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.
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.
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:
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):
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):
If you don't hear much about the Iranian mob which stormed the British embassy earlier today in future news reports, you can probably at least partially blame the Associated Press, which considers the event so unimportant that it's not even part of its main U.S. site's top ten world stories as of 10:25 p.m. (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes).
For those who are curious as to the identification of the ten stories considered more important, here they are:
The Big Three network morning shows on Monday all reported on the possible showdown between Occupy L.A. protesters and the LAPD. NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show highlighted that the left-leaning demonstrators held a "block party" as they defied law enforcement. All three media outlets also played up the supposedly "peaceful" nature of the protest, while ignoring other media reports of violence.
On Saturday's Good Morning America, ABC's Ron Claiborne claimed that "unlike other cities, the ['Occupy'] protests there in L.A. have been peaceful." However, Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times noted in a November 5, 2011 article that "police were called to two violent incidents at Occupy Los Angeles on Friday, adding to questions about the protest and its future."
At the Associated Press this afternoon, reporter Ben Nuckols opened his report on the completion of Occupy Wall Street's "Occupy the HIghway" march thusly: "Drenched, blistered and weary, a few dozen Occupy Wall Street protesters arrived Tuesday in the nation's capital after a two-week, 240-mile march from Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan."
Anyone reading Nuckols's opening statement would believe that at least 24 marchers completed the entire journey (I'd say 36, but the dictionary defines a "few" as "not many but more than one"). Actually, that's not the case, as readers who somehow endure the intervening insipidness learn when they get to the report's seventh and eighth paragraphs:
Give John Nolte a gold star. In a Friday post at BigJournalism.com entitled "Panicked AP Attempts to Memory-Hole Democrats’ #Occupy Endorsements," Nolte latched onto the beginnings of the establishment press's desperate attempt to distance President Obama and the Democratic Party from the rapidly devolving Occupy movement.
The disingenously headlined item Nolte caught, apparently from an earlier report ("Democrats see minefield in Occupy protests") appeared via Beth Fouhy on Thursday at the Associated Press, which yours truly has often taken to naming the Administration's Press. Later, as seen here, a revised version came in with this howler of a headline: "Wary Democrats keep distance from Occupy protests," while the calculated attempt to create separation in the article's text got even worse. First, excerpts from Nolte's post (bolds are mine; links were in original):
Shades of "Special Comment"! In a rant worthy of Keith Olbermann at the height of his Miss Precious Perfect histrionics, Mika Brezinski began today's Morning Joe by tearing into Newt Gingrich for his recent suggestion that Occupy protestors should "get a job, right after you take a bath."
It wasn't merely Mika's words: "arrogant, disgusting, sickened." So strongly ran Brzezinski's rage that more than once her voice quavered and she seemed on some sort of emotional brink. Video after the jump.
You can't make this up: The ever-careful Essential Global News Network known as the Associated Press actually believed that a guy who has been on a DC sports show for several football seasons impersonating Christopher Walken was actually Christopher Walken.
After excerpting several paragraphs from AP's unbylined (naturally) mea culpa (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), I'll explain why this snafu really isn't particularly surprising:
This one's utterly predictable, but still needs to be noted.
As Edwin Mora at CNS News reported on Wednesday, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, after a Congressional Progressive Caucus-sponsored event at the Capitol, “when asked to comment ... about the deaths and crimes that have occurred around Occupy protests being held across the country, … said 'that’s life and it happens.'" What's also happened, or actually not happened, is that the Associated Press and the New York Times have failed to note what Waters said, as shown in the following search results on her first name at AP and on her full name (not in quotes) at the Times:
For a guy Al Sharpton introduced as a "warrior for the 99%," Alan Grayson's got a weird way of showing it.
One of the richest members of Congress--till his constituents showed him the door in 2010--on Sharpton's MSNBC show this evening liberal Dem Grayson twice described the 99% as "sheep." Video after the jump.
At the Associated Press this afternoon, White House Correspondent Ben Feller relayed the essence of a statement by Obama administration spokesman Jay Carney about how the President believes that, in Feller's words, "it's up to New York and other municipalities to decide how much force to use in dealing with Occupy Wall Street demonstrations." Feller failed to mention both the President's previous endorsement of the goals of the Occupy protesters, and his inexcusable silence as the encampments have devolved into disease-infested swamps of criminal and antisocial behavior. How convenient.
Blogger John at Verum Serum has unmasked yet another instance where initial claims by "leaders" at an Occupy site claiming non-involvement with crime fell apart after a short while. Even worse, after his post went up, a subsequent report on the same incident a few hours later scrubbed the truth to again make Occupiers appear not culpable .
After the jump, readers will see the initial and then revised stories about what happened at Occupy Orlando on Monday, each via Local TV station "News 13."
According to Rick Hampson in what is apparently an analysis piece in Monday's USA Today, the Occupy movement has a violent "fringe," which constitutes just a "fraction" of those involved.
Well, he's right about it being a "fraction," except that said fraction is a lot larger than he apparently believes. The USAT writer also attempts to perpetuate the Occupy Oakland myth that its November 2 "non-violent 'general strike'" was absolutely peaceful until "some masked anarchists broke off from the main protest." Here is some of Hampson's harrumphing:
I went to the Associated Press last night to see what the self-described Essential Global News Network would have to say about the murder which took place in Oakland on Thursday afternoon "near" that city's increasingly disgusting and dangerous "Occupy" camp.
