Last night by many reports the police crackdown on the Occupy Oakland encampment was severe: Tear gas and flash-bang grenades were used to disperse a crowd trying to retake the park. Reading about the events in the nation's capital, though, and you got a different impression. The Washington Post–no stranger to minimizing the Occupy protests–ran a short AP dispatch under the headline "Protesters Wearing Out Their Welcome Nationwide." As if that weren't dismissive enough, take a look at the photo the Post ran:
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen (10/24/11), tipped off by at least one of his Post colleagues, decided to pay a visit to Liberty Plaza to see the festival of anti-Semitism firsthand. Lo and behold, he found none: Reckless Jew that I am, I muscled my way into the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Lower Manhattan despite multiple reports of virulent and conceivably lethal anti-Semitism. Projecting an unvarnished Semitism, I circled the place, encountering nothing and no one to suggest bigotry–not a sign, not a book and not even the guy who some weeks ago held up a placard with the […]
The New York Times has an interesting profile today (10/18/11) of a retired Wall Street trader named Robert Halper who, it turns out, made an early donation to Adbusters to help with the Occupy Wall Street movement: Mr. Halper, who lives on the Upper West Side, had long been a supporter of the magazine, donating by his estimate $50,000 to $75,000 over the last 20 years since he was first attracted by the magazine's spoofs on corporate logos and advertisements. So he wrote a check for $20,000 and returned to his life in New York. Interesting. But the Times clearly […]
Fox's coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement has often looked and sounded like Glenn Beck were still working there. On Friday's broadcast of the O'Reilly Factor (10/14/11), Beck was there to show how wild conspiracy-mongering is done: O'REILLY: What's the George Soros factor here? BECK: George Soros is connected with this through the Tides Foundation. The Tides Foundation, his Open Society and Code Pink are involved in what is called the Wall Street Journal… Occupied Wall Street Journal. And it is a–it's a full color newspaper. O'REILLY: Right. BECK: You know what it costs to print a newspaper. O'REILLY: […]
Squint or you'll miss it–the Sunday front page of the Washington Post: In case you're having trouble finding it, it's in the lower right-hand corner: a blurb approximately one column inch long, directing people to page A20 to find news about protests in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street in "more than 900 cities in Europe, Africa and Asia." It wasn't just the Post that was having trouble finding the news in hundreds of protests around the world. NBC's Meet the Press featured Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, former Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty and Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. New […]
The new Time poll that found the public more favorably inclined towards Occupy Wall Street protesters than the Tea Party has been making the rounds. From the magazine's write-up of the poll: A new Time/ABT SRBI poll finds 54 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the new protest movement, despite the images of bearded and shirtless youth playing bongo drums, rolling cigarettes and painting their bodies in Zuccotti Park. Huh. Perhaps when the public looks at a protest movement, it pays more attention to substance than the media, who aremore focused onlocating shirtless bongo players.
I think people are genuinely surprised by the corporate media's shift on Occupy Wall Street: Things went from apathy, scorn and derision to front-page news rather quickly. USA Today's editorial today (10/12/11) is headlined "Five Good Reasons Why Wall Street Breeds Protesters." It has the usual caveats–"The protesters' rhetoric against capitalism and 'corporate greed' is over the top, and they seem devoid of remedies," the paper notes–but on balance, the message is that there's plenty to protest. What's galling is the sense that USA Today's been outraged all along. As when they explain: Through lobbyists and campaign contributions, the banking […]
NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory, interviewing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Sunday (10/10/11): GREGORY: What's going on in the streets of Occupy Wall Street? EMANUEL: Yeah. GREGORY: Complaining about the unfairness, railing against Wall Street. The president has sympathized with those protesters in the street. Is demonizing Wall Street the way to create an environment… EMANUEL: Well… GREGORY: …to get the banks to hire? EMANUEL: The–it's not… GREGORY: Is this not a reverse tea party tactic?
ABC's This Week (10/10/11) had a normally tilted panel on Sunday talking about, among other things, Occupy Wall Street. The show had three different types of conservatives (former Bush adviser Matthew Dowd, fixture George Will and columnist Peggy Noonan) along with Democratic pundit Donna Brazile. But then host Christiane Amanpour actually interviewed someone involved with Occupy Wall Street–DailyKos blogger Jesse LaGreca. He is perhaps best know as the guy who was interviewed by Fox News Channel at the protest–and took the chance to bash Fox News Channel. And he did media criticism on This Week too: LAGRECA: I mean, the […]
New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote a tedious column today (10/11/11) about how the real radicals are the centrists, not the Wall Street occupiers. (Read Dean Baker to see what Brooks is getting wrong.) But this jumped out at me: A third believe the U.S. is no better than Al-Qaeda, according to a New York magazine survey. How would someone "survey" a leaderless, ever-shifting mass of protesters? I am not sure, and it's not really what New York did. They asked a series of questions–some of them obviously cheeky–to 100 activists at Liberty Plaza. As you can see: Rank […]
It sounded like it, but it was just Bill O'Reilly channeling Beck's Soros/MoveOn/Big Labor paranoia, minus the chalkboard: On Wednesday in New York City, there was another far-left demonstration as a bunch of people marched on Wall Street. Why? We aren't exactly sure. What we do know is that these folks are zealots who are being organized by some very interesting people. Does the name MoveOn.org mean anything to you? How about George Soros? Well, for the first time, MoveOn, funded in part by Soros, has openly allied itself with the protesters. In addition, we have some unions in the […]
Last night (10/4/11) CNN host Erin Burnett noted that her fact check of the Occupy Wall Street protests had drawn some criticism. But she still doesn't seem to get it. "Well, our story got noted documentarian Michael Moore, who watched the show last night," she reported before playing a video response from Moore: I just don't understand that piece, you know, that new show. These companies, these banks, Goldman Sachs up here, they took billions and billions of dollars of citizens' money, and they ask us to pay for their crime and we're supposed to be OK because some of […]
New York Times business writer Andrew Ross Sorkin has been criticized for being too chummy with the Wall Street tycoons he's supposed to be covering. Today he has a piece in the Times (10/4/11) about Occupy Wall Street–which he's decided to check out because it's beginning to make some CEOs nervous: I had gone down to Zuccotti Park to see the activist movement firsthand after getting a call from the chief executive of a major bank last week, before nearly 700 people were arrested over the weekend during a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge. 'Is this Occupy Wall Street thing […]