January 30, 2012

Newspapers Slant Presentation against Occupy

I wrote an editorial to the local newspaper here in response to an ugly article about the police attack on Occupy Oakland.  Articles like the one at the Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus must be dealt with immediately.  We must not allow any negative press about our freedom of speech to go without vigorous push back.  If teachers are attacked in the press, we must respond immediately and strongly.  This is the article to which I responded.  http://qconline.com/archives/qco/display.php?id=579376  (Note:  When finding the link, I found that the title of the article had been changed, and that there was no accompanying picture.  I had fired off my response to them and got a phone call from them within 2 hours, saying my letter will be published.  I suspect I was not the only one who complained.)

Here is my response.

Dear Editor,

I keep staring at the picture on the front page of The Argus/Dispatch today (Jan. 30) with subdued rage.  The influence of a newspaper to make a political point without using the op-ed page and yet be inflammatory was shown on that picture with the headline “Assessing the damage.”  The point, obviously, being made by the picture with its burning flag and the young cowards wearing kerchiefs over their faces was “Look at those dirty hippies and how much they hate America !”  I want to gag.
How I wish the Argus/Dispatch had on its front page the tea party groups that put swastikas on our President’s pictures and spitting on Black Representatives as they walked by with a headline such as “Fascist tactics at protest” accompanying it.  But I guess if you are trying to sway public opinion in your corporationistic point of view, you would never do that.  Instead, you allow the moaning and groaning of public officials of Oakland when they talk about how much money it took to, in their minds, enforce the law against these hooligans.  That explains why they beat up elderly women who exercised their First Amendment rights.  People of all ages were there and were (and still are)  justifiably angry.  However, the police initiated the contact.  This has been a tactic all across the country against groups that can not get jobs anymore, much like the WWI vets did in Washington during Hoover ’s Administration.  There is no difference between the tea partiers expressions and the Occupiers’ expressions, except for one—the corporations love the tea partiers and have evidently made sure that they were not touched. 
If Oakland or any other city wants to recoup money they spent in inciting action against these mostly peaceful people, then here is a thought for them.  Enforce the law, and go prosecute the banks who illegally foreclosed on people.  Enforce the law, and go prosecute the banks who illegally brought about the economic collapse of 2008.  Recoup the money your own citizens lost when these criminals stole their economic way of life.  Every local community that has a rash of foreclosures should be outraged against these banks, but instead they go after the ones who are hurt.  You’re darn right these people are angry.  Saying stupid things like “Go get a job” as a counter to these protestors means you do not get it.  Attacking students who are sitting peacefully with pepper spray is the local government’s fault for the money they spent on this.  If you intentionally support the corporate bankers over your citizens, you are corrupt, and you deserve to be protested against.  This is the very thing that Thomas Jefferson encouraged.

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