WHY ARE SO MANY IN THE MEDIA THREATENED BY OCCUPY WALL STREET?
By Danny Schechter, Author of The Crime Of Our Time
The other night, I ran into a veteran journalist, a writer who I always considered was among the "plugged in."
Yet when I told him I was reporting on Occupied Wall Street, he plugged out, and stared at me cluelessly.
"What do they want," he
asked, echoing the questioned raised endlessly by TV pundits and editorial
He didn't seem to know or care who "they" are, or why they have taken to living in parks to make their point.
He and his colleagues seem to be saying that to understand what's going on, it all be first compressed into a press release with bullet points they can simplify further.
"I don't get it," he sighed.
"Its about Occupying Wall Street," I replied, "Occupying Wall Street, challenging the power of its economic power.
Another blank look"
It's as if we need our politics to follow a predictable format characterized by legislators playing to the cameras, message points, and pithy slogans.
The idea of a deeper challenge to a totally compromised system driven by big money and special interests is considered by some as anomaly that belongs in another century,
Extra parliamentary political movements don't compute for some who want the political debate limited to rituals like elections, traditional "debates" and up and down votes on selective laws.
In this world, politics is best left to politicians with citizens there to look but not to act.
There seems to be three factors at work.
1. Financial issues are treated as exotic, beyond our comprehension and best left in back of the paper in the business pages where obscurantist language makes it so dense that most readers turn away.