Updated [12:28 ET]: More analysis and full transcript added. Lauer goes after Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan.
In an interview with Donald Trump on Wednesday's NBC Today show, co-host Matt Lauer cautioned Republicans against rejecting the far-left Occupy Wall Street movement: "There are people in the streets here in New York. In other cities around the country and around the world. Does the Republican Party, if they ignore the Occupy Wall Street group, do they do so at their own peril?" [Audio available here]
Trump turned the question around and saw the protests as a bad sign for Democrats: "I think so. But I also think it's very bad for Obama and he's feeling it. I really believe ultimately it's more dangerous for President Obama." [View video after the jump]
There’s a diagram floating around the Internet that claims to show areas of agreement between Tea Party protesters and the Occupy Wall Street crowd. It’s an idea supported by some pundits and media types as well. Even the president chimed in foolishly on the issue.
According to Obama, Occupy Wall Street isn’t all that different from the Tea Party. “In some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party,” he told ABC’s Jake Tapper. But that’s like saying the Russian and American revolutions were the same, when one led to a Socialist dictatorship and the other led to more freedom than any nation has ever had. Ohio Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich told CNN “I met with Tea Party people from the Cleveland area. And frankly they have a lot in common with the people who are occupying Wall Street around the country.” Time magazine tried a similar approach, asking the question: “Occupy Wall Street: A Tea Party for the Left?” The anti-American, Russian state-sponsored RT even found one Tea Party person to draw a connection. But that doesn’t make it true.
On Tuesday's Early Show, CBS's Bigad Shaban, seemingly grasping for straws for any reason to report on "Occupy Wall Street," played up the music performances from protesters down in lower Manhattan. Shaban emphasized how "music has helped spur movements," and gushed that "some believe if history is any indication, they could provide harmony to a movement."
The correspondent highlighted that in the Zuccotti Park, where the protesters are camped out in New York City, "there are more musical performances than actual marches. They're almost constant, but impromptu." He added that "they [the protesters] call it the heartbeat of the revolution, from loud battle cries to soothing throwbacks to the civil rights era. They've become a soundtrack to the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement" [video clips from the segment below the jump; audio available here].
New York Magazine, no right-wing rag by any stretch, recently asked 50 Occupy Wall Street protesters some basic questions about U.S. fiscal policy. While the survey is not scientific, the rank-and-file protesters in Zuccotti Park seem to be woefully ignorant on such basic questions as what the SEC stands for (Securities and Exchange Commission), what the top marginal income tax is (35 percent), and how much money the military gets from the federal budget.
Just 28 percent got the SEC question correct while 10 percent correctly knew (or guessed) that the top marginal income tax rate falls somewhere between 25 and 50 percent. Somehow, however, I doubt the broadcast and cable media will pick up on this item to attack the protesters as ill-informed pawns of the Left.
The reliably liberal Martin Bashir on Tuesday questioned anti-Semitism at the Occupy Wall Street protests, pushing artist/activist Russell Simmons to respond to bigoted signs and messages seen in New York.
Simmons bristled at having to deal with the subject, replying to Bashir's question by dismissing, "Where'd you get that from? Bill O'Reilly or somebody?" Bashir played a commercial by the Emergency Committee for Israel, featuring a protester screaming, "You're a bum, Jew!" Another can be seen announcing, "Jews control Wall Street." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The romantic treatment of the leftist sit-in at Wall Street by Michael Kimmelman in his Sunday Review “news analysis” “The Power of Place in Protest" was bad enough, with talk of Aristotle and “the size of an ideal polis” and how “Zuccotti Park has in fact become a miniature polis, a little city in the making.” But the real offense came in the New York Times's choice of comparison photos.
The think-piece by the paper's architectural critic was accompanied by archive photos of other massive legendary protests; Kent State in 1970; the Central Park protest against the Vietnam War in 1967; the famous man in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989; the fall of the Berlin Wall that same year. Of more recent vintage was the Tahrir Square protest in Cairo and Occupy Wall Street.
