NY Times, NPR News Exec, Mother Jones’ Dismissal of Occupy Wall Street Bespeaks An Out of Touch Left Press
The New York Times, NPR, Mother Jones apparently would rather be dismissive of, than have the audacity to engage young, disenfranchised Americans.
In week two, Occupy Wall Street is finally receiving some attention from the mainstream media, yet as the protest continues, the coverage from major outlets whose documentation of social movements in the past has been keen is dismissive, even disparaging.
On Monday, The New York Times published a piece by Ginia Bellafonte entitled “Gunning For Wall Street, With Faulty Aim,” which derided the protesters for using Apple computers, and called them “a diffuse and leaderless convocation of activists.”
Diffuse or diversified? Leaderless or democratic? The arab spring did not have a singular leader, nor did it occur in one place, but it received major attention in a positive light from the Times, NPR, and Mother Jones.
Although Bellafonte ends the piece by saying that the protesters “richly” deserve attention, she juxtaposes this by calling attention to a single protest sign in a snide tone. The only other Times coverage of the protests has been centered on certain members of the NYPD acting cruelly and crudely.
However, the Times isn’t the only unsupportive outlet. Executive editor of news at NPR, Dick Meyer, explained his decision to ignore the Occupy Wall Street protests by saying, “The recent protests on Wall Street did not involve large numbers of people, prominent people, a great disruption or an especially clear objective.”
Meyer is dead wrong. Cornell West isn’t prominent? Please. Roseanne Barr isn’t prominent? Noam Chomsky isn’t prominent? Do you live under a rock? Michael Moore is even on boat now. Meyer’s claim is a frankly infuriating case of non-acceptance, which is rife within the liberal media concerning Occupy Wall Street.
To be fair, last night NPR’s “All Things Considered” did a story on Occupy Wall Street, but only after commenters urged the outlet to do so. Meyer’s remarks are still ill-informed and disconcerting.
Even the decidedly more liberal Mother Jones has been critical rather than supportive of the protests. In an article entitled “Why #occupywallstreet Isn’t Working“, MoJo’s Lauren Ellis took issue with the protest organizers call for support prior to establishment of a clear objective – which she claims is why police brutality has taken the spotlight, for Anonymous allegedly making the objective “fuzzier” (she also said it’s hard to take “accountability-seeking populists” who wear Guy Fawkes masks seriously), and for a lack of diversity in the crowd.
First of all, instead of wondering what the clinching demand is, why not recognize that a demand is futile without momentum to support it? Secondly, criticizing Anonymous for not focusing its efforts in one place exhibits a misunderstanding of how the entity, which is not centric for reasons implicit in its design, functions. The ills of society aren’t going to stop, so why should Anonymous stop fighting them?
Something is happening, but you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mother Jones?
Yesterday the Times published an opinion piece, “Whatever Happened to the American Left?” that makes no mention of #Occupywallstreet except in the caption of the picture that goes along with the article, which reads “A protester at the recent demonstrations around wall street.”
Perhaps the American left went away because media outlets have gotten too up their own ass to recognize a bunch of earnest kids fighting for change the only way they know how: by acting. Finding oneself takes action and it is confusing, especially in these times.
They don’t need a leader or a singular message to get out in the street and express themselves. That they’re out there is significant and inspiring in and of itself.