vehicle. It is an armoured personnel carrier that was stopped by police because it was full of protesters about to join the riots. That’s right, the protesters brought a tank. That’s just crazy.