Occupy Portland makes the far left magazine The Nation and tells some whoppers about its media coverage. Besides being a glowing piece about the local “community” station, KBOO, which embedded itself in Occupy Portland’s illegal camp out in the middle of the squalor, the piece makes two ridiculous claims about media reaction to Occupy.
Quotes The Nation:
“It was a great spot for engaging democracy,” Soderberg says. “A lot of people who came into the camp with the preconceived notion that
‘these people don’t have a message’ came by our booth and were surprised by the level of discourse there.” A sign in the camp warned protestors: “Don’t talk to the media—except the mighty ’BOO.”
I blogged on his group nearly every day and went to Occupy Portland nearly every day. I did my radio show from there on one day, setting up debates on issues such as free markets, the meaning of liberty, purpose and role of
government etc between Occupy Portland people local Tea Party members, a local lawyer, conservative activists and the free market Cascade Policy Institute. The debates were set up in advance; Occupy folks were told the nature of the issue. When they showed up (two did) they sunk themselves. It was entertaining radio, however!
The program was broadcast from a sidewalk in front of one of the restrooms trashed by Occupy. Drugs were used in the open, the place smelled terrible (not just from the bathroom) and people from all over (I talked to three from Seattle) who came to party and engage in “anarchy.” As I wrote at three weeks after it started,
There’s a shooting gallery inside somewhere judging by the cars full of sketched out kids spilling out only to come back ten minutes later as serene as a nun at vespers. If you’re worried about second hand smoke and its effects on your health, don’t go to Occupy Portland. Big Tobacco is encamped here, too.
Official Portland lined up to support Occupy, from the 1% Schnitzer family to the 1% union members to elected officials who marched with and let Occupy’s law breaking persist, to the Portland Marathon being shunted aside to make room for the squatters:
The Mayor convened a meeting to tell the Marathon how it should accommodate the Occupiers. The compromise? The Marathon could still pay for all permitting and use most of the park but the Occupiers could stay. The Marathon issued an obsequious statement about how wonderful the Occupiers were and how they would share the space. Crisis averted.Days later, Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard joined one of the Occupy marches. Adams cooed later that he’d never seen a more organized protest and was so proud of them.
And the MEDIA made you look bad? Really now. Here’s the claim out of The Nation:
That warning alluded to the storm of media coverage that Occupy was generating across the country, much of it negative. Major news outlets fixated on the skin of the movement—on tattoos and piercings, poor grammar and lack of leadership, on the unsightliness of the camps—and they proved unable or unwilling to address the substantive issues underneath. “The news media was attached to a certain look or image,” says Noah Fehlberg, who volunteered with KBOO at Occupy Portland. “They marginalized the message by focusing on negative snippets.”
Wow, silly us.
Let’s take these gripes one at a time:
1. Major news outlets fixated on the skin of the movement—on tattoos and piercings, poor grammar
Are you sure you’re not mistaking us for the whackadoodles going after the Tea Party folks? “Poor grammar?” Who plotted to and indeed tried to infiltrate Tea Parties with purposely misspelled signs? Yeah, people like you.
2. lack of leadership
Lack of leadership was pilloried because of the result. As I wrote:
The leaderless Occupy Portland leaders now tell us they never wanted this. They didn’t want the collection of street punks, gutter snipes, tweakers, kaffir clad anarchists at their political circus in downtown Portland. That’s a lie. Yes they did. The Occupy Portland folks wanted as many bodies as they could get out for their illegal march and illegal occupation. They went to their natural allies—the unionists, socialists, anti Jewish-Pro Palestinian activists, communists and anarchists among others—and invited them. And they came. And Occupied. Now that the world is literally and figuratively sniffing the truth, these ‘leaders’ want to distance themselves from the mess they created.
3. much of it negative
Gee, why would coverage be negative? Open air drugging, building molotov cocktails, child molesters, why it must be media bias against Occupy’s message, right?
Molotov Cocktail Suspect
Crime has taken hold. A black videographer was verbally assaulted by Occupiers calling him racist names. The VIDEOGRAPHER was arrested for showing the thugs his licensed gun. A registered sex offender lists Occupy as his home and the encampment has 10-20 children living there. Marijuana smoke is everywhere
4. “They marginalized the message by focusing on negative snippets.”
Nope. Pretty sure you Occupy people did that all by yourselves.
I’d be very happy to write another piece for The Nation on the Occupy Portland movement. Here’s my email address to inquire: Victoria@VictoriaTaft.com