Occupy Wall Street

Friday, October 07, 2011


The world watches as Occupy Wall Street approaches its fourth week of protests in lower Manhattan and similar demonstrations pop up around the country—but this new-found media attention was slow to catch on.  Brooke speaks with Bill Dobbs, a press representative for OWS about what they are doing to generate media coverage.  Then Brooke speaks with Michael Kazin, author of American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation, about what needs to happen before protests are transformed into a movement.

Comments [21]

PumasGrin from colorado

This is priceless! The dems and leftists are in the final stages of their temper-tantrum because there is no Santa Claus. Math is a cruel teacher. Look at the sinking economies of blue states and the improving economies of red states.

Their belief systems have led them to be unable to function in realilty. Believing you are good and moral by forcing people to do something with their money that they wouldn't do with theirs is the ultimate sign of an unhinged mind. They are their own ultimate victims of the victimhood ideology they prreach.

If anybody wants real data on how this insideous group think works read Left Turn.

The primary difference between a liberal and a conservative? The liberal believes the conservative is "eviil" thus they can rarely engage in civil discourse. The conservative believes the liberal just needs the right data and they will change their view point. Both are wrong. No liberal will change their viewpoint until a life changing event because their identity is wrapped up in their world view.

Oct. 24 2011 02:00 PM
Bill Rogers from Northern California

This piece was shallow showing limited insight into who was protesting (employed, unemployed, educated, professional, students, nurses, doctors, lawyers), how many persons and locations were involved in and outside the US and how the group was behaving consistent with the peaceful non-violent view of the organizers resisting the political (police) pressures brought into play. Did the story acknowledge that the New York protesters cleaned the park removing the cited reason to disperse. The sources cited did not shed any light on the above issues. The mythical "liberal media" has made the "Tea Party" into the darlings of politics frequently covering small gatherings as though they are a citizen's majority. Little coverage of the breadth of this growing voice from the citizens who continue to suffer from our economy's near collapse. I believe these gatherings the first visible signs of those who dare to speak out against our economic/political system that has primarily benefited a small number of power brokers in the financial sector. The "Tea Party" has grown into a mainstream minority voice that has become a message machine for it's funding sources. To compare this new voice of citizen's frustrations known as Occupy Wall Street" to the "mature" and now crafted message of the "Tea Party" misses the point that there is a new growing popular voice. I suspect that those sincere frustrated individuals who organized the "Tea Party" movement might have more in common with these new protester than any coverage is acknowledging. I am old enough to remember the public anti-war demonstrations of the sixties that lead to political changes when the demonstrators did not go away and their voices were heard.

Oct. 16 2011 07:04 PM

From an analytical perspective: Most of the media I've viewed reveals a desperation to portray the Flea Party with the Tea Party. This absence of logic segues into a corrupt equivalence narrative. Why media is so afraid of empirical truth is puzzling.

Oct. 14 2011 11:41 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Since this all began, I have seen and heard that it started with a small group of college students but the first I heard of it was through Facebook postings by buddy Roger Manning, another non-Yalie alumnus of WYBC, an accomplished musician, and bicycle & instrument repairer, whom I've known since about 1979. He's far from the stereotype.

We're even old enough to recall when Dodd was a callow, spoiled youth and not surprised at Democratic hypocrites. The other Occupiers are not in their pockets, either, I'm sure!

Oct. 14 2011 10:02 AM
Edward from NJ

@TG Chicago, Nate Silver's piece compares day zero of OWS with something like day sixty of the Tea Party. The Pew stats -- sorry I couldn't find a link -- were about media coverage of early Tea Party rallies in February 2009. By the April 15 rallies, they had two months of promotion through smaller events and been adopted/co-opted by Fox News. I generally like Nate Silver's analysis but he's really comparing apples to oranges in that chart.

Oct. 12 2011 02:33 PM
TG Chicago

Brooke Gladstone said that Occupy Wall Street got more coverage early on than the Tea Party did. She cited a study from Pew. I have been looking online for that study, and I don't see it. Could you please link it?

I ask because this Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight and NYTimes provided a chart which seems to suggest otherwise:


(see the chart at the bottom)

Again, if you could please link to the study Ms. Gladstone cited, I would appreciate it.


Oct. 11 2011 05:17 PM
heather from RVA

So, is this the go to spot for agenda items, minutes etc? and is this your stated goal? - To remove corrupting influences of Wall Street money and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from Congress. From everything I have read this seems to the genesis.

