Nov
16
2011

WaPo and Occupy 'Infestation'

All right, which newspaper posed this question about the Occupy protests today:

Is this an occupation or an infestation?

Has to be the New York Post, right? Nope–they wouldn't include a question mark.

That's the Washington Post, which went on to report that "recent news updates from Occupy protests read like a crime blotter."

And that Post's Eli Saslow and Colum Lynch explain that they're not the only ones who feel this way:

In the wake of so much controversy, the Occupy movement–which began as a populist uprising to represent all but the wealthiest 1 percent–has begun to lose some of its mainstream support. A Washington Post poll early this month showed that only 18percent of responders "strongly supported" the Occupy Wall Street movement.

If you want to show a decline in support for the movement–or anything else–then you'd have to show that this number was down from a previous poll. But the Post doesn't appear to have ever asked a question before about whether people "strongly support" Occupy Wall Street. The Post's poll actually finds that 44 percent of Americanssupport Occupy Wall Street (when you combine those who "strongly support" with "somewhat support" the movement). One poll (not conducted by the Post) showed 36 percent support a few weeks ago–which was an increase from an earlier survey. And an AP poll conducted about a month ago registered 37 support.

Of course, news coverage that talks about the movement as a criminal "infestation" might change some minds.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.