Media Part of Ferguson Story

The media took some hits Monday, both from tear gas canisters fired at protestors in Ferguson, Missouri and from President Barack Obama.

The President, in a speech addressing the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the killing Michael Brown, said that there would be some "negative reaction" to the decision, which would make for "good TV.”

But, he added, that the media does have the responsibility to focus on civil rights leaders, parents and law enforcement looking for long-term solutions.

On ABC, Obama’s remarks pre-empted the reveal on the East Coast of who got eliminated on Dancing With the Stars, which aired the first of its two-night season finale Monday.

Earlier in the evening, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch also took digs at the media, saying in his announcement of the decision not to indict that one of the biggest challenges had been the 24-hour news cycle, followed by nonstop rumors on social media.

The reference came at the beginning of his nearly 30-minute statement and was followed by a number of other references to the media, which CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin characterized as an embarrassing “whine.”

Before McCulloch began taking questions, the crowd that had previously stood in near silence waiting for the news began to erupt.

On CNN, the juxtaposition between McCulloch’s speech, which came at the prosecutor’s office in nearby Clayton and the scene in Ferguson was startling with McCulloch in a sterile county room and protestors surrounded by police officers in the November cold.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo was seen reporting from the midst of a tear gas barrage as some form of ordinance appeared to be whizzing overhead. Cuomo said that police told reporters tear gas was not going to be used and that the “gas” was smoke bombs. But regardless there was a lot of “smoke,” "flash bangs" and bean bags.

The St. Louis County Police Department later tweeted: “At appx 9:15p, tear gas was used on S. Florissant after smoke was unsuccessful in dispersing violent crowd. Smoke was used FIRST. #Ferguson”

Protests erupted in other parts of the country, with demonstrators taking to streets in New York City, Oakland, Seattle and Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, many of the local news stations had turned back to regular programming by 7 p.m. PT with little to no coverage of the fires, looting and gun shots that had since broken out in Ferguson. The local protests had also moved, stalling freeway traffic on the busy I-10 as demonstrators tried to make their way up an offramp.

(John Eggerton, Dade Hayes and Jessika Walsten contributed to this piece.)

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is an analyst for TVREV and Fabric Media. She previously served in various roles at Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV, working with the brands since 2013. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects in the media and entertainment space, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.