Citing a poll showing that 51 percent of Americans have heard of the Wall Street protests, CNN's American Morning co-hosts lobbed some compliments toward the protesters on Tuesday. Co-host Christine Romans made sure to emphasize that "the movement is really resonating."
This is the same network that has been following the protests for weeks and speculating if they will become the liberal version of the Tea Party. In contrast, CNN featured some controversial coverage of the original Tea Parties back in 2009, and anchor Anderson Cooper even employed an obscene term to describe them.
Toward the end of Tuesday's 7 a.m. hour, CNN's Ali Velshi praised the persistence of the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd and credited them for making their protests "unignorable." Romans followed by touting their influence.
"I thought it was very interesting that more people know about 'Occupy Wall Street' than the Fed chief. You know?" Romans posed to her colleagues. "I mean, it just shows you how the movement is really resonating."
In the next hour, Velshi gave a soft interview to one of the "occupiers," where he thanked the protester at the end for "articulating your cause so well."
"I think that's – that's a great description of some of the frustration that people are feeling," he told protestor Priscilla Grim, co-editor of the "We Are the 99 Percent" blog, after quoting from the blog. Velshi asked her what she thought of the criticisms of the movement and of its coverage by the mainstream media.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on October 11 at 7:53 a.m. EDT, is as follows:
CHRISTINE ROMANS: This morning's "Roman's Numeral," the number in the news today. The number is 49 percent.
CAROL COSTELLO: Um. Um. The number of men in the world.
ALI VELSHI: That's good. That's a good guess.
ROMANS: Actually, it's a lot of different things. But it's actually, today it's the percentage of people who say they have never heard of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. Right? That's according to the ORC International poll, which means 51 percent have. Right? More than half have. If you're wondering how this compares to other things, say, the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, a poll last month found that 42 percent knew of him, had an opinion of the Fed chief. So more people know –
VELSHI: – of "Occupy Wall Street?"
ROMANS: So more people know of the Fed chief.
VELSHI: And the Occupy Wall Street people will tell you that the only reason 49 percent of people know it is because they feel that a lot of mainstream media has avoided the issue.
ROMANS: They've been after you a little bit about that, haven't they?
VELSHI: Yes. We haven't avoided the issue. And I got a tweet three minutes ago saying why aren't you covering the arrest in Boston. And I felt like saying, well why don't you watch our TV show because we actually are. So a lot of people just tweet that they hate the mainstream media, even though the mainstream media is covering this quite effectively.
And credit to the "Occupy Wall Street" folks, they've been going on so long about this, that it's unignorable.
COSTELLO: I thought it was very interesting that more people know about "Occupy Wall Street" than the Fed chief. You know? I mean, it just shows you how the movement is really resonating.