Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Media and the Message

Occupy Wall Street is now coming up on two months old.

The mainstream media still has offered up little that I have seen about the aims of  OWS. Even Occupy Wall Street and its supporters express frustration of it.

Reporters covering the movement offer up generalizations about "corporate greed" and "corporate influence in politics,"  but offer little substantive comment or analysis of actual demands. Even when they bring in analysists, the "experts" add little to enlighten the understanding of the viewers. Analysts acknowledge the" diversity" with the OWS movement and sympathize with participants "frustration," but rarely discuss their actual demands.

It might be because such a discussion will further tarnish the movement's reputation.

 Although restricting corporate political donations and re-enacting Glass-Stegall are mainstream proposals, other suggestions like paying off all student loans, allowing Americans to print their own money, and vague allusions to "restructuring our economy and political system" are not.

The increasing incidents of crimes and acts of violence present problems for the media as well. Accoring the the mainstream media, the perpetrators of the crimes and acts violence at OWS protests are not core members of the movment but only "opportunists." Diversity isn't so great afterall.

Interestingly, the  Tea Party movement in the beginning experienced the same problem getting its message out. The mainstream media reported the Tea Party's message about reducing government spending and reducing taxes. They even acknowledged the Tea Party's push, not for restructuring government, but for keeping it within  constitional bounds. But when they brought it the "experts," the real  mainstream media narrative began. They linked the Tea Party to racists, John Birchers, Christian Dominionists,and everything else under the sun.

 And, of course, they faithfully reported every nasty e-mail to Democratic politicians as "threats of violence." In constrast to their reporting about OWS, the mainstreammedia assessed any words or actions that suggested a "climate of fear" as the essence of the Tea Party movement.

If not for cable news, talk radio, and the blogosphere, the Tea Party might have been force to become "Occupy Times Square" outside the headquarters of the New York Times.

New York Times

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