Times Watch’s end-of-year awards issue celebrates the best of the worst quotes that appeared in the paper or were uttered by Times reporters and columnists during 2011.
The New York Times spent much of the year in pro-Obama defense mode, excoriating the Tea Party and conservative opposition to Obama's agenda. Yet the paper found one movement it could embrace wholeheartedly – the leftist campouts known as Occupy Wall Street. And sometimes - as when China-loving columnist Tom Friedman spouted, "If this were China they would have walked to the game in the snow, and doing calculus along the way," Times journalism was just too ridiculous to take seriously. Paul Krugman made his usual sterling showing as well, using the tragedies of 9-11 and the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to attack conservatives.
Occupy Wall Street attacks income inequality and the richest 1 percent, adopting as its slogan ''we are the 99 percent.'' In October, its protesters staged a ''millionaires march' 'in New York City, parading to the homes of wealthy citizens such as Rupert Murdoch and David Koch. But only some riches bother the Occupiers, who have ignored the massive wealth of celebrities in their own ranks.
The top 25 richest celebrities supporting Occupy Wall Street, according to the website Celebrity Net Worth, possess a combined net worth just over $4 billion.
New York Times art critic Holland Cotter’s year-i- review piece Sunday opened with an awkward metaphorical shout-out to the lefty park-squatters of Occupy Wall Street and an excoriation of the “noxious” 1 percent: “Complacency Butts Up Against Game Changers”: "...art-worldlings did at least adopt one thing from the Occupy Wall Street movement: a new identifying label for the source of particularly noxious vibes emanating from art fairs, V.I.P. galas and museum boardrooms: namely the 1 percent."
Time magazine's editor-in-chief Richard Stengel was asked on Sunday's Reliable Sources to respond to NewsBusters criticizing the inclusion of the Occupy Wall Street movement into Time magazine's "Person of the Year" award, given to "The Protester." In contrast, the Tea Party which helped the Republicans win a landslide election victory in 2010 earned only runner-up status in Time that year.
CNN host Howard Kurtz asked Stengel straight-up about criticisms of the magazine's bias: "Now, some of the criticism of this cover selection comes from the right, the conservative site, NewsBusters saying, 'Time is so liberal that it could not consider the Tea Party protest as a 'Person of the Year' entry, but that's not true with Occupy Wall Street.' Your response?" [Video below the break.]
Americans need only to open the daily newspaper or turn on the nightly news in order to see the media’s double standard. Each day we continue to hear the Occupy Wall Street movement’s hijacked the slogan of "the 99 percent" which has been forced it into our lexicon and the media’s daily lingo. And almost comically, Time magazine has decided that "The Protester" is 2011's Person of the Year.
The Daily Caller's Mary Katharine Ham, reminds us to travel back in time to appreciate the media double standard as she points out that:
For months NewsBusters has been reporting the absurd double standard regarding media's coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement versus the Tea Party.
On Friday, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Tx.) wrote an op-ed for Accuracy in Media concerning this matter asking, "Why have the mainstream media vilified the peaceful Tea Party all the while praising and celebrating Occupy Wall Street despite violence, clashes with police, and general lawlessness?":
Scruffy progressive protesters locked themselves together across railroad tracks, blocked traffic and shouted profanities at police on Tuesday in a coordinated "West Coast Port Shutdown." Truckers lost wages. Shippers lost business. This is what the Occupy Wall Street movement calls "victory."
Aging Big Labor bosses toasted one another from the sidelines as they declared the "rebirth of the labor movement." What's really going on? It's an old-school power grab by a decrepit union wrapped in self-deluded social media do-goodism.
Following Time managing editor Rick Stengel revealing the magazine's "Person of the Year" to be "The Protester" on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry attempted to compared the Arab Spring democracy movement in the Middle East to Occupy Wall Street: "Are there links between what had happened in the Arab Spring...and also what's happening now on Wall Street and all across this country?" [Audio available here]
Also noting the suppressed 2009 Green Movement in Iran and the recent election protests in Russia, Curry added: "...there seems to be this kind of global protest." Stengel enthusiastically agreed with Curry's comparison: "Absolutely. There's this contagion of protests....what happened in the Arab world did influence Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland and the protests in Greece and Madrid." [View video after the jump]
Time is so liberal it was obvious they could not consider the Tea Party protests as a Person of the Year entry. But that’s not true with Occupy Wall Street, since Time’s 2011 Person of the Year is suddenly now "The Protester.” Kurt Andersen’s essay announced: "'Massive and effective street protest' was a global oxymoron until — suddenly, shockingly — starting exactly a year ago, it became the defining trope of our times. And the protester once again became a maker of history."
