January 20, 2001, was not a happy day in Washington.
George W. Bush's motorcade lurched through the largest inaugural protests since Richard Nixon on Saturday, enduring thousands of protesters who hurled insults, bottles, tomatoes and an egg. Protesters clashed briefly with police clad in riot gear at a few flash points while Bush remained inside his armored stretch car for most of the parade up a soggy, cold Pennsylvania Avenue. Police ordered the motorcade to slow in anticipation of some protests, and then to speed through others.
Not since President Nixon's inauguration in 1973 had protesters turned out in large numbers.
However, the media played down the significance.
Fox News host Brit Hume told his audience that the protests "isn’t very important." To put that into perspective, Fox News was actually much more fair and balanced in their coverage that day.
MediaMatters also tracked the degree that Republican and conservative guests and commentators outnumbered Democrats and progressives. On Fox, the ratio was 17 to 6 on FOX. It was 13 to 2 on MSNBC and 10 to 1 on CNN.All this happened just a couple weeks after Congress ratified the Florida election, when not one single senator joined with the Black Caucus to investigate the disenfranchisement” of African American voters.