President Obama acts as though he merely sympathizes with the Wall Street occupiers' "broad-based frustration" about how America's financial system works, but he's doing a lot more than sympathizing. He's fanning their flames.
Perhaps we should take a look at what, exactly, Obama is supporting and contrast it with the tea party movement he so roundly condemns.
After all, who knows what these loose-cannon layabouts might do next.
Easily irritated radio host and aspiring MSNBC flamethrower Ed Schultz has become a huge fan of Occupy Wall Street, even while keeping his distance from the protesters after many of them jeered him as a "corporatist" during a broadcast of "The Ed Show" from lower Manhattan. (audio after page break)
Editor's Note: A new USA Today/Gallup poll that finds Americans blame Washington for the country's economic woes much more than Wall Street and financial institutions. NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell is not surprised and issued the following statement.
The American people see right through the liberal media’s favorable spin on Occupy Wall Street. While they shamelessly coddle these clueless protesters, the public isn’t buying it. Americans overwhelmingly blame Washington for the nation’s economic mess and failure to address it.
Tharoor essentially argued that the "occupiers" were a global youth movement, that it was populated by the "have nots," and that, unlike the Tea Party, "Occupy Wall Street still believes in politics and government."
It comes as no surprise that Occupy Wall Street protesters continue to be arrested due to their disruptive and violent behavior, but according to a new video released by EAGtv, it seems as though being paid to protest is not the only Occupy Wall Street scam. The video captures protestors pre-arranging who in the crowd is going to be arrested so cameras can catch the most dramatic footage of the scene.
Check out the video after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Liberal radio talker and MSNBC rodeo clown Ed Schultz, ever prepared to join a left-wing lollapalooza regardless of merit, is promising he'll provide plenty of unpaid ads for Occupy Wall Street. (audio clips after page break)
Who needs hard-hitting reporting on sanitation or nuisance issues related to Occupy D.C. when you can write up a puffy Style section front-pager on the protest music inspired by the leftist squatters?
On the one-month anniversary of the initial Occupy Wall Street protest in Manhattan, Washington Post staff writer David Montgomery devoted a 1,092-word October 17 Style feature to examining how protest music is helping identify "deeper streams that seem to link disparate cultures of rebellion in the United States and other parts of the world."
The MRC's director of media analysis noted that there were only "13 stories in the entire year of 2009" about the Tea Party movement while the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has received "a dramatic amount of early coverage" with 33 network stories in the first 11 days of the protests. [MP3 audio available here; video follows page break]
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory proclaimed that the Occupy Wall Street protests would "...dovetail nicely into a big message that the President's selling, which is that the wealthy should pay more....that banner of going after Wall Street and the banks, talking about unfairness that a lot of protesters that are complaining about." [Audio available here]
Gregory's observation was prompted by co-host Lester Holt wondering: "...the protesters are calling for the wealthy to pay for more taxes. Should we look for the Obama campaign to embrace that message as it – as it takes the stretch to November?" Gregory went on to declare: "I think the President's in a mode right now where he'd like to get out in front of this parade and really harness some of this energy."
In the wake of the Occupy Wall Street protests, former Jimmy Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said Monday that lists of citizens "who make largely through speculation enormous amounts of money" should be created and made public in order to "pressure some of those people to give some of it back, back to society."
"I think public disclosure by the mass media could go a long way towards a social awakening that's responsible and constructive in its effects," Brzezinski told the crew at MSNBC's "Morning Joe" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough marvelously mocked the Occupy Wall Street movement Monday by joking about how the destruction of private property during this weekend's riots in Rome will actually create jobs.
"That will help with the construction industry in Italy," kidded Scarborough as pictures of the riots played on the screen. "You have to rebuild Rome because people burned it down" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Al Sharpton lead a jobs rally in Washington, D.C., Saturday, and not surprisingly, he used the event to once again divide the nation along racial lines.
