After the horrific brutality in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in which a man rammed his SUV into marchers in a Christmas parade, causing the deaths of at least six people, including a small child and injuries to scores of others, many media outlets eschewed calling what happened an attack, instead using terms such as “parade crash,” or “parade tragedy,” unlike their coverage of the car-ramming at the 2017 Charlottesville rally which they commonly referred to as an “attack.”
Of Waukesha, the Associated Press titled an article, “Child is 6th death in Waukesha parade crash; suspect charged.”
As recently as November 8, the Associated Press referred to the 2017 Charlottesville occurrence when a man rammed his car into what AP called a peaceful group of protesters, killing one woman and dozens of others injured, as a “car attack,” using the title “Woman recalls total ‘terror’ of Charlottesville car attack.”
On Tuesday, CBS News called the Waukesha car-ramming a “deadly Christmas parade crash.”
HAPPENING NOW: The man accused of deadly Christmas parade crash in Waukesha, WI makes his first court appearance. https://t.co/H9n7JKbYS7 pic.twitter.com/ewQzezVAXH
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 23, 2021
In July 2019, referring to the sentencing for Fields, CBS News titled an article, “Man gets life plus 419 years in deadly Charlottesville car attack.”
A national correspondent for CBS News tweeted on Tuesday, “BREAKING: Prosecutor: 6th person, a child, has died in deadly Wisconsin parade crash.”
BREAKING: Prosecutor: 6th person, a child, has died in deadly Wisconsin parade crash.
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) November 23, 2021
On Wednesday, Sky News titled an article, “Waukesha parade crash: [the suspect] in court charged with multiple homicides as child becomes sixth person to die.”
Sky News June 2019: “Charlottesville car attack: White supremacist who killed protester jailed for life.”
CNN on Monday: “At least 5 dead in parade tragedy, Waukesha city government confirms.”
CNN March 2019: “Charlottesville car attacker pleads guilty to 29 hate crimes and avoids the death penalty.”
Fox News noted:
PBS previously wrote “Waukesha parade crash devastates holiday favorites ‘Dancing Grannies.’” USA Today repeatedly wrote about the “Waukesha parade crash” going so far as to label Brooks as the “Waukesha parade crash suspect.” Newsweek also updated news on the tragedy under the banner “Waukesha Deadly Christmas Parade Crash.” … CNN wrote about the charges in an article titled “A sixth victim has died after the deadly Waukesha Christmas parade crash, prosecutors say.” HuffPo’s coverage read “Suspect In Deadly Waukesha Parade Crash Charged With Intentional Homicide.”
CNN Breaking News tweeted, “The suspect in the deadly Waukesha parade crash has been charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide.”
The suspect in the deadly Waukesha parade crash has been charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicidehttps://t.co/IHJZAvjzlX
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) November 23, 2021
Media strategist Gabriella Hoffman commented, “Media outlets reducing vehicular mass killings to crashes is blatant news coverage malpractice. As someone who also had a loved one killed in a vehicular mass killing, the media downplayed it as a crash too. Waukesha victims & families deserve better than this. C’mon.”
Media outlets reducing vehicular mass killings to crashes is blatant news coverage malpractice.
As someone who also had a loved one killed in a vehicular mass killing, the media downplayed it as a crash too.
Waukesha victims & families deserve better than this.
— Gabriella Hoffman (@Gabby_Hoffman) November 23, 2021
Conservative commentator Caleb Hull: “If you are referring to the Waukesha incident as a ‘car crash’ and the Charlottesville incident as a ‘car attack,’ we can all see what’s going on here.”
If you are referring to the Waukesha incident as a "car crash" and the Charlottesville incident as a "car attack," we can all see what's going on here.
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) November 24, 2021
Related: Criminal Complaint Alleges Waukesha Driver ‘Had No Emotion,’ ‘Appeared To Rapidly Accelerate’ Into Crowd