The media continues to show selective outrage over gatherings when it comes to social distancing and face masks.
The latest example comes from ABC News 4, which posted video originally tweeted by the University of South Carolina’s student-run television station SGTV News 4 that shows hundreds of young people gathered at a sports bar. The outlet shamed the students who went to the bar for “not practicing any COVID-19 safety guidelines.”
The student-run network said students choose the bar in question because it doesn’t have strict coronavirus guidelines.
“Happened to come from one of our reporters. She felt very uncomfortable, she and her friend were the only ones wearing masks. They had no idea that there were going to be this many people there. And then when she saw just how many people were there, she thought this is probably going to be newsworthy,” Ward Jolles, SGTV’s news director, told WACH FOX News.
The article appears on ABC News 4, but appears to be from WACH FOX News.
More from the article:
According to Richland County Sheriff’s Department, their deputies showed up to shut the bar down but the crowd had already dispersed.
Sheriff Lott was told by citizens who saw the videos online so he sent deputies to the scene around 11:30 p.m., according to deputies.
The crowd had dispersed by the time they arrived.
“This is not representative of USC. There are a lot of people out there who do like to go out and party and aren’t taking this seriously, but I think the general consensus from the population is that most people hate to see this,” said Jolles.
Deputies told the outlet that black patrol cars can be seen in the video around 10 p.m. because they were responding to a call about a burglary. The deputies also said they were consulting with other agencies to see if the club should be held responsible for violating coronavirus guidelines.
USC released a statement in response to the video:
It’s disappointing to see videos like these, and while we don’t know which of the attendees were our students, we can assume many likely were. We continue to strongly urge all of our students to follow public health guidelines to keep our entire community safe: wear face coverings, socially distance and avoid large in-person gatherings like the ones depicted in the video. Many other students are doing the right thing to keep themselves and others safe, and should be commended for it. Finally, while our ability to control off-campus student behavior is limited, we depend on strong partnerships with both the City of Columbia and Richland County to take swift action to prevent dangerous activity.
ABC reposted the article and posted it on social media. A quick search finds no articles from the outlet or ABC News national making similar remarks about those protesting and rioting in response to the May 25 officer-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
On July 1, however, ABC News did publish an Associated Press story claiming there was “little evidence that protests spread coronavirus in US,” despite the fact that the protesters are in close quarters, many not wearing masks, and shouting.
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