NBC: Occupy Wall Street Like an ‘Arab Spring,’ is ‘Drawing Historical Comparisons’

Friday’s NBC Nightly News once again promoted the left-wing/anti-capitalist protests which Brian Williams non-ideologically described as “a protest against economic and social inequality” that “has now spawned organized marches in 45 states.”

Reporter Chris Jansing featured a man whose “frustration brought him to lower Manhattan” and he pronounced: “I think it's our Arab Spring.” Jansing next trumpeted how “‘Occupy Wall Street’ is drawing historical comparisons,” a quest for historic impact the networks never sought for the Tea Party. Her expert, Georgetown University history professor Michael Kazin, whom she failed to note is co-editor of the far-left quarterly, Dissent.

Kazin asserted: “The first stage of any movement is a lot of people showing how unhappy they are at the situation -- the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movement. If it lasts long enough and is organized well, it could become a mass movement.”

After reporting how “Occupy Wall Street” had raised $50,000, Jansing helpfully advised: “Experts say leaders will need to emerge with a plan to use that cash and harness all that energy before rage can turn to revolution.”

ABC decided to advance the cause of the protesters, putting people in front of ABC’s own “Tell Wall Street” sign to spout off, a favor they never extended to Tea Party allies.

Diane Sawyer announced on World News: “The open protests against Wall Street and the big banks have been spreading, from lower Manhattan to more than 50 cities tonight. But people keep asking, exactly what do these protesters want? ABC's Cecilia Vega has been on the scene.”

Vega explained: “We set out across the country to ask people exactly what they want to tell Wall Street.” She cued up a man: “What burns you about Wall Street?” He answered: “They making all this money and ain't nobody else making no money.”

Vega relayed: “From Chicago to Dallas to Los Angeles to Miami, people want to know, where is the accountability?” She ran three clips, including this from another man: “Up in Wall Street, they all crooks. They money hungry, they don't care about nothing but loading their pocket up and they don’t care about the American people.”

Earlier this week:

> ABC and NBC Champion Left-Wing Anti-Capitalist Protests, Fueled by Cookies from a ‘Grandmother in Idaho

> Networks Again Trumpet What NBC’s Williams Celebrates as ‘the Protest of This Current Era

All three broadcast network evening newscasts spun the October 7 jobs report as “better than expected.” The rundown:

Diane Sawyer, ABC’s World News: “And now, the important jobs report out today, which was better than expected. 103,000 jobs added last month.”

Anthony Mason, CBS Evening News: “These were better-than-expected numbers, Scott, but not good enough.”

Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News: “It was better than the experts had expected.”

From the Friday, October 7 NBC Nightly News, closed-captioning corrected against the vdeo by the MRC’s Brad Wilmouth:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Well, we got the employment report for September this morning. It was better than the experts had expected. Employers added 103,000 workers to their payrolls, though that number included 45,000 Verizon Communications workers that went back to their jobs after a strike. Unemployment rate stayed steady -- 9.1 percent -- but remember it's part of the battle cry of the protest movement “Occupy Wall Street” which has spread far beyond New York City. Our report from NBC's Chris Jansing.

CHRIS JANSING: The demonstrations have lasted so long and expanded so widely that even with a few funny outfits, they're hard to ignore.

CLIP OF UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PROTESTER: Occupy Wall Street.

JANSING: “Occupy Wall Street,” a protest against economic and social inequality, has now spawned organized marches in 45 states. In just the last 24 hours, protests from Houston to Washington, D.C. Hundreds took over a Los Angeles intersection; 4,000 marched in Portland; and in Tampa, raucous demonstrators descended on the banking district.

CLIP OF PROTESTERS: We are the 99 percent.

JANSING: And those protesters, not always who you would expect.



BUDDY BOLTON, PROTESTER: I had a $100,000 a year salary job.

JANSING: Buddy Bolton lost his job a year ago. Frustration brought him to lower Manhattan.

BOLTON: I think it's our Arab Spring. It's our opportunity as citizens to let the government know that the system is in need of repair.

JANSING: "Occupy Wall Street" is drawing historical comparisons.

PROFESSOR MICHAEL KAZIN, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: The first stage of any movement is a lot of people showing how unhappy they are at the situation - the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movement. If it lasts long enough and is organized well, it could become a mass movement.

JANSING: Money could help. Supporters have dropped thousands of dollars into buckets on the street. Then, 11 days ago, "Occupy Wall Street" got tax exempt status and quickly raised at least $50,000, most of it online.

VICTORIAN SOBEL, OCCUPY WALL STREET FINANCE COMMITTEE: It's compelling, it really is compelling to see how quickly things have grown and taken off, and what it means is that the burden of responsibility is now on us.

JANSING: Experts say leaders will need to emerge with a plan to use that cash and harness all that energy before rage can turn to revolution. And here in New York tonight, there are hundreds of protesters. Some have been here all 21 days. And while there are skeptics, the organizers here say they're not going away.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center