October 18, 2011

A Protest the Media Can Love

Justin Katz

After a decade of blogging, the hunt for mainstream media bias gives me about the same thrill as finding three-leaf clovers. Even so, the Providence Journal's front page declaration in its Sunday edition took me back a bit:

"The voice of the masses"? Since Sunday, multiple polls have emerged suggesting that it just ain't so. From The Hill:

The movement appears to have struck a chord with progressive voters, but it does not seem to represent the feelings of the wider public.

The Hill poll found that only one in three likely voters blames Wall Street for the country's financial troubles, whereas more than half — 56 percent — blame Washington.

And again from USA Today/Gallup:

When asked whom they blame more for the poor economy, 64% of Americans name the federal government and 30% say big financial.

78% say Wall Street bears a great deal or a fair amount of blame for the economy; 87% say the same about Washington.

We've been hearing a lot about the supposed ideological overlap between the Occupy movement and the Tea Party, but actual poll results from "the masses" seem to trend more toward the latter than the former when the question moves toward whom to blame and (more importantly) where to focus efforts for change. Indeed, describing his own poll-based research, Douglas Schoen describes the Occupiers as follows:

Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn't represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda.

But all of these results were released after the Providence Journal decided what narrative to append to the Occupy Providence event, so perhaps the size of the crowd put the group in the Projo's "masses" category. Of course, recalling that the Projo estimated the initial Tea Party rally at twice the size, one would expect objective news reports to apply the same narrative, right? Well, no:

And of course, in the case of Occupy Providence, the "masses" were assisted by a free front page advertisement in the state's paper of record on the morning of the event:

Surely, to achieve even greater attendance, the Tea Party must have had a similar courtesy. Umm...

The kid in me would like nothing more than to head down to the Providence Journal newsroom to test out the echo.

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Are you really surprised Justin? These "Occupy" phonies that hate Wall Street and corporations all have iphones. Apple has more cash than the US govt. This is a movement of boredom. The "Progressives" need something to whine about in between their $4.00 lattes and text messaging. The lamestream media (AKA ProJo) yearns for the days of the SDS and people like Ira Magaziner taking over buildings and Brown Shirt University. This movement will collapse like Hussein Obama's economic plan.

Posted by: ANTHONY at October 18, 2011 8:09 PM

As Anthony said. For much of living memory it has been as the Projo has behaved. Pick up a copy of Tom Wolfe's "Radical Chic, or Mau Mauing the Flak Catchers". Read about the party Leonard Bernstein, and other limousine liberals, gave for the Black Panthers. Search the archives and find laudable articles about the SDS and their Adirondack Convention (not sure I got that name right).

Posted by: Warrington Faust at October 18, 2011 8:46 PM

The Occupods still don't have a set of defined "wishes". Kind of makes you want to cheer:

What do we want?
"We don't know!"

When do we want it?

Posted by: MGP at October 18, 2011 9:33 PM

When I hear the term "mainstream media" I immediately think of Fox News, World Nut Daily, Pat Robertson's 700 club, WPRO, Mike Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill Oreilly and the uncontested leader of the "American Conservative Movement"...The serial adulterer, drug addict, and draft-dodging chicken-hawk coward Rush Limbaugh, a right-wing-nut scum-bag who refused to fight for his country, in a time of war,

Posted by: Sammy in Arizona at October 18, 2011 9:34 PM

Sammy in Arizona blathered: "The serial adulterer, drug addict, and draft-dodging chicken-hawk coward Rush Limbaugh, a right-wing-nut scum-bag who refused to fight for his country, in a time of war,"

Sammy, you pretty much just described every Democrat politician from the past 30 years. Why focus so hard on Limbaugh?

Posted by: MGP at October 18, 2011 9:36 PM

Gosh Justin,it makes me want to go down there and lead a rousing chorus of "Itchycoo Park".

"It's all too beautiful,it's all too beautiful... they all come out to grooove about,be nice and have fun in the sun..."

Peace baby. Groovey.


Posted by: helen at October 18, 2011 11:10 PM

Hey Sammy,,,,,who's your daddy? Is it Che? How about Mao?... Maybe Cesar Chavez....5th column media?....Oh damn...you live in that hell hole of a country the USA don't you. What a baaaad place..........can't protest without a hassle unlike your revered China where a tank might run your a$$ over while you hold up your clever sign.

Posted by: ANTHONY at October 19, 2011 12:03 AM

But there's an app for that...


Who said these protests wouldn't produce anything?

Posted by: Max Diesel at October 19, 2011 6:13 AM

I'm looking for a copy of Alinsky's Rules for Radicals,just to get a clue.

Posted by: helen at October 19, 2011 6:44 AM

Helen, thank you. I couldn't remember the name "Itchycoo Park". All I could recall was:

"What will we do there?
we'll get high there

What will we touch there
We'll touch the sky there

It's all so beautiful"

I have also noticed that, in some videos, they seemed to be costumed in a 60's vein. At least, what they imagine that to be.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at October 19, 2011 6:18 PM


Glad you remembered or took time to look it up.
Yes,I've noticed the fakey sixties garb too. I've see videos on youtube of "Hair" in which the costumes had little resemblance to what people actually wore then.

What I've noticed most about the garb today is that it is so drab and institutional looking,even though they try to be individualistic. It's just so dull looking for the most part,so dreary.

Posted by: helen at October 21, 2011 9:25 PM
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