The New York Times celebrated the one year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street in a fashion that vindicates former Public Editor Arthur Brisbane's concern that the paper celebrates left-wing movements like Occupy "more like causes than news subjects."
First was Sunday's "Dear Bankers: Thanks for Wrecking Our Lives..." by Mark Greif, the founding editor of n+1 magazine and editor of “The Trouble Is the Banks: Letters to Wall Street." His article in the Times featured illustrations by Mike McQuade of letters written to the big bad banks. Greif introduced the letters:
A group of people who had attended an anarchist book fair in Manhattan later marched to a nearby Starbucks on Saturday night and began swinging at the windows with metal pipes, as frightened customers hid under tables, the police said.
The New York Times continues to treat toublemakers at Occupy Wall Street as a fringe minority, but the Tea Party was "responsible for the behavior of people" at their rallies.
Sunday’s Metro section led with an above-the-fold look at the state of Occupy Wall Street as winter approaches from reporters Cara Buckley and Colin Moynihan, “A Protest Reaches a Crossroads.” They briefly noted the violence and criminal behavior at Zuccotti Park while providing plenty of room for excuse-making on the part of OWS, something reporter Kate Zernike most assuredly did not do for the Tea Party in her 2010 book on the movement, “Boiling Mad." Instead, Zernike suggested the entire movement should hold itself responsible for unsubstantiated allegations of racial slurs at a rally.
Occupy Wall Street, the floating leftist protest in Manhattan that’s camped out in downtown Manhattan in an endless protest against...something, attempted to migrate to Brooklyn this weekend, blocking vehicle traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge and resulting in mass arrests.
The New York Times, whose attitude toward Tea Party rallies was invariably hostile, blasted support throughout the weekend for the vague leftist “occupation” of Wall Street and the Brooklyn Bridge. Sunday’s National section picked up on the arrests: “About 500 Arrested as Demonstrators Try to Cross Brooklyn Bridge” by Al Baker and Colin Moynihan, with additional reporting by Natasha Lennard and William Rashbaum (Lennard will play a role later).
Is the right to blame for everything, even 9-11 Truthers?
New York Times Metro reporter Colin Moynihan botched some basic politics in his Friday metro section tribute to a leftist journalist and radio host, "At an On-Air Haven for Dissent, a Voice Is Silenced." Text box: "Taking a stand against 9/11 conspiracy theories."
Moynihan, who has made a cottage industry of issuing flattering coverage of prominent radical leftists, from domestic terrorist William Ayers to convicted terrorist-aiding lawyer Lynne Stewart, was covering the case of Bill Weinberg, a local radio host. Weinberg was fired from left-wing WBAI for accusing his hosts of "promoting fringe right-wing commentators and conspiracy theories claiming that the United States government was behind the destruction of the World Trade Center."
One problem: The so-called Truther movement is identified with the hard left, not the right. That may help explain why the Times has dealt with it in almost flattering fashion the few times that it has covered the subject at all. Most notorious was reporter Alan Feuer’s June 5, 2006 piece from a Truther convention in Chicago.
Bill Ayers made a visit to the Chelsea neighborhood of NYC to talk about radical education reform, and New York Times Metro reporter Colin Moynihan portrayed the domestic terrorist as a mild-mannered liberal in the misleadingly headlined Monday story "Ex-Radical Talks of Education and Justice, Not Obama."
When did Ayers become an "ex-radical"? He hasn't repudiated any of his views or acts of violence from the period in which he led the Weather Underground in bombing the Pentagon and other government buildings.
Over the last several months, as pundits and partisans have debated the significance of his relationship with Senator Barack Obama, William Ayers has avoided the limelight, steering clear of political commentary and public pronouncements.
But on Sunday afternoon, Mr. Ayers, 63, a founder of the 1960s-era radical group the Weather Underground, a former fugitive, former Chicago Citizen of the Year and current professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, appeared without fanfare at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, in Chelsea, to participate in a symposium on educational justice.
In 1995, Mr. Ayers held a fund-raiser for Mr. Obama, who was running for a seat in the Illinois State Senate. The two men later served together on the boards of two Chicago philanthropic groups as well as on the board of an education reform organization. The two men have been described as friendly, but not close.