Since “Occupy Wall Street” began, Faux News, the corporate media and those in the top 1% have tried to paint the protests as nothing but a misguided rally of anarchists, simply looking for an excuse to sleep in a public park. Contrast that depiction with the framing of the Teabag Party movement – drawn as well-meaning, “average Joe,” political neophytes… finally awakened to action by the frightening “Socialist” takeover of government spearheaded by the Obama Administration. To live in the Reality-Based Community, is to know how laughable both assertions are.
We’ve seen those like Bill O’Reilly, in the traditional Conservative manor of “fixing the ‘facts’ around the policy,” and his producer-monkey skulk down to Liberty Square, and in their best impression of Andrew Breitbart, selectively-edit a piece making the protesters all look like fools.
As Media Matters reported:
“Fox News has begun attacking participants of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests across the country, claiming they are “deluded” and have “absolutely no purpose or focus in life.” Fox’s attacks stand in stark contrast with its relentless promotion and support of the tea party protests of 2009 and 2010.”
Rather than cause for demoralization on the part of working people everywhere, what these examples illustrate is the fact that the establishment elite are frightened and know their days of partying off our weary backs are numbered.
Normal people (non-Republicans/non-Teabaggers/non-transnational corporate sock-puppets) know what those in the foreign press, such as George Monbiot, know: that billionaires and their fake populist astroturf front groups like the Koch Brothers’ “American for Prosperity” have “mobilised the anger of people who found their conditions of life declining, and channelled it into a campaign to make them worse. Tea Party campaigners take to the streets to demand less tax for billionaires and worse health, education and social insurance for themselves.”
They know what Comedian Bill Maher knows… That Teabaggers are “sad, unfortunate people” because they are “corporate America’s useful idiots.”
The also know that the Occupy Wall Street protests reflect a very-real crisis in America – the Conservative-policy-induced decline of the American Middle Class.
That is the difference. One, very real, populist movement is based in fact… and another, faux-populist movement is based in a fiction the transnational corporate Oligarchs need people to believe if they are to continue pulling off the greatest transfer of wealth upwards since the FIRST Gilded Age.
All one has to do is listen to the concerns of the people at Occupy Wall Street and contrast them to those at the Teabag Party rallies to see that while the Teabaggers are railing against mythical “Sharia Law” invasion, demanding Obama’s birth certificate, the OWS protesters are drawing attention to the corrosive influence of money in our government and fighting for the restoration of the America Dream. In fact, as Lee Fang wrote, the Occupy Wall Street protests are the true heirs to the values of the Boston Tea Party. for these 5 reasons:
1.) The Original Boston Tea Party Was A Civil Disobedience Action Against A Private Corporation.
2.) The Original Boston Tea Party Feared That Corporate Greed Would Destroy America.
3.) The Original Boston Tea Party Believed Government Necessary To Protect Against Corporate Excess.
4.) The Original Boston Tea Party Was Sparked By A Corporate Tax Cut For A British Corporation.
5.) The Original Boston Tea Party Wanted A Stronger Democracy.
Read the rest of Lee Fang’s article with expanded explanations here.
A REAL Populist Movement Armed With FACTS:
A Faux Populist Movement Loaded with Misinformation and FEAR:
Seriously, Julia La Roche of “Business Insider”… Occupy Wall Street Protesters Smell?
Yes, America. Julia La Roche of “Business Insider” actually took the time to travel to Liberty Park to write a scintillating article on how, after two weeks, the protesters were beginning to get “ripe.”
This very-important journalist observed, “While wandering through the camp site, I asked several people how long they’ve been there and if they’ve taken a shower. Some people said they would go to friends’ apartments to clean up. However a bunch of the protestors confessed to me that they have not showered since the start of the movement. In my opinion, the smell is extremely pungent. And the camp site is littered with trash, cardboard and garbage bags piled up.”
It’s the kind of article some tool would have written for Marie Antoinette, about a year before the unwashed masses chopped off her head.
Conveniently, what Ms. La Roche neglected to report was what smells WORSE than people feeling the pain of being considered merely as hosts from which the top 1% can suck profit is the stench of a government that has been turned into an appendage of the affairs of billionaires… and the foul smell of faux “journalists” who enable them. Clearly, Julia La Roche is part of the problem.
