Vintage Maddow Deceit in Describing Arrest of OWS Protesters at Citibank

Nice to see Rachel Maddow isn't letting all those years wishing she worked at Pravda go to waste.

The earnest barbershop tenor in MSNBC's nightly quartet gave an eerily similar version of how the house organ of Soviet communists would have covered the arrests of two dozen Wall Street protesters at a Citibank branch in Manhattan. (video after page break)

Here's Maddow's take on the incident after she told her audience Monday night of Citigroup (which owns Citibank) posting a 74 percent profit in the third quarter of 2011, three years after the bank was bailed out with $45 billion from TARP --

That reality led to this scene over the weekend at one of the big Citibank branches in New York City. About 20 people or so taking part in the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests arrested by police after marching to that Citibank branch on Saturday afternoon. Among those arrested were actual Citibank customers who were reportedly attempting to close their accounts. Citibank says that the New York City police asked them to close the branch with the protesters still inside until police could arrive to arrest those protesters. Here's how some of that scene played out afterwards. (Footage shown of other protesters yelling "Let them go! Let them go!"

You don't say -- "actual" customers?! Geez, whatever happened to them always being right ...?

If someone described this to you exactly as Maddow has done here, you'd know immediately that something was being left out out -- namely, the basis for the arrests. And it wasn't because "actual Citibank customers" were merely trying to close their accounts when predatory bankers decided to hold them against their will until compliant cops could haul them away, as Maddow claims here.

Not surprisingly, Maddow didn't show any footage shot inside the bank, since this would have rendered her take on the arrests laughable. But the media watchdog site Mediaite posted footage of this along with a story before noon on Monday, plenty of time for Maddow to have undertaken an arduous Google search or two in the nine hours before her show aired that night.

What the Mediaite video shows are OWS protesters inside the bank doing what they love best -- leftist speechifying. This goes on for several minutes until bank employees ask over and over if the speechifiers would kindly leave. Since the bank is private property, the protesters reject this on principle, because -- after all -- this is someone else's property. Worse still, someone else with more of it, the very height of criminality.

Here's how Mediaite's James Crugnale described it --

While others may criticize how Citibank handled the protesters, the video footage appears to confirm the bank's account of what happened inside. "A large number of protesters entered our branch at 555 LaGuardia Place around 2 p.m. today. They were very disruptive and refused to leave after being repeatedly asked, causing our staff to call 911. The police asked the branch staff to close the branch until the protesters could be removed. Only one person asked to close an account and was accomodated.

Tea party protesters doing the same thing in the lobby at 30 Rock and Maddow maligns them as a violent, racist mob and where the heck are the cops when you need them anyway.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts