CNN Segment Hypes 'Diversity' of Occupy Seattle

CNN used an "In Depth" segment on Tuesday to emphasize the diversity among protesters at Occupy Seattle, featuring a rapper, a group of "Raging Grannies," drummers and more. The report during the 12 p.m. hour was one of multiple segments that ran on Tuesday afternoon giving viewers a close-up look at the Wall Street protests.

The sympathetic look at the protesters can be contrasted with CNN's initial coverage of the Tea Parties in 2009, when reporter Susan Roesgen slammed the Chicago Tea Party as "anti-government" and "anti-CNN" and anchor Anderson Cooper smeared the protesters with an obscene label. 

"Gives you just a feel for how diverse the protesters are," anchor Suzanne Malveaux noted preceding Tuesday's report. The rosy headline touted "Diversity at 'Occupy' Seattle."

In the next hour anchor Randi Kaye touted that "turbulent times make great history" while presiding over another segment on the protests. She hosted liberal historian Douglas Brinkley to analyze the impact of the present movement on a historical scale.

"We've heard a lot of parallels with protest movements of the past," Kaye noted, as if Occupy Wall Street already deserves to be compared with famous protests. "I mean what, if anything, does Occupy Wall Street remind you of?" she asked Brinkley.

The Rice University historian was actually level-headed when it came to predicting the historical impact of the protests. "It's a work in progress. We don't know right now," he told Kaye.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on November 1 at 12:20 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

[12:20]

SUZANNE MALVEAUX: CNN "In Depth" now, for a look at an offshoot "Occupy" protest. This one is in Seattle. Gives you just a feel for how diverse the protesters are.

(Video Clip)

(Music playing)

KATHY, Occupy Seattle protester: You know, there's old hippies out here, there's young kids, there's young families with babies in their strollers. I feel it's one of the reasons why I'm just compelled to come out here, because I want people on the street to see that it's middle class, middle-aged people out here too. It affects everybody.

DARCY CONSTANSS, Occupy Seattle protester: My name is Darcy Constanss, and we come down here every weekend with my family. I'm a doctor, and my husband's a teacher. My husband's been laid off every year for the past four years. I owe $150,000, and you know as a new doctor out, we're actually barely middle class, kind of barely getting by. And that's just crazy.

SEATTLE RAGING GRANNIES: (Singing) Bail out those banks. To big to fall. They're even bigger now. No banksters in jail.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: "Raging Grannies" are a group of older women who are passionate about social justice.

ANNE THURSTON, Seattle Raging Grannies: We're told there's no money for health care, no money for schools, there's no money for taking care of the needy in this country. Never mind the needy – the middle class, I mean all of us – tremendous unemployment and fear that people have.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Rapping) And every time a business fails, a CEO gets a bonus ten times that of his secretary's annual salary.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Bringing these deep tensions to the surface so that people are forced to face them, forced to interact with them, and forced to seek the change from the government.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You go into the market, and you download it and it's called "I'm getting arrested. And that'll send out to anybody that you want to know that you're being arrested and that you need help. Police are probably going to let you do it unless they're beating you up.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We're all going to gather up, and we're going to have our escort here take us up the hill, and we're going to occupy our new location.

CROWD: (chanting)  – are the 99 percent. We are the 99 percent. We are the 99 percent.

(Music playing)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMEN: (Unintelligible) Occupy!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is just the beginning –

CROWD: (Repeating) This is just the beginning –

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: – here on campus.

CROWD: (Repeating) – here on campus.

(Music playing)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's a sacrifice, you know. We all have to make sacrifices. We're tired of sacrificing our money, our dignity.

We have liberties, we have rights. And we want to keep them.

(End Video Clip)

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014