Levine is a sophomore politics major and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
He straps on his Nike shoes, puts on his hipster Levi skinny jeans, grabs his iPod and is ready to go. For what, you ask? Isn’t it obvious.
To protest corporate America.
Well, because despite his life being exponentially easier and more enjoyable due to the people who took a risk and created those companies (while making a ton of money), capitalism is just too darn unfair. The only problem is that I have never heard Occupy Wall Street framed this way in the media. Rather, it has been praised as the greatest recent grassroots movement in America full of citizens who are “standing up to the system.” While this is true, if you stand up to “the system” with a toolbox that is empty or full of broken tools, then I don’t find that to be impressive. I find it to be rather annoying and destructive. OWS has such a toolbox.
Still, as I’ve mentioned, it has been at the forefront of the news for roughly the last year or so. Time Magazine named “The Protestor” as Person of the Year, although that was mostly due to the Arab Spring, but OWS was also recognized. What I find humorous is the absolutely negligent and bias reporting that the media practices in regard to OWS — this bias is even more compelling and obvious when compared to how the media treated the tea party in 2009 and 2010 when it really picked up momentum.
I won’t go too far into how the media treated the tea party, but let it suffice to say that it was completely different than how the OWS movement is being treated (with the exclusion of Fox News, which has its own obvious bias, as well). While the tea party consists of many intellectual, limited-government conservatives, most coverage by CNN, NBC and other news organizations highlighted those extremely rare moments of hatred and racism that are bound to emerge from a movement as big as the tea party. One would be hard-pressed to find a single organization or movement in America that doesn’t have a racist in it.
Yet OWS, which assuredly deserves greater negative coverage than the tea party and has its fair share of racists, has been put on a pedestal by the media. It seemed like the media took a sigh of relief, and Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow practically broke out in song over at MSNBC. But it still remains that the OWS movement offers nothing of substance to praise.
Take the crime at Occupy locations, which occurs at a rate high enough to force protestors out of the movement in fear of their safety. At Zuccotti Park in New York City, a “women only” tent had to be set up due to the threat of sexual assault amongst OWS. Incidents such as the rape of a 14-year-old runaway girl in Dallas are not uncommon. I don’t remember that happening during the tea party protests.
In addition, the whole movement has become a parody of itself.
“(Zuccotti) Park has divided into neighborhoods of sorts, with the western edge along Church Street considered the wrong side of the tracks,” The New York Times reported. What happened to all that equality and togetherness? This, in itself, is enough to discredit the movement as a fraud.
But the complete ignorance of many in the movement makes my point even clearer. Although there are admittedly some intelligent people in the movement (mostly the libertarians), the calls for a $20 minimum wage and free college tuition are ludicrous. One occupier held a sign that read, “Throw me a bone, pay my tuition!”
Ah, that’s the American spirit: begging for things. When asked why he wants free tuition, his answer was, “Because it’s what I want.”
And the tea party is full of idiots?
Possibly even more embarrassing was the recent showing of “Occupiers” at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. When Michelle Fields of the Daily Caller talked to one of the demonstrators, the man claimed he was being paid $60 by a union to protest and had no idea what the event even was.
“They just told me, ‘You want to make 60 bucks? So, come on.’”
That’s the “grassroots” effort that the media is praising constantly? Sounds like a sorry response to a real movement: the tea party.