Occupation defined

Every now and again cable news becomes relevant. It never seems to be about the news it reports, but rather the news it makes. CNBC’s Rick Santanelli’s “rant heard around the world” was credited in helping to galvanize the Tea Party.

And now a segment from CNN’s Erin Burnett mocking the Occupy Wall Street protests is helping to build sympathy for the protesters. She’s called “vapid” within the pages of Forbes.

Her mocking search for what the protest is about seems to have helped the group frame Occupy Wall Street in a broader light.

The message of #OWS is not “Here’s is our 9-point plan.” The message of #OWS is “This is not a livable compromise.”Fri Oct 07 13:28:57 via web

Burnett’s rude treatment of an unemployed software engineer provides a stark contrast to the popular Tumblr blog We are the 99% that features a sea of photos like this one from a diverse set of Americans in rough economic circumstances.


National Review‘s Josh Barrow quibbles with the groups math and seeks to reclaim that turf for conservatives.

As of this morning, Minneapolis has its very own Occupation. The movement has spread to many cities in the U.S. OccupyMN is expected to last over the weekend. The group gained additional mainstream credibility when Mayor RT Rybak added a sympathetic post to his blog.

Even this guy couldn’t resist taking it to the streets.

Gov. Jesse Ventura out to show support for #occupyMN @OccupyMN #ows http://t.co/evooZAaZFri Oct 07 13:51:30 via Seesmic

While the higher-profile support drew in more visibility, it is concerning for some who want the protest to be decentralized.

#OccupyMN don’t let the “BOD” and figure heads ruin this, this is about getting back to “For the people, by the people” #foundingfathersFri Oct 07 14:21:34 via Twitter for iPhone

Do you think the Occupy Wall Street protests will grow into a political force akin to the Tea Party?

  • Jim Shapiro

    To answer the question, “Do you think the Occupy Wall Street protests will grow into a political force akin to the Tea Party?”

    From your lips to the ears of the flying spaghetti monster.

    But the tp was funded by the likes of the Koch brothers, whereas progressives tend to be wary of big money for fear of being co-opted. And politics today is more and more money driven.

    That said, I hope I’m proven wrong by the spirit of youth and the wisdom of age and all the good stuff in between.

  • Jennifer

    I think I could classify that CNN clip as some of the worst journalism I’ve seen. Not because of her obvious opinion on the matter, but nothing was presented with context, there seemed to be no attempt to investigate anything, it relied solely on her observations and it played out like an SNL sketch. (“Seriously!?!! with Seth and Amy” anyone?) That was painful to watch.

  • thanks for writing something about this.

  • JackU

    Do you think the Occupy Wall Street protests will grow into a political force akin to the Tea Party?

    As someone whose political history and leanings tend to be more in line with the Occupy Wall Street group as opposed to the Tea Party all I can say, is I hope not.

    The Tea Party appears to have spent most of its political clout on a single midterm election. It’s looking more and more like they will have little impact on the GOP nominating process because their preferred candidates are dropping like flies near a bug zapper. In the end the the diehards will put their support behind Ron Paul and that will leave him where he was in 2008, not quite enough votes to be relevant at the convention. The pragmatic mainstream of the party will support Romney.

    There has always been the question of whether the TP was a true grassroots movement or something organized from the top to look like it is a people’s movement. If the “occupiers” are a true grassroots movement they have the chance for greater staying power. The addition of Unions and left leaning political parties (I thought I heard/read that the Green Party is lending some support) strengthens the movement but only if they don’t seek to control it.

  • Jamie

    I’m not able to watch the CNN video. There’s a black box in that space, but that’s all. Is it just my computer, or can something be done about it – Mr. Olson?

  • Michael Olson

    Hi Jamie,

    Here is the direct url to the video:




  • Erin Burnett… another journalist of whom people seem to respect and admire, but I have never found her very deep. I’ve watched her from time to time on MSNBC, and watched Morning Joe have discussions about Wall Street, but it always seemed contrived and shallow. Does she get these jobs because of her looks, or because of her work. Now she on CNN?!

    I’m not following OWS very closely, but I expect the media is probably reporting it wrong, and those cries of “where’s the coverage!?” are going to be disappointed when it actually happens. I think about the Tea Party beginnings in 2009, and all the “Tea Bagger” jokes.

  • frightwig

    The “Tea Party” were always just rebranded Republicans, funded and organized by Fox News and corporate interests, who were mainly angry about Democrats winning elections. We haven’t heard so much from them since the Republicans won back the House, and they will go into full hibernation once a Republican wins the White House again.

    The Occupy Wall Street movement has a more “liberal” bent, but it seems more organic, and not directed against or in favor of a particular political party. (Really, can you imagine any sort of “conservative” protest like this being organized while a Republican is president?) The main point of it just seems to be that corporations and banks have too much power over the government, and that there has been no accountability for the damage those entities have done to the country. Whether that translates to any results, we’ll see.

  • Jamie

    OMG. That’s journalism?!?!? She is unbelievably obnoxious! Just like Republicans, she (and her producers) make fun of, marginalize, and insult what they don’t agree with.

  • Bob Collins

    One of the reasons Burnett got the big bucks at CNN is because when she was at CNBC, she was teamed with Mark Haines, a wonderful journalist who asked difficult questions. So Burnett’s obvious bias weren’t allowed to get through quite so easily.

    By the way, she’s about to get married to a high-ranking Chase executive, I believe.

  • Jim Shapiro

    “…she’s about to get married to a high-ranking Chase executive…”

    In the interest of full transparency, CNN should have her disclose that whenever she reports on a finance-related story.

  • Cassie

    I am hoping and even praying that the OWS protests gain momentum and become a valid and viable movement against the culture of greed that has permeated this country over the last thirty years…

    Last night I watched Mitt Romney being interviewed on the PBS News Hour; listened to him extol – with a straight face – (I am compelled to comment that his face and bearing are

  • Cassie

    –as I was saying, his face and his bearing are so straight as to seem robotic.) on the Greatness and Virtue of America and as is so often the case these days, didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, scream — or head for downtown Mpls.

    The continuing desecration of the principles this nation once took pride in is tragic.

    So anyway. Could it be that the OWS is the start of something big. Like the lunch counter sit-ins. Maybe. Hopefully. Think I’ll go downtown. Really.

    Back in The Day — I fretted at being barefoot and pregnant in the suburbs, rather than enjoying Southern Hospitality with M.L.King and his supporters. My chance has come.

  • phil

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does”

    Speaking of vulgarity Cassie, I saw this quote posted in the storefront of a company; a private company that claimed non-profit but quietly sought profits. They touted they were do gooders, but the underlying agenda turned out to be to aid in sucking all the revenue out of government in order to force their agenda of privitization. Thus allowing direct corporate power and control over the people.

    OWS, I believe is the proper parallel to Margarette Meade’s famous line.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Cassie – to paraphrase Chris Matthews a couple of days ago at The Washington Ideas Forum at The Aspen Institute, Romney is “devoid of any human emotion”.

    Could would be talking about “The Mormonian Candidate”? 🙂