On Countdown tonight Keith Olbermann and guest Will Bunch spent a segment Occupy Wall Street and discussed why the media is blacking out coverage of the protest.
Here is the video:
After Olbermann and Bunch provided some background on Occupy Wall Street, Olbermann hit on the hypocrisy behind the mainstream media’s lack of coverage of the story, “Why isn’t any major news outlet covering this? Do we have the crowd shots by any chance? Where you can see the dimensions? That one, that’s the one. If that’s a tea party protest in front of Wall Street about Ben Bernacke putting stimulus funds into it, it’s the lead story on every network newscast. How is that disconnect possible in this country today with so many different outlets and so many different ways of transmitting news?”
It is a real disconnect, and The New York Times I mean this is the hometown newspaper of Wall Street, and there has been no print articles in The New York Times to date with these people camping out down there for four or five days now. It’s crazy. I think three things are going on. I think one. I think the word disconnect that you used is a really good word, because I think a lot of people in newsrooms are still are not in touch with the real pain and the real suffering of 25 million Americans who are unemployed and underemployed and the struggle to make ends meet there, so there’s that.
I think there’s something else and the media critic Jay Rosen from NYU writes about this all the time which is, what he calls savvy, which is that it’s just kind of uncool for journalists to take these people who want to change the world seriously. You know, I’ve seen a lot of coverage like in the New York Observer’s coverage is to basically make fun of these people. Oh these are the guys with the masks we saw a couple of years ago weren’t they, and kind of put it down, and try to get at the bottom of what’s going on here. As far as the tea party, you know Keith, you and I both know newsrooms overreact at conservative harping. They’ve been doing it since Spiro Agnew.
Olbermann and Bunch concluded that there was the tea party got more coverage because their protesters looked more like the fifty somethings that are making decisions in newsrooms, and there was a man bites dog novelty factor to the fact that conservatives were out protesting, while these same organizations write off liberal protests.
The hypocrisy related to the lack of media coverage for this protest is obvious and undeniable. If twenty tea partiers stood in the very same spot and had announced that they were occupying Wall Street, it would have been all over the news. I think there is a great deal of truth in the idea that any protest that is deemed liberal gets classified by the media as non-news. Why this occurs is up for debate, but the message from the corporate run media is clear. It doesn’t matter how many people come out to protest in favor of collective bargaining or against the corruption on Wall St, the mainstream corporate media is not going to cover them.
The media refuses to acknowledge that they exist. In the case of Occupy Wall Street, I think the answer is something that Olbermann and Bunch didn’t mention. Each of the American media giants is owned by a corporation that is traded on Wall Street. Why would any of these outlets want to report on a story that could hurt the price of their stock if the protests got mainstream attention and picked up steam?
The corporate mainstream media is committed to blackout, and it is going to take the work of independent journalists like Olbermann, reporters, and websites to keep the public informed. Tonight we saw the difference between Countdown on Current and Countdown on MSNBC. I suspect that many of Keith’s viewers were already aware of Occupy Wall Street, but Olbermann deserves a tip of the hat for using some of his airtime to both raise awareness of the protest, and shed some light on the right wing hypocrites and suck ups in the supposedly liberal mainstream media.
Tonight Countdown on Current TV lived up to its independent media promise, and shed a bit of light on a protest that everyone should already know about.