Henry Blodget purports to have no idea what the “Occupy Wall Street” protestors in Manhattan’s Liberty Plaza really want. The NYT and other major media outlets are equally baffled, characterizing the movement as rudderless or downright loony. Even Mother Jones, the lefty pub named after a famous 19th century labor organizer, sniffs at what it describes as the demonstrators’ feckless “posturing.”
Do tell. Such critiques say far more about the media’s discomfort with popular dissent than about the dissent itself, let alone the public fury animating it. In fact, there is nothing particularly mysterious about what the protesters are asking for even if their demands aren’t spelled out in ways that newspaper editors tend to like (note to rabble-rousers — try bullet points next time).
Occupy Wall Street declares its mission straight out: to “restore democracy in America.” The group also wants to end “the influence money has over our representatives in Washington.” Presumably, the young women who were pepper-sprayed by a New York City policeman this week want the ability to exercise their constitutional rights without getting temporarily blinded. Other protestors simply want a chance:
“I used to a have great construction job, and (now) I can’t find a job for more than $10 a hour,” said Brandon Szalay, 28, from Boulder, Colo. “I can pay my rent, but I can’t buy my groceries and I can’t pay my electric bill. It’s not good. I’ve got all sorts of skills, but they tell me I’m either overqualified or underqualified.“
Here’s what someone else at the rally wants:
“My home has been seized, I’m unemployed, there’s no job prospects on the horizon. I have two children and I don’t see a future for them.”
And they smell!
Gee, seems straightforward enough — decent work and a future for their kids. And maybe, just maybe such aspirations are under threat these days from the mounting corporate clout in Washington, as Republican leaders abandon all pretense of representing average Americans and as President Obama surrounds himself with emissaries from Wall Street.
Does our media, its fingers pressed as ever to the country’s pulse, really need such testimonies to draw a link between the harm inflicted on the U.S. economy by large financial firms, by the torrent of corporate dollars into our politics, and the economic fate of millions of Americans? Dumb question. Of course they don’t. Journalists (and even the odd financial pundit) understand such connections all too well. News Corp. (NWS), the company that made the Tea Party, has assigned an entire TV network to exploiting such public outrage.
But comprehending these political and socioeconomic forces isn’t the same thing as confronting them. That leaves Blodget’s rag, Business Insider, free to focus not on the Occupy Wall Street protesters’ message, but on their apparent lack of hygiene. Julia La Roche writes:
“[A] bunch of the protesters confessed to me that they have not showered since the start of the movement. In my opinion, the smell is extremely pungent. And the camp site is littered with trash, cardboard and garbage bags piled up.”
Populism in this formulation is framed not only as figuratively dirty — it must literally stink. All those gross hippies packed into a little park! Journalistic “objectivity,” by contrast, is a freshly pressed skirt. And what about the vectors of privilege and power fusing together Wall Street and Capitol Hill — how does that smell?
It isn’t only the business press that blur their eyes in scrutinizing Occupy Wall Street’s complaints, that turn away revolted at the merest whiff of revolution. For instance, the NYT’s banner story about the demonstration last weekend wasn’t by one of its metro-desk reporters, but by cultural critic Ginia Bellafante.
Unsurprisingly, she focuses on the atmospherics at Zuccotti Park, seizing on the sight of a protester’s “cotton underwear” (sure it wasn’t rayon?) as evidence of the group’s “intellectual vacuum.” Bellafante also professes confusion about their aims, claiming that Occupy Wall Street’s cause is “virtually impossible to decipher.” She, too, can’t resist getting in a dig:
“The group’s lack of cohesion and its apparent wish to pantomime progressivism rather than practice it knowledegeably is unsettling in the face of the challenges so many of its generation face — finding work, repaying student loans, figuring out ways to finish college when money has run out.”
Bellafante is entitled to her personal distaste for Occupy Wall Street. But for the Times to use its megaphone to disparage the movement’s tactics as somehow inauthentic isn’t just to engage in inappropriate editorializing — it also shows a deep ignorance of the history of American progressivism, where wild-and-woolly protest has been the norm for well over a century.
Read the rest of his article here.
Watching the corporate media reaction to a true populist movement brings to mind Gandhi’s famous observation, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”
It seems, as far as the corporate media is concerned, we’re at the “ridicule” stage. But make no mistake. We will win. We have no other option but “permanent Serfdom.”
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