Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupying Wall Street Journal

Rupert Murdoch seems sufficiently recovered from his Fleet Street troubles to be tapping into the Wall Street protesters with the full weight of his attack journalism.

Today he takes down the Journal paywall to tell us all: “In interviews, protesters show that they are leftists out of step with most American voters. Yet Democrats are embracing them anyway.”

A former Bill Clinton pollster, based on results of “the first systematic random sample” (oxymoron, anyone?), reports that “the movement doesn't represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda.”

It hasn’t taken long for attention payers at Think Progress to pick apart those figures and show them to be distorted in the usual style of Murdoch journalism. What else is new?

From the cheap seats of the empire, the New York Post is agog with headline news: “Thieves preying on fellow protesters,” reporting “Occupy Wall Street protesters said yesterday that packs of brazen crooks within their ranks have been robbing their fellow demonstrators blind, making off with pricey cameras, phones and laptops--and even a hefty bundle of donated cash and food.”

Phones were presumably taken before Murdoch operatives could tap into them, and notice that nice tabloid touch “within their ranks,” as if lower Manhattan were devoid of unaffiliated sneaks thieves, although the Post story goes on relate, “Crafty cat burglars sneaked into the makeshift kitchen at Zuccotti Park overnight and swiped as much as $2,500 in donated greenbacks from right under the noses of volunteers.”

Elsewhere, there are confusion and mixed signals about the movement with Wall Street lobbyists “livid” at Democrats while the President himself in an interview attempts a straddle:

“I understand the frustrations being expressed in those protests...In some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party. Both on the left and the right, I think people feel separated from their government. They feel that their institutions aren’t looking out for them.”

Barack Obama is keeping his prototypical cool and Rupert Murdoch as always is going for the journalistic jugular as the political pot keeps stirring in lower Manhattan and Washington.

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