Ferguson Protests Turn Violent: How the Cable Networks Covered It


CNN and MSNBC preempted their lineups to cover the event live, while Fox News stuck with its regularly scheduled programming until a news conference was scheduled

As the state-imposed midnight curfew approached in Ferguson, Mo., on Sunday night, police in riot gear were in full force amid the ongoing protests, with CNN and MSNBC interrupting regularly scheduled programming to cover the event.

Protests had been peaceful until late Sunday night, when marchers advanced toward one end of a street. Police attempted to push them back by firing tear gas and shouting over a bullhorn that the protest was no longer peaceful.

Both CNN and MSNBC preempted programming to cover the event live. CNN cut into The Hunt With John Walsh, while MSNBC bumped an episode of Lockup.

Poppy Harlow anchored CNN's live coverage, with Juliette Kayyem reporting from the streets of Ferguson. Harlow interviewed photojournalist Tim Schinsky, who was photographing the protests when he was shot in the leg by police with a rubber bullet. "I'm just appalled at how it seemed like the police are provoking combat," Schinsky said. 

MSNBC's Chris Hayes reported on the phone live from Ferguson. MSNBC law enforcement analyst Jim Cavanaugh was among those weighing in on the events.

Both CNN and MSNBC stuck with live coverage well past the midnight curfew.

Fox News Channel's Kelly Wright broke into Huckabee at 8:33 p.m. local time to provide a brief update while also running the news in the ticker. As the curfew came and went, the channel stuck with regularly scheduled programming, including a special episode of The Kelly File and Stossel.

Around 1 p.m. local time, as Ferguson authorities prepared to address the media, Fox News preempted Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace to cover it live and switched back to regular programming following the presser.

People have been protesting in the Missouri town since Michael Brown was shot and killed Aug. 9 by a police officer following a confrontation as he walked down the street. A preliminary private autopsy found that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head.

The latest clashes erupted three hours before the midnight curfew imposed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

11:10 p.m. PT: Updated with new information about Fox News' coverage.

11:27 p.m. PT: Updated with additional information about Fox News' coverage.