Watch: Senate leader criticises Fox News for 'inciting people' on live broadcast
Published 30/04/2015 | 10:32
The State Senate Majority leader last night criticised Fox News' coverage of the protests in Baltimore live on air.
Maryland state Sen. Majority Leader Catherine Pugh was being interviewed on FOX when tensions escalated between onlookers and the presenter Geraldo Rivera.
Pugh asked Rivera to "move back" following a verbal altercation with a demonstrator who stood in front of the camera, in which Rivera told him "you're making a fool of yourself" and referred to the demonstrators as a "vandal".
"We need the media to move back because this is inciting people", Pugh told the reporter.
"This is very emotional... these people have been demonstrating peacefully all day".
"But they see the camera lights - camera lights incite people".
"When they see the camera lights, they'll be here, because you're shining a light on our community".
"We're asking you to turn off the camera lights and give people a chance to go home".
The studio anchor hit back, saying "cameras don't riot... cameras don't loot, they don't throw rocks", which the reporter repeated to the senator.
She refuted the claim that there was "a lot" of violence pointing out that while there were 200 arrests, "there are 700,000 people living in this city".
"They're demonstrating because they care... they're demonstrating peacefully".
"It's their pharmacy that got destroyed - their mall".
Novelist Ben Greenman tweeted that it was “Fascinating... to have Catherine Pugh correctly identify TV cameras as a source of tension in Baltimore".
There has been a peaceful protest every day since the death of Freddie Gray in police custody from spinal injuries.
Over 4,000 people protested peacefully on the day of the rioting, which is believed to have been inciting by a smaller, fringe group. The rioting led the state of Maryland to declare a national emergency and impose a city-wide curfew.