Murdoch v. Occupy Wall Street
A New Low for the New York Post (photo by Adam Lempel):
If you’re interested in knowing exactly what the elites running this country want you to think about Occupy Wall Street, pay attention to what the right wing propaganda machine has to say. Unlike the “liberal media” outlets, which are also owned by the six corporations that control the mass media and are far more sophisticated forms of propaganda—whereas during the first few weeks they either ignored or ridiculed us they now have to pretend they sympathize with Occupy Wall Street or risk becoming irrelevant— the right wing functions as the overt face of the corporate state. A classic illustration of this is last Wednesday’s front page piece by The New York Post, which portrays Occupy Wall Street protestors as spoiled hypocrites.
It should come as no surprise that The New York Post would stoop to this level, Rupert Murdoch media outlet that it is. But even I was shocked by the disgusting front-page headline on last Wednesday’s edition: “Whine and Dine, Protestors Eat Like Kings,” accompanied by a picture of a fancy looking menu. The article goes on to describe us as a “mob… enjoying rich diet” and “grimy protesters” who are “stuffed into the now-smelly Zuccotti Park.”
We “eat like kings,” dining “each night on gourmet meals prepared by a former hotel chef using only the finest organic ingredients.” Outsiders should not sympathize with the movement because, “while your family of four may have been forced to resort to Hamburger Helper, thanks to Smith’s culinary magic, hordes of Occupy Wall Street protesters instead feasted on organic chicken, spaghetti Bolognese, roasted beet and sheep’s milk-cheese salad and wild heirloom potatoes.” I’ve never seen the Post display such concern for the plight of the working class before.
This is right wing propaganda at its most revolting. While the food at Occupy Wall Street is generally good, I have never eaten anything gourmet there—and I’ve been at Liberty Square almost every day since the occupation began. I usually eat elsewhere, and when I do eat at Occupy Wall Street it’s typically a slice of pizza or an apple, although on one occasion I ate chicken and rice, which was good, though not what one would expect to find at a royal banquet.
But this is completely beside the point. Even if the Post’s depiction were accurate it would be irrelevant. The purpose of Murdoch’s propaganda campaign is to make us look like spoiled hypocrites—look at how they dine like kings even though they’re protesting corporate greed! I cannot tell you how many people I’ve spoken to who have described to me the incredible sacrifices they’ve made in occupying Liberty Square. The real stalwarts, those who regularly sleep on concrete night after night, have had to contend with the freezing cold, heavy rain, and a menacing police presence. During the first few weeks the cops refused to let us set up tarps and tents (though they’ve eased up of late, at least for the time being). Many protestors have gotten sick, especially during the nights of torrential downpour.
But these acts of courage and fortitude don’t make it into The New York Post. Instead Murdoch chooses to focus on fine dining. For the sake of argument, even if the Post’s reporting were true, who cares? As always, the goal is to distract readers from the real issues, which is what Occupy Wall Street seeks to correct. The fact that we now eat solid food (in the beginning there was almost only peanut butter and jelly, which remains the most commonly served meal) is actually a testament to how powerful the movement has become.
Nearly everything is funded through donations and volunteer work. In other words, so many people want to contribute that we’ve been able to raise enough money to feed thousands, including the homeless, with quality meals. Unlike the criminals on Wall Street, who fund and own stock in the Post, we voluntarily use our own money, not that which has been filched from the taxpayers through bailouts and other forms of corporate welfare; and we use it to feed people, not to speculate on worthless paper and pay propagandists to misinform the public.
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