Today Fox News moved from anger and attacks against Occupy Wall Street to the denial stage by claiming that the movement won’t amount to anything.
Here is the video from Media Matters:
FNC contributor and Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes said, “I think the only thing that these protesters have in common with the tea is that they’re protesting and it has vaguely something to do with money. Otherwise, they have nothing to do with the tea party. There’s no political movement there. There’s no thirst for any kind of a political movement there. They wouldn’t have the backing of the American public. If you look at just the Gallup surveys over the past few years on the numbers of people who identify themselves as conservatives, moderates, and liberals you have 40% self-identified conservatives, 36% self-identified moderates, and just 20% self-identified liberals, and this is a fraction of that smallest grouping, so these people have no base. There’s no political movement there. There’s no hope that there will be a political movement there. They’re just out there because they’re frustrated.”
Hayes wasn’t done. When asked if the crowds could grow, he said, “Yeah, well I mean there’s certainly enough frustration that you could it wouldn’t surprise me to see some of these crowds grow a little bit, and you’ve seen them sprouting up in other parts of the country in smaller more modest protests, but this is going to amount to any kind of serious movement. I think there’s virtually no chance of that. Hayes went on to claim that, “There are many socialists who are there. Their symbol on their website is the Fist of Solidarity which is also on the Socialist Workers of America website. These are people who want massive government involvement…”
Hayes’ evidence that Occupy Wall Street won’t amount to anything is based on the flawed premise that is being advanced by the right wing media that these protests are a partisan movement. Hayes uses political self-identification numbers as a ploy to misdirect and mislead viewers away from the fact that the Occupy Wall Street is by design non-partisan.
The right’s latest claim is that by joining the protests, the left is hijacking Occupy Wall Street, but a look at Occupy Wall Street.org’s About page debunks Hayes’ attempts to affiliate them with any group or organization, “OccupyWallSt.org is the unofficial de facto online resource for the ongoing protests happening on Wall Street. We are an affinity group committed to doing technical support work for resistance movements. We are not affiliated with Adbusters, anonymous or any other organization.”
Unlike what happened to the original tea party, Democrats and the DNC have not taken over the protests. Democrats are not organizing Occupy Wall Street. In contrast, to what really happened to the original Ron Paul inspired tea party protests which were taken over by the Republican Party and turned into a partisan Astroturf operation run by GOP operatives and conservative lobbyists. Occupy Wall Street isn’t being “hijacked” by anyone. There certainly are socialists at the protests, but there are Libertarians there as well. Occupy Wall Street has attracted people from the left and right, because injustice and greed know no political affiliation.
The diverse beliefs of those in attendance could be a source of conflict if this social protest attempts to become a political movement, but the basic non-partisan message is strong enough to attract Americans of all ideologies, and this is what terrifies Fox News. FNC is spending a lot of time trying to spread misinformation about Occupy Wall Street to their viewers, because they are afraid that some of the tea partiers, who have watched their movement fizzle out, will be tempted to join the protests.
Yesterday, the Fox News coverage centered on attacking and insulting the protesters, and today they are focused on denying their impact.
Fox News has moved from anger about Occupy Wall Street to denial, and this backwards from the actual stages of grief, but they are working hard to prevent their viewers from progressing to acceptance.