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 [...]
The New York Times, writing about Bloomberg's crackdown on Occupy Wall Street, said this: For the mayor, a champion of the First Amendment…. I am not sure what is required to deserve the title of "champion," but was it a different Michael Bloomberg who was mayor during the 2004 Republican convention, which saw mass arrests, preventive detention and surveillance/infiltration of protest groups? What's next–Bloomberg the Fourth Amendment champion?
Yesterday the New York Post–Rupert Murdoch's down-market tabloid, for those who are blessed to live beyond its circulation area–ran this front-page editorial demanding that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg shut down the Occupy Wall Street encampment to reclaim the city's "dignity": Uhh…. that message would be coming from the paper that ran this dignified cover, waaay back in August: And don't forget the Post's Iraq War weasels covers: And why not this, while we're at it? And let's not forget the paper's stellar work during the Anthony Weiner scandal: "Weiner Exposed," " Hide the Weiner," "Weiner: I'll Stick It Out" [...]
On his Friday night show, Bill O'Reilly took his viewers to a magical place–one where the right-wing Koch brothers have no connection to the Tea Party movement, while Occupy Wall Street is a secret project directed and financed by the likes of Moveon.org, SEIU and George Soros. At the top of his broadcast, O'Reilly wondered if we are now in "phase two of the campaign to undermine America"–this would apparently be the phase where activists protest against police brutality, with an assist from "the radical MoveOn organization, which is funding some of the occupiers." As he explained his conspiracy theory: [...]
With the bad news we've been talking about on the public broadcasting front, it's worth pointing out a bright spot: On Monday (10/24/11), Charlie Rose featured a discussion of Occupy Wall Street with Chris Hedges and Amy Goodman. Goodman made an important point about media coverage of the protests: CHARLIE ROSE: Does it have anything in common with the Tea Party? AMY GOODMAN: Well, it's interesting you ask that. When the people gathered on September 16 and 17–what, 2000 people–hardly any coverage they got. If it was 2000 Tea Party activists who gathered on Wall Street, I would dare said [...]
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 [...]
There's an old joke about how the pundit spectrum in corporate media debates goes from GE all the way to GM. On Sunday's Meet the Press, viewers got a chance to see that joke come to life. On the panel was conservative former GE CEO Jack Welch, conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks and NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell. The left end of the spectrum must have been former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr., best known for his time leading the center-right Democratic Leadership Council. Nowadays Ford is a TV pundit (the "liberal" who advises Democrats to move further right) [...]
There's quite a controversy brewing over freelance radio host Lisa Simeone for her participation with an activist group occupying a park in Washington, D.C. It's a worth a look at how this unfolded– especially since it appears to have cost her one of her jobs. A report at the Roll Call website (10/18/11) noted that Simeone was acting as a spokesperson for the group, which goes by the name October 11. Roll Call wondered if this violated NPR ethics guidelines, since Simeone acts as a host on two programs that air on some NPR affiliates: the long-running documentary series Soundprint [...]
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.