I’ve heard a lot and read a little about the Occupy Wall Street groups that obviously started in New York City but have quickly spread to metropolitan areas across the U.S. since September. A couple of things I read today warrant a small piece of my attention away from more homework than I know what to do about.
First up: Paul West’s “Is Occupy Wall Street a Tea Party for Democrats?“, which can be marked up as another sad example of crappy journalism in today’s corporate media dominated world.
Distinctions are drawn by liberals between the origins of the anti-Wall Street drive, which they say is more spontaneous and authentic than a Tea Party movement boosted into existence by Fox News, a favored news source for conservatives. Another difference: Tea Party followers were focused on one issue — cutting government spending — while Occupy Wall Street is amorphous in its aims.
Beyond that, there are broad similarities. Both movements are decentralized and nonhierarchical, driven largely by an alienated and outraged citizenry that favors the same two-word phrase: fed up.
It’s painful when these
journalists parrots cannot distinguish between corporate astroturf groups (Tebaggers – they haven’t formally formed a party like the Greens) and organic groups (Occupy Wall Street).
It’s even more painful when their messages are purposefully misscharacterized. Where were the Teabaggers when the Bush Regime was spending Trillions of taxpayer dollars and blowing up the debt and the deficit? They were cheering the Regime on, saying spending wasn’t fast enough. Why did they choose 2009 to start wailing about the spending they used to support? Because there is a Black Man in the White House. I call shenanigans.
The Teabaggers’ assault on the political scene in 2009 was orchestrated and paid for by the same ultra-wealthy entities that Occupy Wall Street is protesting. It was anything but decentralized and non-hierarchical. What happened when reporters tried talking to the Teabaggers at the beginning? Amorphous and ridiculous commentary was offered. The organizers quickly picked up on this and ensured their well-trained communications liaisons were the only ones talking to the corporate media. There is no way that any disparate group of individuals getting together are well organized when they first form. Occupy Wall Streeters prove that; the Teabaggers also prove that.
The Teabaggers are mostly right-wing extremists who should feel alienated – all extremists should. The Occupy Wall Streeters are a much more diverse group who have rightful grievances against a government that is increasingly under corporate dominance.
Next up: an extremist extraordinaire, Jon Caldara, who offered up this nonsense that a different parrot dutifully made into “news”: “‘They wish (for) European-style socialism,’ he said. ‘It’s not corporate welfare they hate. They hate that it’s not all going to their causes. When they want to end all corporate welfare, I’ll douse myself with patchouli oil and join them.’”
Always available for jack-assery, aren’t you Jon? When the wealthiest 1% control over 50% of the wealth; when real take home income hasn’t changed for the bottom 99% since 1979 while it’s 240% higher for the 1%; when U.S. and foreign banks are loaned Trillions of dollars while millions of Americans lose their hard-earned jobs and homes, people in the 99% are eventually going to show how upset they are. It has nothing to do with Jon’s obsession with European socialism.
When Jon and other “free-marketeers” stop free-loading off of the socialist infrastructure this country and its citizens built and operate for them on a daily basis (roads, water, air, police, fire, radio, on and on and on), then they should be quoted in the media. The ridiculousness of quoting somebody who willfully refuses to live up to his own ideals is pathetic.
Keep going, Occupy Wall Street!