The Tea Party vs. Occupy Wall Street

Friday, October 14, 2011


The media have drawn a lot of comparisons between the nascent "Occupy" protests and the Tea Party. But the Tea Party–or parts of it–objects to that comparison.  Brooke spoke to Politico’s Ken Vogel, who says some members of the Tea Party have launched a media campaign against Occupy Wall Street.

Comments [14]

Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

This movement is 'grass roots' in the sense that it springs from the grass roots of campus quads. The Tea Partiers scared Democrats because the people at their rallies weren't particularly 'political' in the sense of being veterans of demonstrations. I'd guess the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations include a much higher proportion of people who are already 'activists' on the Left. That's why I don't think the Republicans are as scared of this group, and why the Democrats are hedging about how overtly to support them.

Oct. 21 2011 01:07 PM
Patrick ONeill from Tucson, AZ

I would love to see OTM cover the firing of Lisa Simone and NPR's rush to placate the right.,0,939396.story

I know that when they call for donations now I tell them I don't contribute any more, they should look for donations from conservatives - that is their new target audience.

Oct. 20 2011 02:00 PM

GLADSTONE: Last week we likened the Progressive Populist protests now collectively known as the Occupation to its anti-government analogue the Tea Party. But the Tea Party or parts of it objects to the comparison.

Wow. Really? Spend less time thinking up clever alliteration and more time reading listener comments...

It's not just the Tea Party. The majority of comments here:

thought your comparison was misguided and an intellectually dishonest narrative trying to garner legitimacy for a largely incoherent movement.

So what are you saying? That everyone who commented on that piece was a shill for the Tea Party?

How can you all be so tone-deaf?

Oct. 18 2011 09:26 PM

But fourth and finally, there are these emails included in Big Government’s document drop of emails exchanged by leaders of the Occupy Wall Street movement that make it clear that MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan has been directly involved with the group, including helping them to draft statements and offering revisions to a statement David DeGraw might later discuss on NBC News with Brian Williams. You can Scroll to the bottom of this particular email from David DeGraw to view this passage:

Why not cover that OBVIOUS media story? Isn't that a violation of journalistic ethics? Doesn't that lack of disclosure by Ratigan disqualify him as a trustworthy journalist covering the Occupy movement? And as has been reported elsewhere, if you go to Big Government and Big Journalism’s doc drop and do a search for “demands,” you’ll find that the topic of the OWS demands has been long discussed in emails, including with significant input from Matt Taibbi and other would be journalists. Sounds kind of like the JOURNOLIST scandal.

But you guys never did cover that story…

Oct. 18 2011 12:06 PM

I'm kind of amazed at the lack of self-reflection that OTM is showing with regard to Occupy Wall Street. So the right is using the same tactics to delegitimize OWS as the left used. You could call that analysis. But:

First, there is the amount of press you're giving this story. Even as you seek to compare the Tea Party and OWS as movements, your program – it IS about the media, right? – has shown a huge disparity. As I look at my ipod the top story these last two weeks is Occupy Wall Street. And it's pretty positive!

Second, the there is the Glenn Beck opening actuality. Over the top? Yes. But who heard this? Almost nobody has GBTV. (Now that WOULD be an interesting media story, what Beck is trying to do with GBTV, start a network with Rokus, etc, but I suspect you don't have the stomach for that. But what MANY people heard was Diane Sawyer's over the top comment about OWS – and SHE has an editor! Why not use that:

"Speaking of Wall Street, we thought we’d bring you up to date on those protesters, the Occupy Wall Street movement. As of tonight, it has spread to more than 250 American cities, more than a thousand countries — every continent but Antarctica."

Third, you're story here really isn't on the media and THIS movement, but your analysis is… about the Tea Party!! Where was your media coverage of what all of those did in the media to delegitimize the Tea Party? Yeesh.

Oct. 18 2011 12:06 PM
Joellyn from Los Angeles

I heard an NPR interview this weekend with aTea Party activist (did not get anyone's name) who said that they were actively going to target and try to undernine the OWS protesters. The Tea Party person went on to claim that Occupy Wall Street has received many times more media coverage than the Tea Party and that it has been slanted in their favor. He admitted that the Tea Party has operatives at many of the OWS rallies and marches to document and record "incidences" of "violence", or other actions that could depict the OWS protesters in a negative light. The NPR (first name Brooke, I think) interviewer seemed to be very supportive of this Tea Party person, and did not call him on any of his statements, some of which were false. If anyone else heard this interview, would you please send me a link to it? I haven't been able to find it on the NPR website.

