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Opinion | Media fails to report ‘Occupy’ movement as a legitimate cause

bowmanaj@muohio.edu

Published: Thursday, November 10, 2011

Updated: Thursday, November 10, 2011 22:11

In the Nov. 8 issue of The Miami Student, the front-page article was about Occupy Miami University (MU)/Oxford. The article barely scratched the surface about what the movement is all about.

Of course, the article would have been drastically different if the reporter stayed for the entire meeting, like I did. And there lies the crux of the problem of why the "Occupy Movements" credibility is fading fast. The media doesn't know what the movement is all about and therefore misrepresents it by covering it like another story about a protest.

It's easy to dismiss the movement as a bunch of hippies complaining about the government, by sending a reporter out, getting the baseline facts and sending it to print. While it is true the main complaint of the group is to clean up corruption and influence in politics, there are other important messages circulating in the occupiers rhetoric as well. Prime examples include shaping up business ethics, protecting the environment and fixing the broke educational system.

The grand theme of the movement is really about power. Powerful people, in this era decided by monetary strength, are categorically abusing the average American. This is evident in examples such as corrupting the government and foreclosing homes based on sabotaged sub prime mortgages.

The movement is neither left nor right, up or down, Republican or Democratic, peanut butter or jelly. As a reporter for Miami Television News, I went to the first day of Occupy Cincy and interviewed at random, two Tea Party members, a strict conservative, what I'm assuming was a liberal because his tattoo said "F*** War," and an admitted socialist. While many Occupiers may be left leaning, in reality, they are a diverse crowd because the cause of cleansing corruption trumps political allegiances.

Yet it is not just local misdemeanors by the local media outlets. The New York Times (NYT), perhaps the most well known paper in the world, published two columns accusing anti-Semitism against Adbusters, the Canadian magazine responsible for starting the movement. Now, the NYT won't let Adbusters publish a proper reply in the paper. Taking a swipe at the organizers and not letting them defend themselves with an equal opportunity seems like an easy way to destroy Occupy's credibility.

Sadly, the "Occupy" name has lost its firepower as well. "Occupy," replaces "Watergate" in terms of, well, terms. When once we had Watergate, Plame-gate and Weiner-gate, we now have Occupy This and Occupy That. "We are the blank percent" has become an Internet meme. The jokes, from satirists including myself, are endlessly filling the Internet. Truthfully, I made a sign for hockey games, which says "Occupy Goggin: Yes We Camp," above a picture of ‘Obamafied' Coach Enrico Blasi, with the caption, "Line Change."

The Occupy Wall Street movements depend on the media to keep them going, but it seems like the media isn't showing the same love in return. While, yes the "Twitterverse" is still packed full of pro-occupying sentiments, most hard news organizations don't care anymore, and it's trickling down to the consumers. Talking about Occupy is more of a formality, rather than an imperative.

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