Here's what I found, as written by Terry Collins (the report has since been updated and its 7:07 a.m. today version is saved here, but the paragraph which follows was also present last night; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Today's liberals would have you believe they occupy the moral high ground on every political and cultural issue. But have you ever taken inventory of their double standards?
The left's inconsistency in applying their principles based on the party affiliation of those they're judging, gives fuller meaning to the concept of moral relativism. The only thing that's consistent is their reliable inconsistency, whether in the area of economic, social or national defense issues.
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."
According to an unbylined Associated Press report out of Atlanta tonight, when police move in to arrest members of a crowd which won't move when ordered to move, they "swarm." Nice insect comparison, eh? And in case readers didn't get the negative connotation the first time, the AP report used the word again in its final paragraph.
Here are several paragraphs from the report, including an unchallenged reference to Martin Luther King's "Poor People's Campaign" by the "Rev." Jesse Jackson (bolds are mine):
As he accumulates his "Occupy Rap Sheet" over at BigJournalism.com, John Nolte has made some excellent points about the nature of the press's coverage which should not be missed. His incident count is up to 151. It will certainly grow based on more recent events which haven't yet made it to his compilation (this is just a sample): A $10 million arson arrest in Fort Collins, Colorado (really; HT The Other McCain); pushing a 78 year-old woman down a flight of stairs (she required a hospital visit); and a lack of basic safety so pervasive at Zuccotti park, the headquarters of the "movement, that "protesters put up (a) women-only tent to prevent sexual assaults."
Nolte's count is clearly an understatement of all that is actually happening. He also notes that the nature of the press's coverage serves to understate the disorder- and violence-based inclinations of the Occupiers (internal link is in original; bolds are mine):
NPR's Philip Reeves slanted towards the Occupy Wall Street on Wednesday's All Things Considered as he played up the "huge outcry" over St. Paul Cathedral in London's dispute with the left-leaning movement, which has an encampment outside its doors. Reeves spotlighted a local official who "called St. Paul's a 'national laughing stock,'" and omitted sound bites from the opponents of the movement.
Host Guy Raz noted in his introduction to the correspondent's report how St. Paul's was a "national treasure" associated with Churchill's funeral and the wedding of Charles and Diana, and continued that it was now "the backdrop for another kind of drama: a protest camp modeled on the Occupy Wall Street movement. NPR's Philip Reeves says it's causing upheaval in the heart of British society."
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. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Turns out there’s one union the New York Times is not totally enamored with: The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, New York City’s largest police union. Saturday’s front page featured a hostile anti-police story by N.R. Kleinfield and John Eligon related to charges of wide-spread ticket-fixing, “Officers Unleash Vitriol as Peers Are Charged in Ticket-Fixing.”
The reporters didn't seem all that concerned about presumption of innocence, either:
The liberal media have spent the month of October enthusing over the left-wing “Occupy” protests, richly rewarding the anti-capitalist movement with the oxygen of national publicity. The broadcast networks, in particular, have boosted the protests as “growing” and “resonating,” and cast the participants as more than just a radical fringe group, but drawn “from all walks of life, young and old, male and female.”
The MRC has pulled together quotes showing these trends, as documented in the October 17 and October 31 editions of our Notable Quotables newsletter (available in full at www.MRC.org). The most obnoxious examples:
Another NPR freelancer has been fired for activism at an Occupy rally. On Gawker, Caitlin Curran laments she was canned from 20 hours a week producing for the public radio talk show The Takeway (co-produced by Public Radio International and WNYC Radio in New York, and supported in part by the taxpayers through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.)
Unlike Lisa Simeone, who served in a very official capacity as a public-relations flack for “Occupy DC,” Curran held up a sign in the Occupy Wall Street march in Times Square on October 15. The plan was for her husband to hold the sign, but she was also photographed with it and posted it to her personal Twitter account. It drew blog kudos – which was her undoing.
The thrust of the New York Times’s coverage of the violence in Oakland begs the question: When even the left-wing magazine Mother Jones reports of police in Oakland being assaulted with eggs, glass, and vinegar, what is the “objective” Times excuse for virtually ignoring the protester violence?
Yet Jesse McKinley and Malia Wollan’s report from the “Occupy Oakland” protests Friday focused not on the anti-cop violence, but on a military veteran hit in the head by a projectile and the outpouring of sympathy from all the suddenly staunch pro-military people at the Oakland encampment: “Outrage Over Veteran Injured at ‘Occupy’ Protest.”
On Wednesday, liberal talk radio host Randi Rhodes found nothing wrong with Occupy Oakland protesters throwing rocks and bottles at police (and even Mother Jones confirms that). She seemed to ignore reality entirely, asking “If you conservatives are so against class warfare, why are the cops using warfare tactics against peaceful demonstrators?”
Some may have been peaceful, but the police didn’t fight back because the protesters were all “peaceful.” But Rhodes was on a roll: “Why warfare? Why rubber bullets or any kind of bullets? Why tear gas or any kind of gas? What is the justification for throwing these, uh, concussion bombs at women -- and children? I don't get it!”
The reason Oakland, California, "one of the most left-wing cities in America" has attempted to disband the Occupy movement there is all the crime and violence fostered by the radicals running the squatter camps. Yet the media put the police on the defensive rather than report on the illegal activities of Occupy Oakland protesters, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell observed during the "Media Mash" segment of the October 27 edition of "Hannity."
Fox News host Sean Hannity agreed and added that the media persistently tried to paint Tea Party demonstrators as extreme while reporting "hardly a peep" about the rampant anti-Semitism and political extremism as the Occupy protests. [watch the full segment's video below the page break]