What If the Tea Party Occupied Wall Street? By Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting

OCCUPYWALLSTREET is a people-powered movement for democracy that began in America on September 17 with an encampment in the financial district of New York City. Inspired by the Egyptian Tahrir Square uprising and the Spanish acampadas, they vow to end the monied corruption of our democracy. (photo: Collin David Anderson)
OCCUPYWALLSTREET is a people-powered movement for democracy that began in America on September 17 with an encampment in the financial district of New York City. Inspired by the Egyptian Tahrir Square uprising and the Spanish acampadas, they vow to end the monied corruption of our democracy. (photo: Collin David Anderson)

24 September 11
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting 

Action Alert

In an action called Occupy Wall Street, thousands of activists took to the streets of Lower Manhattan on September 17.

The protests are continuing, with demonstrators camped out on the Financial District’s Liberty Street in support of U.S. democratization and against corporate domination of politics (Adbusters, 9/19/11).

But you wouldn’t know much about any of this from the corporate media–outlets that seem much more interested in protests of the Tea Party variety.

The anti-corporate protests have been lightly covered in the hometown New York Times: One piece (9/18/11) largely about how the police blocked access to Wall Street, and one photo (9/22/11) with the caption “Wall Street Protest Whirls On.”

The protests have been treated with brief mentions on CNN, like this one from host Wolf Blitzer (9/19/11): “Protests here in New York on Wall Street entering a third day. Should New Yorkers be worried at all about what’s going on?”

From the ABC, CBS and NBC network news, we could find nothing at all in the Nexis news database. On the PBS NewsHour(9/19/11), the protests got a brief reference, tacked on to the end of the stock market report:

Away from the trading floor, some 200 protesters marched for a third day, charging the financial system favors corporations. At least six people were arrested.


Some voices in the media have noted the lack of coverage. On the Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, 9/19/11), Michael Moore said, “People are down on Wall Street right now, holding a sit-in and a camp-in down there–virtually no news about this protest.”

At the top of his Current TV show (9/21/11), Keith Olberman said:

So five days of clogging downtown Manhattan, protesting corporate control of the economy, and you haven’t heard a word about it on the news?


He later remarked, “If that’s a Tea Party protest in front of Wall Street about Ben Bernanke…it’s the lead story on every network newscast.”

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