In case you’ve been living under a rock without wi-fi, the Occupy Wall Street movement is starting to sweep the nation like a sub-prime mortgage bubble. Now in its 18th day, the movement that intends to hold the financial institutions accountable for transforming the American economy into a Scottish pay toilet seems to have finally gotten the mainstream media’s attention. I mean, did the protestors have to have to start calling the President a “secret radical Muslim” or something?
But just as the tea party movement began as a libertarian movement in which citizens sent Tea bags to the white house to protest TARP, the occupy wall street movement has some real (ahem) “characters” as well. Ultra-Libertarian friends of mine tell me the tea party began as a seemingly innocuous act of public dissent and dissatisfaction– ill-defined thought it may have been– eventually morphed into a monstrously ugly, uniformed and racist runaway hate machine of corporations paying (Astroturf lobbying) ordinary slobs to protest against health care, and pretty much everything under the sun while Barack Obama was still president. The mainstream media, realizing that it too is beholden to mega corporations that demand 24-7 high ratings, started doing what it does best: sensationalizing every single movement these white and angry mob of morons made. We were perpetually bombarded with protest after protest, and forced to watch as people actually compared Barack Obama to Hitler (an eloquent black men with the ability to speak well in public places obviously equates one to the murdering of 6 million jews).
Now, it’s the media turning a very noble and legitimate movement into a left-wing version of a tea party march.
I will readily admit that I was dubious at best about the political and economic ramifications of the Occupy Wall Street movement. For a while there, the movement seemed to lack a clear-cut message and realistic goals and, most important in the world of instant media, good PR. But after hearing about US Marines planning on showing their disgust with Washington’s closeness with the big banks as well as the NYPD needlessly pushing the protestors around, and after reading countless testimonials from protestors who were majorly affected by economic recession, I am beginning to see this as more than just an excuse to hate the man and hang out in the park. But, not surprsingly, I am afraid the mainstream media doesn’t quite see it that way.
It’s not exactly a state secret that Fox News is a bastion of right-wing propaganda and makes up facts on the fly in order to satisfy the agenda of Rupert Murdoch. But Fox News managed to “out fox” itself when it decided to NOT air video of a smart and articulate protestor who wasn’t wearing a bandanna or skinny jeans. Occupy Wall Street protester, Jesse LaGreca, was interviewed by a Fox News producer last Wednesday for a segment for Greta Van Susteren’s show. The only problem is that the segment never made it to the air.
We’re here [...] to give you fair coverage,” the producer tells LaGreca
The segment never made it to the air, yet a slew of others showing, and I’m being generous, less-than-articulate and totally issue-illiterate protestors did.
Here’s the video that never aired:
While pointing a finger at Fox News is easier than spear fishing out of a barrel, the problem isn’t just with Fox News. Excepting the always classy Laurence O’Donnell’s brilliant segment on the brutish force used by the NYPD, MSNBC has also been diluting the credibility of the movement.
For example, I saw a clip of some randomly chosen (I’m guessing they did a Radiohead quiz), slovenly kid on one the earlier MSNBC programs not saying anything remotely coherent about the cause of the occupation, or what he expected to come of it. Hilariously enough, the dewy-eyed kid instead decided to plug his crappy blogspot blog, as if that is meaningful and credible. And this guy was in-studio, unlike Mr. Greca, who was on the street and yet still better dressed and prepared to speak.
So the media shows the world shaggy from scooby-doo who essentially sounded like Spicoli on crack, but the world doesn’t get to see Mr. Greca wonderfully articulate the meaning behind the movement. I guess if you don’t vote the GOP, you’re nothing more than an unshaven, vegan cookie-eating, patchouli-wearing hippie. Well, at least to Fox News you are.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you photos of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.