This is a bit bizarre since the regime being protested in the United States is the Obama administration elected by liberals like the Time editors and reporters. Suddenly now, America is a "sham democracy rigged to favor the rich and powerful and prevent significant change." Once again, Time blurs in Occupy protesters with Arab Spring activists:
No wonder President Obama adopted some of the language of the Occupy movement in his class-warfare speech this week. It's led by the likes of Alfredo Carrasquillo, a fellow "community organizer" with whom the president perhaps identifies. Carrasquillo specializes in breaking into foreclosed homes to dole them out to people—beginning with himself—to live in.
Chris Hayes gave Carrasquillo a sympathetic platform on his MSNBC show this morning. Making it clear that he was speaking as a "devil's advocate," not, God forbid, expressing his own opinion, Hayes gently inquired of Carrasquillo whether, you know, it could be said he has no right to break into and live in homes owned by others. Dismissing the notion out of hand, Carrasquillo described theft of others' property as "technicalities." That seemed good enough for Hayes, who helpfully pointed out that the homes Carrasquillo is breaking into "are just sitting there, no one's making use of them." Video after the jump.
Supporters of the Occupy Movement are stepping up their efforts to become even more comical than they are already. They have taken to the comic book world to spread their message, starting what they call Occupy Comics.
Matt Pizzolo, organizer of Occupy Comics, wrote of the project: "This book is intended to be a time capsule of the passions and emotions driving the movement. We are comic book & graphic novel artists and writers who've been inspired by the movement and hope to tell the stories of the people who are out there putting themselves at risk for an idea."
Here we go again. Washington Post "On Faith" contributor Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is once again twisting Christian scripture to push a liberal economic agenda.
You may recall the liberal theologian and Center for American Progress fellow last month contorted The Lord's Prayer into an argument for government to "forgive" students loan debt contracted between private parties. Now the Chicago Theological Seminary professor is charging that Jesus was a first century "occupier" having "occupied" the Temple when he drove out the moneychangers. What's more, the reverend argued, one of Jesus's most haunting parables -- the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 -- is a condemnation of the banking system (emphasis mine):
Each year the Business & Media Institute looks back on the year's news and selects the top 10 worst economic myths. This year the media's myths were wide-ranging: from conspiracy theories about economic sabotage, to overpopulation panic and Occupy Wall Street's mantra "We are the 99 percent."
NPR anchor Robert Siegel interviewed Occupy Wall Street's inspirational force, Kalle Lasn of the Canadian group Adbusters, on Tuesday night's All Things Considered and discussed how ripe America was for a socialist revolution. Lasn brought up comparisons to 1968 and the hope for a "full-fledged, full spectrum movement that operates on all levels." Siegel suggested back then, it inspired violent revolutionaries like the Weather Underground. (Well, violence wasn't mentioned.)
Lasn warmed the heart of Bill Ayers by saying America is riper now for revolution than it was in the Sixties:
Last week, CNN's Steve Kastenbaum (podcast is also at link) visited what he characterized as Occupy Wall Street's "nerve center" (but don't call it a "headquarters," Occupiers insisted) in space provided by an anonymous donor. No, it wasn't at Zuccotti Park or any other open-air location. It was, and presumably still is, in Lower Manhattan, one block south of the New York Stock Exchange.
Along the way, Kastenbaum interviewed several people who portrayed themselves as "volunteer staff" for a supposedly leaderless movement, but as is par for the course in the establishment press when leftists are involved, didn't reveal anyone's previous background. At Heritage, Lachlan Markay reports at Robert Bluey's blog that the prior affiliations and involvements of at least a few of those interviewed belies their starry-eyed self-portrayal:
Once again hosting liberal Van Jones to discuss the "Occupy" movement, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux asked him how the illegal practice of protesters "squatting" on foreclosed homes could help the "Occupy" movement take off.
Malveaux didn't exactly question the legality or the ethics of protesters secretly living in foreclosed homes, but instead gave the former Obama-appointee and Marxist some PR time to tout what new direction the "Occupy" movement will take. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter may have let his personal views color his enthusiastic reception of the popularity of Occupy Wall Street’s “99 percent” motif, but he was right that it is cropping up in a lot of places these days, especially among liberal activists. It has certainly sunken into the collective consciousness of New York Times journalists.
Washington Post Style section editors gave freelance writer Mark Jenkins space for a 9-paragraph, 9-illustration feature item today entitled "Nothing shy in the art of Occupy."
"The occupiers don't have a single agenda, so there's no way any of the posters can be off-message," Jenkins gushed. "They might slaughter Wall Street's bull or show the takedown of the Monopoly icon, or they can send a bold and colorful message to authority," reads a caption underneath four post images on page C1 of the December 6 paper.
On December 2, the Associated Press carried a story by Terry Collins with the following headline: "Murder charge filed in Occupy Oakland slaying."