As he has disgracefully done on his PoliticsNation program on numerous occasions in recent weeks, Sharpton accused those favoring proper identification at the polls as wanting to "revoke the Voting Rights Act" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Remember all that media talk about the Tea Party being a bunch of racists because a handful of tasteless signs appeared at rallies around the country?
Given that excessive, disproportionate outrage, the press should be truly disgusted by videos that have been taken of overt racism and anti-Semitism occurring at various Occupy Wall Street protests and associated jobs rallies from coast to coast (multi-clip video follows with commentary, extreme vulgarity warning):
New York Times writer, Corey Kilgannon, chose Occupy Wall Street protester, Edward T. Hall III, as a representative of the OWS protests in an article about an arranged discussion between Hall and Wall Street worker Jimmy Vivona. Although the very thin patina of rationality presented by Hall might have fooled some liberals such as Brian Williams who want to desperately believe in the validity of the OWS protests, almost any normal observer wouldn't have been the least bit fooled by Hall's act. However, should any doubt remain about Hall's mental state, check out this video (below the fold) of Hall revealing his true self at the OWS protests. A word of warning: Not only is the language quite strong but Hall's off the chart Drama Queen antics are so burst out laughing funny from the get-go that you risk covering your monitor with coffee so please put your mug down while watching. A fringe benefit is a brief followup act by a female protester who attempts to match Mr. Hall in the Drama Queen department:
Earlier today, Matthew Balan at NewsBusters noted how the "Big Three Nets Trumpet Wall Street Protesters 'Proclaiming Victory.'" HIs report concentrated on the morning shows, but a Media Research Center Reality Check showed the that the fawning has also been present in evening news coverage.
Evening show network executives, however, may be less than thrilled about the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd coverage, and secretly hoping for the whole thing to wind down. That's because their shows, which have generally seen their ratings rise during the past twelve months, saw their combined audience fall below 21 million during the week of October 3, with CBS suffering a particularly sharp drop (comparisons are to previous week):
The broadcast networks continued their enthusiastic coverage Friday night on behalf of the far-left Wall Street protesters, with NBC’s Brian Williams, again, the most excited while CBS anchor Scott Pelley, who has until now refrained from the hype delivered by ABC and NBC, jumped in by promising “a series of reports on the growing protests around the country.”
Williams led by touting how the protesters “are claiming victory tonight” by not getting removed from the Manhattan park. He then hailed their impact which he has helped fuel: “This protest movement is showing strength. It’s still growing, changing and spreading...”
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani told Sean Hannity on his talk show yesterday that, if he was still mayor, he would have told the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters, “You are not allowed to sleep on the streets.”
On his show, Hannity asked Giuliani how he would have dealt with the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement if he was still mayor of New York City - to which Giuliani replied, “Well I had a rule and I enforced it as best I could and pretty effectively. The rule was: You’re not allowed to sleep on the streets. Sorry, not allowed to sleep on the streets. Streets are not for sleeping.”
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman appeared on Charlie Rose’s talk show on PBS Wednesday night to discuss the leftist-anarchist Occupy Wall Street movement against inequality. Krugman’s encomium to the movement (he recently turned down urgings by his lefty fans to speak at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan) begins around the 6 minute 45 second mark of the segment:
The Big Three networks' seeming desperation to report on "Occupy Wall Street" reached a new level on Friday, after they led their morning shows with New York City's decision to not clear the park where the protesters are camped. NBC touted how the demonstrators were "proclaiming victory" in response to the move. ABC highlighted the "celebratory" atmosphere, while CBS played up the "mood of jubilation" there.
Today show anchor Ann Curry noted that a "showdown [was] averted at the site of the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement here in New York." She then turned to correspondent Maria Schiavocampo, who reported live from Zuccotti Park, the home base of the left-leaning protesters for about a month. The correspondent immediately zeroed-in on how one could "hear the celebrations taking place behind me here as protesters are proclaiming victory in their showdown with the park's owners."