Nov 1 2011

They Are the 1 Percent

Corporate media slow to wake up to Wall Street protests

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Ed Gaillard

Occupy Wall Street marched into Lower Manhattan on September 17, with thousands of demonstrators shutting down the heart of the Financial District to protest political and economic inequality and highlight the need for an American democracy movement. In the days that followed, activists formed an ad hoc community in New York City’s Liberty Plaza, an experiment in collective politics that called for putting the needs of the 99 percent above the greed of the 1 percent (Adbusters, 9/19/11). The initial response of corporate media to these remarkable developments? To call it a yawn would be overstating their enthusiasm. In the […]

Oct 18 2011

Have Corporate Media Warmed to Occupy Wall Street?

Media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests started out exactly as one might expect. There was little coverage at first (FAIR Action Alert, 9/23/11), and as it expanded, much of it consisted of snide dismissals of demonstrators” ignorance, hygiene and so on. But then something happened. Following incidents of police abuse, including the unprovoked pepper-spraying of several demonstrators on September 24, media coverage began to pick up (FAIR Activism Update, 9/29/11). NPR executive editor Dick Meyer explained that the protests were not covered early on because they “did not involve large numbers of people, prominent people, a great […]

Oct 14 2011

Arun Gupta on Occupy Wall Street, Jasmin Ramsey on Iran plot


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Did the corporate media turn on the Occupy Wall Street protests? When the protests started, the media story was a familiar one—the press ignored them, then derided activists for being leaderless, bongo pounding know-nothings. But then something happened, and suddenly anti-Wall Street activism is leading the nightly newscasts and splashed on the front page. Independent journalist and co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal Arun Gupta will join us to talk about this shift–and what the media is still not getting quite right. Also on CounterSpin today: Two days after Attorney General Eric holder […]

Oct 4 2011

CNN’s Factcheck Failure on Occupy Wall Street

Former CNBC reporter Erin Burnett’s CNN show OutFront debuted Monday night (10/3/11) with a failed attempt to factcheck the Occupy Wall Street protests. The show kicked off with Burnett explaining that she went to Wall Street today to see those protests for myself. I saw dancing, bongo drums, even a clown…. I asked several protesters what it was that they wanted. Now, they did not know…. They did know what they don’t want. Burnett added that “it seems like people want a messiah leader, just like they did when they anointed Barack Obama.” That segued into an interview with center-right […]

Oct 1 2011

Closer to Home, ‘Digital Democracy’ Loses Appeal

From Egypt to San Francisco, officials dislike protesters’ use of social media

Photo Credit: BART

When Bay Area Rapid Transit authorities shut off cell phone service to deter protests against police violence, the backlash went viral. And despite the stifling of social media in San Francisco-area stations and trains, dissenters may have gotten the last word with old-fashioned ink scrawled on a handmade sign: “Mu-BART-Ak?” The quip highlighted the double-speak behind the political establishment’s attitude toward subversive applications of social media. A few months earlier, the “Twitter Revolution” was all the rage in Washington; establishment figures like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (BusinessWeek, 1/27/11) and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (6/5/11) praised the uprising […]

Sep 30 2011

Allison Kilkenny on Occupy Wall Street, Moshe Adler on U.S. Postal Service


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Yes, the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations aren’t being covered much in the corporate media. But then when papers like the New York Times come down to take a look, one might wish they hadn’t. We’ll talk to Allison Kilkenny of Citizen Radio about the quality and quantity of media coverage of Occupy Wall Street. Also on the show: “We all know why the Postal Service is hemorrhaging cash,” says the Chicago Tribune. Corporate media are clear on the causes of the Post Office’s financial crisis: no one sends mail since the internet, and postal […]

Sep 29 2011

Some Breaks in the Blackout of Wall Street Protests

After a FAIR Action Alert (9/23/11) criticized the virtual media blackout of the Occupy Wall Street protests, corporate news coverage has increased–sparked largely by the escalating police brutality at the ongoing demonstration. (See FAIR Blog, 9/23/11, for a sample of the messages sent by FAIR activists to the network nightly news shows.) On ABC World News Sunday (9/25/11), anchor David Muir read this short item while playing footage of cops assaulting protesters: And here in New York, protests continued against the big banks and the bailout that helped the banks, Wall Street, they say, not Main Street. It turned ugly […]

Sep 23 2011

What if the Tea Party Occupied Wall Street?

Corporate media skip anti-corporate protests

Occupy Wall Street sign

In an action called Occupy Wall Street, thousands of activists took to the streets of Lower Manhattan on September 17. The protests are continuing, with demonstrators camped out on the Financial District’s Liberty Street in support of U.S. democratization and against corporate domination of politics (Adbusters, 9/19/11). But you wouldn’t know much about any of this from the corporate media–outlets that seem much more interested in protests of the Tea Party variety. The anti-corporate protests have been lightly covered in the hometown New York Times: One piece (9/18/11) largely about how the police blocked access to Wall Street, and one […]