Oct. 11 2011 02:02 PM

The comparison to the Tea Party will only go so far... which is to say not at all.

The Tea Party had a legitimate, well expressed set of grievances with Washington, D.C. and an outline for resolving those problems.

Occupy Wall Street has an incoherent, poorly expressed set of grievances with no remedy proposed.

Further, their grievance claims to be with Wall Street, but the Wall Street we have today is the direct result of "reform" [sic] passed by the current Democratic leadership, with the trifecta of Whites House, House and Senate majorities.

I wonder how many of these protestors remember (or even ever knew) that Senator Chris Dodd, who co-authored much of the reform, was himself the benefactor of a "sweet-heart" deal from Countrywide Financial.

Dodd's cottage in Ireland was co-owned by Edward Downe, Jr. who was a principal at Bear Stearns... the first company to implode in the financial crisis. (Downe was subsequently convicted of insider trading by the S.E.C.)

Dodd later bought out Downe's share, but reported the net worth of the cottage at $220K, not the over $1M that many observers claimed was the true value. Even after revising his submission to the Senate ethics committee, he still only reported the home's value as $658K.

How does Occupy Wall Street expect true Wall Street reform to occur if their overseers continue to be their bedfellows?

Of course, Occupy Wall Street being the construction of the AFL-CIO and other progressive groups, it apparently doesn't merit close examination by the media (or Occupy Wall Street itself!) that the faulty oversight of Wall Street is laid squarely at the feet of many senior Democratic leaders (such as Rep. Frank, who continues to head the JFSC in the house, even after failing to spot the bubble that Freddie/Fannie had largely created singlehandedly).

Oct. 10 2011 09:05 PM

It is frustrating to see the usual suspects in the media performing their predictable political square dance.
They willingly stretch credulity to glorify and ennoble a law breaking and irresponsible mob who make left-wing noises immediately after going out of their way to defame and demonize law abiding Tea Party activists who have organized political change lawfully and responsibly through the proper electoral channels.
How about just reporting the truth and let the public decide for themselves? Too often it seems the reporter has a ready made conclusion to a story and only then assembles facts to support it and ignores facts that contradict it.

Oct. 09 2011 10:22 PM
bekin from kpbs

I find the media reaction to 'Occupy Wallstreet'(OWS) a study in contrasts. The media did everything in its power to de-legitimise the 'Tea Party' by declaring them 'racists,terrorists,rightwing crackpots,astroturfed'. But the same media desperately wants to legitimise this 'movement'...not using the 'racist' slur despite the overwhelming caucasian make up of 'OWS',they dont call them violent despite some very inflammatory slogans and they refuse to mention the far left groups present at these rallys(communists,marxists,socialists,anarchists,etc.).OWS has every right to protest in whatever form they see fit.effective or self defeating..its their choice. I may not agree with them(I very much do not),but i see their (misguided)point. But i dont need the media to tell me which protests are fashionable and which are not.

Oct. 09 2011 09:35 PM

Sssh... if you're very, very quiet, you can hear the silence that is Nancy Pelosi calling Occupy Wall Street "fabricated astroturf" "orchestrated" by George Soros and the AFL-CIO.

Oct. 09 2011 08:14 PM

GLADSTONE: In the Tea Party, you had all of this anger going into the ether. It didn't really matter if the facts were right or wrong.

Comparisons of Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party might be tenuous but it's obvious why journalists seek to find parallels. That said, it's not an opportunity for drive-by partisan jabs.

Ms. Gladstone's statement reduces to: the difference between Occupy Wall Street was that the Tea Party was angry, possibly even hateful, misinformed and misguided.

Isn't this piece about Occupy Wall Street, and not about undermining the legitimacy of the Tea Party?

And didn't Ms. Gladstone just reassure us last Winter how unbiased [sic] public radio is?

Or is On The Media "the exception that proves the rule"?

If I didn't have Ms. Gladstone's word to go on, I'd have to say that the above comment sounds a lot like a partisan dig.

Oct. 09 2011 08:07 PM
Salvatore Principato from New York City

FYI Brooke Gladstone
Rep. Peter King explains it best the impact of the #occupy wall st. so far:

“We have to be careful not to allow this to get any legitimacy,” he said, adding “I’m taking this seriously in that I’m old enough to remember what happened in the 1960s when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy. We can’t allow that to happen.”

