Time Romanticizes ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Crowd That ‘Stares Down the NYPD’

Time magazine’s Ishaan Tharoor and Nate Rawlings romanticized the Occupy Wall Street crowd in an October 14 news story wrought with melodrama about the left-wing crowd’s tensions with New York City police.

Tharoor and Rawlings opened their article by painting the OWS folks as anxious and the NYPD as practically itching for a confrontation. The trespassing squatters in the privately-owned park were painted as conscientious “activists” and “protesters” whose efforts at cleaning the park were unappreciated by corporate goons who were attempting an "eviction" (emphasis mine):


At 5 a.m. Friday morning, an air of menace and anxiety gripped Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Police officers stalked its periphery, some with bundles of white plastic handcuffs strapped to their belts. Inside the park, parts of it resembled a panicked scene from a bustling Indian railway station: activists, many of whom have camped out in the plaza since the occupation began a month ago, lofted on their heads giant plastic sacks stuffed with their sleeping bags and personal effects. As they had been doing all night, protesters continued to scrub and sweep, their response to a mandate from the park's private owners, Brookfield Properties, to leave the site in order for it to be cleaned. One man stood atop a bench, shouting over and over again at those around him to "move your shit or we'll dispose of it."

The catch, as all were aware,was that those who followed the Friday morning evacuation order would not be allowed to return with sleeping bags or tarps or even lie down in the park. "This was never about sanitation, it was about a pretext for eviction," said Senia Barragan, a graduate student at Columbia University who is part of Occupy Wall Street's press team. Over the course of Thursday night into Friday morning, hundreds squeezed into the park in support of Occupy Wall Street, not knowing what would happen come dawn. Tucker Mowatt, one of the protesters, blinked bleary-eyed when asked if he was willing to risk arrest. "Of course I am," he said. "The whole world is watching."


Tharoor and Rawlings went on to enthuse that “in the early morning half-light, in the presence of a veritable army of journalists, Occupy Wall Street got to declare its first momentous victory,” the postponement of a scheduled cleaning of the park by its private owners.

“The crowd erupted in euphoria” upon hearing the news, the Time reporters noted, adding that “Raucous chants of ‘This is what democracy looks like’ echoed off nearby buildings.”

Actually, this is what rowdy mobs look like, but Tharoor and Rawlings failed to find any Occupy Wall Street detractors to quote for their story. What's more, they insisted that the movement is twice as popular “among average Americans as the right-wing Tea Party.” Of course the labels “liberal,” “leftist,” “socialist,” and “Marxist” were nowhere to be found in the 11-paragraph article.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters