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‘Problematic Celebrators’: CBS Coins New Term For Super Bowl Rioters, Gets Mocked
Police super Bowl
Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

Sunday night, after the Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl, in what appeared to be the latest attempt by the mainstream media to diminish the actions of rioters across the nation, CBS Los Angeles coined a new term to describe a mob of people surrounding and storming a pickup truck in the street, calling the rioters “problematic celebrators.”


“This is why people support truckers despite the government and media narratives. If they’re on your side they call out of control looting and properly damage problematic celebrations,” one respondent said. “When you’re actually peaceful and they don’t like you then you’re called hateful, violent racists.”

Another said, “’Problematic Celebrators.’ Compare to the trucker convoy. How much destruction is done by an ‘occupation’ and how much is done by ‘celebrators.’”

“’Problematic celebrators’ is the most on point word usage for the national media—y’all are so corrupted,” one respondent added.

Another noted, “More detached rhetoric. These are not ‘problematic celebrators,’ they are criminals, they are violent. No wonder people don’t trust the media.”

As Minneapolis burned in the wake of the death of George Floyd in May 2020, NBC “Today Show” host Craig Melvin tweeted:

This will guide our reporting in MN. “While the situation on the ground in Minneapolis is fluid, and there has been violence, it is most accurate at this time to describe what is happening there as ‘protests’–not riots.”

That was countered by this:

And this, from Kyle Smith at National Review:

The apotheosis of this absurd tactic was, perhaps, when the MSNBC reporter Ali Velshi tried to balance today’s two principal media objectives (sensationalization and putting a left-wing spin on everything) and wound up saying this: “I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not, generally speaking, unruly, but fires have been started and this crowd is relishing that.” A burning building was visible in the shot behind him…

There’s something gruesome about faraway commentators who will never have to deal with the consequences of what the rioters have done languidly calling for more of the same because, I suppose, it’s entertaining to them, or because they fancy themselves urban guerrillas as they tap away on Twitter.

KTTH Seattle host Jason Rantz noted in Newsweek in September 2020:

According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), about 93 percent of summer demonstrations tied to Black Lives Matter (BLM) were peaceful. The other 7 percent? Violent. But ACLED strongly implies the violence might have been justified. They simply claim the violence is a result of “a multitude of concurrent, overlapping risks—from police abuse and racial injustice, to pandemic-related unrest and beyond—all exacerbated by increasing polarization.” After all, ACLED claims, “police killings continue unabated,” as they call out the “heavy-handed approach” by “militarized” law enforcement.

He continued by suggesting a motive for the media’s reticence to report the violence accurately:

In 2020, widespread riots and violent demonstrations over a period of months—be it 7 percent or not—is simply unacceptable. That warrants widespread media coverage. Mobs of activists regularly commit acts of arson, they assault police officers with Molotov cocktails, wander city streets in mobs harassing homeowners, diners and business owners, and they’ve committed murder. This isn’t a big deal to ACLED? Ignoring the rioting, or even downplaying it, is nothing more than a P.R. campaign meant to strengthen the movement’s policy goals. Highlighting the violence weakens BLM’s support, and many media outlets and ACLED don’t seem willing to do that.

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