Wednesday evening in New York, as of people protested a block away, NBC broadcast live from Rockefeller Plaza for its annual Christmas special as if all was right in the world.
On any other channel broadcasting from New York, viewers saw protesters chanting "I can't breathe," as reaction to the Eric Garner grand jury decision swept through the city. On NBC, viewers saw this:
Some of the performances were pre-recorded on the previous day. But still. The images coming from NBC's version of Christmas-y New York did not jive with the truth. Trisha Yearwood sang 'Christmastime Pretty Baby' while protesters chanted "I can't breathe" nearby on the streets of New York. Americans protest for justice dead black men at the hands of police officers sworn to protect while Matt Lauer lights a fucking Christmas tree. This is the country we live in now.
Sane people were stunned because there is no way that this is real life anymore.
There is nothing that speaks more as a visual image of what's wrong with this country than watching protesters chanting for injustice on one screen and celebrities singing about their warm and fuzzy Christmas feels on another. Seriously, this cannot be real life.
The emcees managed to squeak in a mention the protests briefly at the end of the tree lighting broadcast. So...yay?
Image via Getty.