That might explain the piece the wire service ran today, under the headline, "Who's Behind the Wall Street Protests?" Reporters Mark Egan and Michelle Nichols suggest that Glenn Beck's demented chalkboard scribbles might have actually been on the right track; the protests "may have benefited indirectly from the largesse of one of the world's richest men"– George Soros. They write: One name that keeps coming up is investor George Soros, who in September debuted in the top 10 list of wealthiest Americans. Conservative critics contend the movement is a Trojan horse for a secret Soros agenda. Soros and the protesters [...]
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 [...]
CNN's newest show–OutFront, featuring Erin Burnett–did a "factcheck" of the protest in Lower Manhattan that was long on attitude and short on accuracy. If you'd like the network to take another look, see FAIR's latest Action Alert. Please leave copies of your messages to CNN, or responses to the alert, in the comment thread below.
I checked out a post from the Web-based publication Capital (9/28/11) about media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protest because CJR (9/29/11) told me it was a "smart post" that "crunched the numbers" and showed "how there really is no media blackout." I have to say I would have thought CJR would have higher standards when it came to crunching media numbers. Capital's Joe Pompeo states his thesis early on: The idea that there is a media blackout has gained appeal on the left with support from Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann, who said on the September 21 edition [...]
Under the somewhat nonsensical headline, "Wall Street Demonstrations Test Police Trained for Bigger Threats," New York Times reporter Joseph Goldstein may have managed to turn in (9/27/11) a more offensive piece than Ginia Bellafante's June 25 dispatch (picked apart by Allison Kilkenny here). The piece begins: When members of the loose protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street began a march from the financial district to Union Square on Saturday, the participants seemed relatively harmless, even as they were breaking the law by marching in the street without a permit. But to the New York Police Department, the protesters represented [...]
It is very unusual to see such direct criticism of the New York Times in the Times itself (9/27/11)–this is something to celebrate. To the Editor: Anyone who has spent a few days–or nights–in occupied Zuccotti Park near Wall Street this past week would have trouble recognizing what they've seen in "Gunning for Wall Street, With Faulty Aim," by Ginia Bellafante (Big City column, September 25). The protesters' numbers have been growing, not "dwindling," both in New York and in related occupations around the country. Though their views are diverse, what exactly unites them is anything but "impossible to decipher": [...]
CNN anchors Carol Costello and Ali Velshi today (9/26/11) provided some rare TV coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protest in Lower Manhattan: VELSHI: A group of people protesting Wall Street greed are now screaming abuse after they were arrested over the weekend. The incident happened Saturday in Lower Manhattan. The protesters say they were pepper-sprayed, roughed up and denied food and water. Police defending the arrests saying the marchers blocked traffic and ignored orders to stay on the sidewalks. And here's an iReport from Saturday's demonstration. At one point, you can actually see a protester and police getting into [...]