What? I thought that the related November attack, despite a statement from an actual eyewitness, "was unrelated to the ongoing protest of U.S. financial institutions" -- i.e., that it was unrelated to Occupy Oakland. After all, the San Francisco Chronicle and the AP both carried statements to that effect several weeks ago. Surprise, surprise (not):
According to Good Morning America's Josh Elliott on Monday, the Occupy "protests within sight of the White House turned violent over the weekend." Actually, the protests occurred at McPherson Square, two blocks from the White House and not in "sight" of it. (See a map here.)
Perhaps Mr. Elliott, who grew up in California and went to high school in Los Angeles, can be forgiven for such an error. It's bizarre that the Washington Post, in a front page story, made the same mistake. Monday's paper claimed the latest protest occurred "in view of the White House."
The New York Times “Caucus” podcast recorded December 1 featured reporter and podcast host Sam Roberts wondering if it was a potentially dangerous tactic” for GOP candidates to insult the Occupy Wall Street movement. This exchange came a minute and a half from the end, after Roberts asked how the Occupy movement’s “99%” slogan was playing out in the Republican primary.
It's possible I missed something in history class, but I'm pretty sure Davy Crockett never urinated in public as a sign of protest.
I say this because the Washington Post's Pamela Constable and Fredrick Kunkle today compared the Occupy D.C. movement to the Texan freedom fighters at the Alamo in today's 25-paragraph front-page story (emphases mine):
She's perfect. Miley Cyrus, Hollywood's perpetually half-dressed wild child with an insatiable appetite for attention, jumped in front of the Occupy Wall Street bandwagon this week. The young Disney mogul unveiled a YouTube anthem hailing the aimless, anti-capitalist protesters. Smells like opportunistic teen queen spirit.
Like so much of the warmed-over, Big Labor-underwritten Occupy movement, Miley's musical tribute to its foot soldiers is a worn-out derivative remix. She took "Liberty Walk," a year-old single; spliced in video footage of union marchers carrying carbon-copy "TAKE BACK OUR DEMOCRACY" signs; tossed in random scenes of global discontent from London to China to San Diego to Salem, Oregon; slapped on a treacly dedication to "the thousands of people who are standing up for what they believe in" (like, whatever that is); stirred; auto-tuned; and released:
Benefiting from a hint from an article titled "Is Harry Potter Making You Poorer?", written by my colleague Dr. John Goodman, president of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis, I've come up with an explanation and a way to end income inequality in America, possibly around the world. Joanne Rowling was a welfare mother in Edinburgh, Scotland. All that has changed. As the writer of the "Harry Potter" novels, having a net worth of $1 billion, she is the world's wealthiest author. More importantly, she's one of those dastardly 1-percenters condemned by the Occupy Wall Streeters and other leftists.
Zbigniew Brzezinki's indictment of the United States was so harsh—calling America "one of the most socially unjust societies in the world"—that even his own daughter Mika was taken aback, asking her father to explain himself.
But that didn't stop Andrea Mitchell from emphatically agreeing with Zbigniew Brzezinki's condemnation of the USA. In the course of doing so, Mitchell called the Tea Party and opposition to ObamaCare "exaggerated forms" of protest, while praising Occupy Wall Street as "a real movement." Video after the jump.
On Thursday’s front page, New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter produced another homage to Occupy Wall Street, this time their slogan:“Camps Are Cleared, but ‘99 Percent’ Still Occupies the Lexicon.”(Thanks in no small part to fawning reporters like Stelter and others at the Times.) Part of his evidence? Google searches and an opposition blog that had not been updated in two whole weeks.
For conservatives, one of the bright spots of the Occupy Wall Street protests was when millionaire investor Peter Schiff went down to Zuccotti Park with video camera and a sign reading "I Am The 1% - Let's Talk."
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Schiff by telephone in a sweeping interview about his experience at OWS, how the financial media are doing, and ending with his rather frightening view of the economy and the future of our nation (video follows with transcript):
It appears that cleanup crews around the country aren't the only ones engaging in sanitation exercises in the wake of the largely disbanded Occupy encampments around the country.
At the Associated Press, which made the goings-on in the waning days of Occupy LA national news, the aftermath is apparently just a local or regional story. Here's a list of results at the AP's national site of a search on "occupy Los Angeles" (not in quotes):
While protesters only began shouting "We are the 99 Percent," a few months ago, the class warfare sentiment that the top 1 percent and the 99 percent are at odds is not a recent phenomenon. It was a claim made in media appearances before the first protests began in Zuccotti Park.
In a Democracy Now! video of Occupy protests in October 2011, a doctor, nurse and others complained about income inequality, the lack of fairness and claimed that "never" had "this much wealth been concentrated in so few hands." But before that, PBS, Vanity Fair magazine, The New York Times and other media outlets had all used left-wing class warfare messaging to criticize the amount of wealth held by the top 1 percent or the problem of "rising" income inequality.