CNN Mocked for Calling Kenosha Riots 'Fiery but Mostly Peaceful Protests'

CNN has been mocked on Twitter for displaying a chyron that said protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin were "fiery but mostly peaceful" as its correspondent on the ground reported while standing in front of burning cars.

Caleb Hill shared the clip on Twitter on Wednesday, writing alongside it: "You cannot make this up... A CNN reporter is standing in front of a building engulfed in flames and CNN's chyron reads: 'FIERY BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTS AFTER POLICE SHOOTING.'"

The tweet went viral, amassing more than 1.3 million views and sparking a flood of memes.

"Stunning how stupid these networks think we are. Fiery indeed," talk show host Joe Pagliarulo wrote alongside a retweet of the clip.

But Matt Whitlock, a senior advisor with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, tweeted that Omar Jimenez, the correspondent in the clip, is a "fantastic reporter" whose work was being misrepresented by a "dumb chyron."

"Omar is a fantastic reporter and it's unfortunate that he and his reporting are getting misrepresented by a really dumb chyron," he wrote. "But maybe it's time to talk about CNN's chyron shtick."

The chyron was displayed as Jimenez reported live from Kenosha at around 5 a.m. ET on Tuesday after a second night of protests rocked the city following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, on Sunday.

"What you're seeing behind me is one of multiple locations that have been burning in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the course of the night," Jimenez said during his report.

"What you're seeing now, these images... come in stark contrast to what we saw over the course of the daytime hours in Kenosha and into the early evening, which were largely peaceful demonstrations in the face of law enforcement.

"It wasn't until night fell that they began to get a little bit more contentious, things were thrown back and forth, police started using some of those crowd dispersal tactics like tear gas."

He added: "The common theme that ties all of this together is an expression of anger and frustration over what people feel like has become an all too familiar story playing out in places from across the country, not just here in Kenosha, Wisconsin."

Blake is currently fighting for his life in hospital, his family and their attorney Ben Crump have said. He is paralyzed from the waist down and unlikely to ever walk again, Crump told reporters at a Tuesday news conference.

The protests were sparked by a widely circulated cellphone video showing a white police officer, now identified as Rusten Sheskey, shooting Blake seven times in the back on Sunday.

Demonstrations turned deadly on Tuesday night, with two people killed and another injured in incidents that were partly captured on camera. Kyle Rittenhouse, a white 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, was later taken into custody on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide.

The Associated Press reported that Wednesday night's protests had stayed mostly peaceful, in contrast to the violent clashes seen on previous nights.

Kenosha
The carcasses of the cars burned by protestors the previous night during a demonstration against the shooting of Jacob Blake are seen on a used-cars lot in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 26, 2020 Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images