Remember When Fox News Loved Protesters? What About #OccupyWallStreet?

A couple of years ago there was a media frenzy surrounding a bunch of screaming malcontents who showed up at town hall meetings and refused to let anyone speak. They became known as the Tea Party and, while portrayed by right-wing media as a grassroots movement, they were actually organized and financed by billionaires like the Koch brothers and conservative establishment lobbyists like Americans for Prosperity.

At the time they received a warm welcome from mainstream media ranging from talk radio to the Wall Street Journal, to Rupert Mudoch’s Fox News. In fact, Fox News literally adopted the Tea Party and branded it as their own:

Fox News Tea Party

Fox ran hundreds of stories extolling the virtues of these allegedly valiant Americans seeking to return America to the utopian fatherland it was before they had elected a black president. They sent there star reporters and anchors to headline the Tea Party rallies. The Fox Nation posted articles with titles that praised the Tea Party as “A great Part of America’s History – and America’s Future.”

Fast-forward two years and there is no sign of that patriotic spirit in the conservative media that slobbered over the Tea Party. Now that there is a real populist movement advocating on behalf of the middle-class, Fox News has reversed course and declared that such activity is “dangerous” and “anti-American.” Rush Limbaugh called the protestors “human debris and parasites.” Glenn Beck went even further (as usual) saying…

“They are only interested in destruction. That leads to gas chambers. That leads to guillotines. That leads to millions dead. That leads to Mao. That leads to totalitarianism, every single time.”

So Beck thinks that the people seeking compassion for the 99% of Americans who are not wealthy, are plotting genocide. OK, it goes without saying that Beck is nuts, but what is the media excuse for misrepresenting or ignoring the “Occupy Wall Street” movement that is inspiring hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide?

Comedian Andy Cobb of Second City has helpfully provided a way to break through the media blackout. He proposes a makeover that will turn ragged protesters into just the sort of spokespersons that appeal to a lazy, biased press.

I’m not entirely sure that Cobb’s makeover will work, but he’s on the right track. In order to grab the attention of modern media you need to give them what want most: drama, conflict, controversy, sex, and most of all, ratings. A few months ago I did my own handbook for “How To Be A Media Magnet:”

Media Magnet

The so-called “liberal” media has shamefully avoided accurately reporting on the Occupy Wall Street protests. Similarly, they have failed to cover the fact that broad majorities of the American people agree with the goals of the protesters who are calling for more fairness in tax policies.

“Taxing millionaires in fact is one of the rare political issues to draw bipartisan majority support – 57 percent from Republicans, 75 percent among independents and 89 percent among Democrats. Even among supporters of the Tea Party political movement, 55 percent support raising taxes on millionaires…”

When Democrats and Tea Partyers are both calling for the rich to pay their fair share, the media and our representatives in Washington should start paying closer attention. It’s time to level the playing field. It’s time to undo the absurd legal notion that corporations are people. And it’s time for Americans to come together and retake control of their country from the impersonal monoliths that exist only to accumulate wealth at the expense of our standard of living.

In order to achieve these goals we will also need to hold the media accountable and demand that they do their jobs responsibly and honestly. That means that Fox News, and their audience, should be reminded of their hypocrisy when they promote phony movements like the Tea Party while disparaging the real populists occupying Wall Street (and many other places). And it means reminding the rest of the press, who are not much better than Fox, of the very same things.


10 thoughts on “Remember When Fox News Loved Protesters? What About #OccupyWallStreet?

  1. If Roger’s minions spent time this last week saying bad things about the Arab Spring, what will they say about the Wall Street Fall?

  2. Ok, since no on will actually explain the purpose of this protest, maybe you can. What exactly do these people want to happen? If it’s the same old talking points you mention, tax the rich more, I’m not sure they’ll get what they want from protesting on Wall Street.

    • I’m not even going to entertain the right-wing talking point that the goals of these protests have not been made clear. That’s not true. If you can’t find the answer to your question that’s your problem. It’s been well articulated and is easily available despite Fox News et al pretending otherwise.

      And furthermore, you are once again trying to hijack this thread to change the subject and create a distraction. This article is about how hypocrites in the media put the Tea Party on a pedestal but treat these protesters as if they are crazy or non-existent.

        • A typical rightist, insensitive comment about people suffering in an environment of high unemployment. Your comment assumes that the protesters do not have jobs. They may be sacrificing for the benefit of others.

          Your comment also denigrates people for choosing to participate in democracy to make the country better for everyone. I regard that as an act of patriotism.

          And, back to the topic, if they were Tea Partyers you would be applauding – hypocrite.

          • I am pretty insensitive – always have been – that’s not a revelation. Sorry if I don’t feel like you do.

          • Lets investigate hypocrisy here – you call the occupy wallstreet group patriots because you agree with them, you call tea party activists malcontents because you disagree with them. Maybe you should take a look in the mirror hypocrite.

  3. What they need is a celebrity spokesperson – people can’t get enough celebrities in their life. I heard Michael Moore is joining in – does he count?

  4. Fox is owned by Murdoch, a foreigner who renounced his Australian citizenship – a treasonous act, currently under investigation in UK for no. of illegal activities and a Saudi, a country where women are not even allowed to drive a car. They have done everything to divide Americans and I think the media laws should be changed so only American born citizens can own the media.

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