Violence? What Violence? CBS Plays Up Crosby, Nash Concert For 'Occupy'

Elaine Quijano continued CBS's consistently glowing coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement on Wednesday's Early Show by spotlighting how two-thirds of Crosby, Stills, and Nash gave a concert for the protesters in New York City. Quijano played 12 clips from the concert and from the demonstrators, without once mentioning the growing examples of violence involving the left-leaning movement [audio clips available here; video below the jump].

Anchor Chris Wragge introduced the correspondent's report by noting only in passing how "anti-Wall Street protesters around the country are under growing pressure to go home...critics in several cities are saying they're just becoming a public nuisance." Co-anchor Erica Hill added that "here in New York City, demonstrators say they are in it, though, for the long haul- yes, even with winter coming. Correspondent Elaine Quijano takes a look at what the future holds for the protests."

Quijano then highlighted how "the Occupy Wall Street movement says it's raised half a million dollars, and its voices have not faded away. The occupiers, as they call themselves, have attracted celebrities, like folk rock singers David Crosby and Graham Nash." Six, or exactly half, of the sound bites that the CBS journalist played during her report came from the acoustic jam the hippie heroes recently gave in Zuccotti Park. Quijano later trumpeted how "the movement is also getting the reality television treatment. MTV recently filmed two Wall Street occupiers as part of its 'True Life' series."

The segment morphed into a human interest story during its second half, as the correspondent profiled the "knitting circle [which] is preparing for the coming winter." The only clue of the protest's left-wing politics came near the end of the report, when Quijano noted that the "one issue they're [the protesters] talking about- ending the Bush-era tax cuts extended under President Obama."

On Wednesday, James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal highlighted in an online article that a person linked to Occupy Portland in Oregon set off a Molotov cocktail in the city's World Trade Center on Tuesday. He also quoted from a police report posted on The Smoking Gun website that detailed how "Occupy Portland protesters became enraged when Pizza Schmizza ran out of breadsticks to accompany their entree order. They threatened to assault employees and vandalize the restaurant....The customers, cops noted, told a Pizza Schmizza employee, 'Your job is bullsh--, you know you work for a big corporation.'" That's several steps above being a mere "nuisance," but CBS couldn't be bothered to mention this or any of the other instances of violence tied to the "Occupy" movement" in their report.

Just over a week ago, on the October 31 edition of The Early Show, correspondent Debbye Turner Bell at least mentioned the millions of dollars in police overtime that has spent in New York City due to Occupy Wall Street, but like Quijano, failed to play any clips from opponents. The MRC's Geoffrey Dickens documented in a November 7 special report that CBS, along with their Big Three colleagues at ABC and NBC, has been all but ignoring the "radicalism and criminal acts" connected to the leftist demonstrations.

The full transcript of Elaine Quijano's report on Wednesday's Early Show, which aired at the bottom of the 8 am Eastern hour:

CHRIS WRAGGE: Anti-Wall Street protesters around the country are under growing pressure to go home. Now, critics in several cities are saying they're just becoming a public nuisance.

ERICA HILL: Here in New York City, demonstrators say they are in it, though, for the long haul- yes, even with winter coming.

Correspondent Elaine Quijano takes a look at what the future holds for the protests.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PROTESTER 1: Tell me what democracy looks like!

David Crosby; Screen Cap From 9 November 2011 Edition of CBS's Early Show | NewsBusters.orgELAINE QUIJANO: They started nearly eight weeks ago- hundreds of people with no single leader, no money, and no specific plans for the future. But since then, the Occupy Wall Street movement says it's raised half a million dollars, and its voices have not faded away. (clips of protesters singing, 'They want it all') The occupiers, as they call themselves, have attracted celebrities, like folk rock singers David Crosby and Graham Nash.

GRAHAM NASH (with David Crosby): Speak out!

QUIJANO: Tuesday, they performed an acoustic set at Zuccotti Park, where the movement began. (clip of Nash singing, 'Sing it with us. Don't you ever ask them why') One of the rules of the park's occupation: no microphones. (clip of crowd singing with Nash, "Just look at them and sigh")

The movement is also getting the reality television treatment. MTV recently filmed two Wall Street occupiers as part of its 'True Life' series.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE PROTESTER (chanting): All day, all week! (demonstrators chant in reply, "Occupy Wall Street!")

QUIJANO: In reality, the portrait of the protesters is complex, and it changes each day. This knitting circle is preparing for the coming winter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PROTESTER 2: And I felt sorry for them, so I designed these Occupy Wall Street mittens! It's a peaceful way to protest.

QUIJANO: Head knitter Marsha Spencer left for a few hours during the rare October snowstorm, but the weather didn't shut down the protests.


MARSHA SPENCER: If we can make it through a horrendous day like that, we can do anything. But I think I knew that before, that we were going to be able to stick this out. But it just proved it.

JEFF SMITH: I think that this movement, obviously, has a potential to be something that is sort of once-in-a-lifetime.

QUIJANO: For Jeff Smith, who've been here since the beginning, the point of the protest is dialogue.

SMITH: What I think Americans want to talk about are jobs and health care and education, and the fact that no one has a living wage in this country anymore. And that's really what's resonating.

QUIJANO: One issue they're talking about- ending the Bush-era tax cuts extended under President Obama. (clip of protesters singing with Nash, "Don't you ever ask them why")

Today, a group of 'Occupy' demonstrators will leave the park for a protest march to Washington. Elaine Quijano, CBS News, New York. (clip of protesters singing, "And know they love you")

NASH: Thank you, everybody!

WRAGGE (live): Those marchers plan to arrive in the capital two weeks from today, the deadline for a congressional committee to decide whether to keep the Bush-era tax cuts.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center