Oct. 17 2011 02:23 PM

I wonder how the authorities would react if people at OWS brandished firearms the way they were brandished at tea party events?

Oct. 16 2011 09:44 PM

At the start the Tea baggers were on the news being cleared from Council Meetings for being disruptive. The Tea Party has been co-opted by the Popes and Koch brothers types. They don't have to be disruptive they have a House of Congress. The original on the ground Tea Baggers may have more in common with the DWS crowd then they know.
My take is the RICH got bailed out and the working people got laid off. What I see of the Tea Party now is to protect the RICH billionaires and for those that work to pay more with less. I have no problem with those on Wall Street being millionaires or billionaires but why does the government finds the funds to protect from their mistakes and the working people in the middle and bottom that were just doing their job are told tough to bad.

Oct. 16 2011 06:14 PM
Robert Silverman from New york city

I would refer people to on line alternatives to what is commonly called the Mainstream Media. where accounts of the OWS movement are essentially more fair and accurate than is reported here. The latest from described the free clinic, library and sanitation units that have been autonomously (and yes contributed to it by donations from SEIU and nurses etc.) created to begin what seems to be the beginnings of a real alternative political movement. (It has spread all over the world.. something that the TP never did.) Also not mentioned by the Politico article which spent most of the copy on the assertions of the reactionary Right ,was the total funding from Dick Armey's front group Freedom Works) and Koch industries and fanned into instant "credability" by FOX "NEWS" This echo chamber which dumbs down 40% of the American people seems never to be included as part of what is called "mainstream" You owe your listeners better information than the "sting" to uncover alleged deception was itself a monumental deception and destroyed a useful program for the poor ..yet again

Oct. 16 2011 01:17 PM
Toby from metro Atlanta

She said O'Keeffe did a 'sting' on NPR but he actually deceptively edited footage to create the illusion of 'a sting'. People lost their jobs at NPR because it is too eager to be in the middle; when lots of people get out of touch with reality, NPR acts obligated to become representative of that disconnect so as not to offend. It's a perversion of journalism, it's normal.
-there are exceptions, like when NPR supported the invasion of Iraq with the fear that it would punished by the US government under special war-time rules (light treason etc.) or punished by those who were fooled by the invasion false-propaganda. Anyway; there was no sting... NPR got played by a guy with some bad views, big time, and Gladstone carried on the delusion with her comment.

Oct. 16 2011 11:18 AM

Yeah, the TEA Party had a consistent message from the beginning. They were against taxes, and against the deficit. Because of course lowering taxes also lowers the deficit. Perfectly consistent, under conservative bizarro-logic.

Oct. 15 2011 03:18 PM

What goes unmentioned is that before the Tea Party "launched a media campaign against Occupy Wall Street" they launched a media campaign against themselves.

When the Tea Party was accused of serious hate speech and criminal conduct at a major event some conservative websites led the investigation and search for evidence of misconduct. They encouraged others to provide proof and even offered large rewards which went unclaimed when no evidence surfaced.
Is that not a commendable sign of integrity for a political movement to engage in that kind of public self policing of their own conduct? Will Occupy Wall Street lead a similar public self examination of their protests in search of hate speech and criminal behavior?

Oct. 15 2011 02:25 PM

No one is going to pay any heed to Tea-baggers going out into the Occupy Wall Street crowds with offensive signs, taking pictures of themselves, and then posting the pictures as representative of this GENUINE, NOT ASTROTURF movement.

No Dick Armey or Koch brothers is paying to start the OWS movement, but they did pay to launch the FAKE-TATE, Teabagger movement.

Oct. 15 2011 11:02 AM

Aren't some significant differences between the two movements include hundreds of arrests, flagrant law breaking and the general squalor that surrounds the OWS encampment in just the last month which did not exist in the three years of the Tea Party movement? Since these crucial difference go unmentioned here, does that give additional credence to the charge of a media double standard?
Does the tone here suggest that somehow it is inappropriate for conservative activists to report and comment on the reality of the OWS protests after three years of unflattering and often unfair news media coverage of the Tea Party movement?

Are the conservative sites just doing the job the professional news media refuses to do? Does the real concern among progressives boil down to that when reviewing the facts, conservative activists will be seen as more responsible, law abiding and sensible than their leftist counterparts?

Oct. 15 2011 10:40 AM

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