Oct. 09 2011 06:16 PM
Salvatore Principato from New York City

If Brooke Gladstone doesn't get the message of #occupy wall street it says much more about her journalistic acumen then it says about the protest.
Put simply: The agenda of the finance and corporate sectors is not the agenda of the average American. Working and middle class are so under attack where does one start? firstly you identify the problem then through democratic processes you come up with solutions. DUH!

Oct. 09 2011 01:40 PM
chicat from texas

If you want to fix the problem then first agree on what it is.
Global corps have stolen our ability to compete in our own local markets. To fix this demand the SEC define the limiting codes under which anyone can sell their stuff. Fixed! Fairness in market ownership is bbbbbbaaaaaack!No more "monopoly of market ownership" VOILA! WELCOME HOME MOM AND POP!! GOODBYE ALL THE BIG BOXES!!

Global corporations are using our military to steal other nations raw materials and resources and it is being called a "war on terror". First disavow yourself of the lies. Second DEMAND NATIONAL AND CIVIL SOVEREIGNTY ACROSS THE GLOBE! Stop funding a privatized military and demand all aspects of it operate under the DEFENSE, LEMME REPEAT THIS DEFENSE, NO ONE MORE TIME 'DEFENSE' DEPARTMENT! Not run roughshod over the poor and brown with privatized military contractors in order to steal their goodies(mining, guns, oil, drugs, labor,) and other raw materials.

DEMAND any goods coming to the U.S. debark on american shores where our longshoremen will happily unload them, and our truckers will transport. Yeah ya wanna sell your cheap crap here? Well well we think maybe you need to pay a duty on it before it gets to your shelves. Yes, that duty will be used to maintain market fairness in ownership as well as in access.

See how simple it really is? Just a couple of twists and voila, America is bbbbaaaaccckkk!

It goes to the issue of national and civil sovereignty, but not just america, globally. I know, how weird could i be preferring to actually purchase at a fair price from other nations what we need rather than bombing them or using unmanned drones to poison and kill them.

They do not want you to know how easily we can turn this screw the other way!

Oct. 09 2011 11:11 AM
Ed from NYC

Bill Dobbs - from ACT UP to OWS - is he simply a professional provocateur?

Oct. 09 2011 10:12 AM

NPR calling another media outlet a political house organ?
Private pot meet government subsidized kettle with a conflict of interest.

Oct. 08 2011 07:12 PM
Mark Read from Brooklyn

What a snarky, dismissive, patronizing piece of crap. As if there are no ideas here. Wall Street? "We are the 99"? What do you think its about? Baseball? This is an organic and very real expression of outrage at the unaccountability of Wall Street and the corrupting influence it has on our political process. If Brooke had spoken to more than one person she could have found that out. Its I guess I shouldn't be surprised, considering it took 3 weeks for NPR to even cover the story at all.

Oct. 08 2011 11:09 AM

Don't these protests appear wholly unoriginal and banal complete with the hazy Marxist incoherence that only the left leaning media can swoon over regardless of the law breaking that is committed?
After three years of the vicious defamation of the consistently law abiding Tea Party which has been proven prescient in their warnings about the economy, doesn't the news media seem to give every benefit of the doubt to Occupy Wall Street tantrums? Doesn't the media dutifully avert their eyes from the disturbing speech, menacing actions and just the laughable stupidity of iPhone using protesters outraged over corporations, issuing demands for free stuff and demanding green jobs while leaving execrable filth in their wake?
Has anyone asked why the tone of the protest is curiously uninterested in the role our President and his party played in this economic quagmire as they parrot Obama's class warfare lectures from his billion dollar campaign tour? As the protesters chant the old 1960's chestnut 'the whole world is watching," will any journalist covering them care to "follow the money" behind these protests? Will this "movement" by some coincidence increase in intensity as the President's approval ratings decrease in an election year?

Oct. 08 2011 10:52 AM
Oolong from Philly PA

To be the "revolution" you have to challenge the establishment.

These "99 percent" seem to support today's incumbant president.

So that makes them, the "99", supporters of the establishment leader.

The rebellion will seek to oust the current leader via the next election.

Oct. 07 2011 10:47 PM
David from NJ

Interesting story. Thanks.

You know, when you were looking hard at the Tea Party there was a strong examination of potential racism on the part of these middle-aged white Americans. Perhaps you could call on Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Centrer and have him examine the Occupy Wall Streeters, too:


Oct. 07 2011 07:16 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.