Thursday, November 10, 2011

Yes, the Far Right is STILL Contemptuous of Occupy Wall Street

The Occupy movement is still going strong, but as I've noted before, many figures from the far right remain contemptuous. Much emphasis has been placed on claims of isolated violence or alleged depravity, with little attention given to reports of police violence.

First, in a November 8th post at the Heritage Foundation Foundry blog, Mike Brownfield claimed that the Occupy movement is now characterized by "increasing violence married with extremist affiliations" that do not represent the majority of Americans. After lambasting Occupiers for alleged incidents of violence, he added that George Soros and "Big Labor" have been supporting the demonstrators. He insisted that President Obama and other lawmakers have been inciting protesters, and urged them to tell their "followers" to stop destroying property and launching attacks.

Second, in a November 3rd commentary at the Concerned Women for America website, Brenda Zurita painted a bawdy picture of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. After writing disapprovingly of a New York City sex education curriculum for middle and high school students, she quoted from a New York Post article claiming that Occupiers were engaging in ribald behavior. The article claimed that protesters are allegedly seeking out HIV and STD testing after "getting their freak on" with strangers. She also cited a video at Gateway Pundit, in which Occupiers appear to be practicing unison chanting. At the end of the video, the chant leader makes a joke about sex with animals, for which Zurita labels the Occupiers "miscreants." 

Third, during the November 10th edition of The Sean Hannity Show, Sean Hannity demonized the Occupiers as lawless monsters. After raging against alleged media bias in coverage of the Tea Party movement versus the Occupy movement, Hannity had this to say. (Hat tip to Media Matters.)

"It's so bad now, sexual assault at Zucotti park, women have to sleep in a separate tent at this moment. You've got anarchists, rapists, thugs, drug users, drug dealers, rioters taking over the movement. President supports them. Nancy Pelosi supports them. I mean, we've got indisputable evidence [of] anti-Semitism. We've got film footage of arson fires. You know, lawlessness, recklessness, irresponsibility of the movement top to bottom, and the press is bending over backwards in an effort to portray them as understandably angry. They're being civic-minded here. It's beyond parody, and it's journalistic negligence."
Finally, Pat Robertson weighed in again about the Occupy movement with more contemptuous words. On the October 27th edition of The 700 Club, Robertson responded to a viewer's letter asking if Christians should get involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement. At the 56:58 mark, he had this to say. (Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.)

"I think this is a rebellion. I think it is atavistic. Nobody knows exactly what it is. They don’t know what they’re doing. Why are they there? Well they’re just mad. Well, is it right for a Christian just to get involved in a protest of anger? If you’re going to demonstrate, demonstrate for righteousness. Demonstrate to lift the yoke of oppression. Demonstrate to help those that are poverty stricken, but don’t just go out and mess up a park and just scream and tear up things. I mean, why should you get involved in something like that? It’s formless, it has no purpose, but it could be used for radicals that want to destroy this nation, and that’s the bad part of it."
Uh, Pat? Have you even been listening to the protesters? The Occupy movement is fundamentally about economic injustice and oppression. 

By stereotyping all Occupiers as violent, lascivious hordes, it becomes easier to disregard their message of economic justice or ignore their complaints of police brutality. Rather than wrestle with the ethical issues raised by the Occupiers regarding poverty, jobs, and taxes, some commentators find it easier to shoot the messengers.


  1. Hmmm, I wonder if Hannity has a point. I mean, after all, he knows a thing or two about journalistic negligence... ;-)

  2. The idea that the Tea Party was not treated fairly in '09 and '10 is a joke! They dominated the public discussion for two straight years. Only until now has the press acknowledged that there is actually such a thing as a liberal base who disagrees with the notion of cutting benefits for average Americans while giving more money and power to the top 1%!

    That's why they're pissed. They no longer are controlling the discourse and discussion anymore, good riddance!

  3. Wise Fool -- :: chuckles ::

    Justin -- Good point. And it's up to politically active people to make sure that they do not control the political discussion, but that many viewpoints have a say.

  4. I walked past the OWS protesters and their tents in downtown SF yesterday and wasn't even scared. Am I brave or what?

  5. You are so right. The right wing is busy demonizing the movement by raising Soros, Van Johnson and Acorn as major players as well as playing up every incident of violence or otherwise "immoral" behavior. The funniest I saw was a fly over with a helicopter with infrared detection to "prove" that nobody was actually sleeping in the tents at night. Too funny.

  6. Donna -- :: gasps ::

    You mean you WEREN'T carried off by some drug-addled neanderthal or swept up in a wave of id-driven savagery? Count your blessings! ;)

    Sherry -- I expect the demonization to get worse as the Occupy movement proves that it has staying power.

  7. "Well, is it right for a Christian just to get involved in a protest of anger?" Obviously, if Christians are angry about income inequality or corporations that sit on their capital rather than hire at home or the failure of justice in dealing with Wall St. perfidy, Pat will let them know.

    There was a sad but compassionate handling of city issues with the movement from Portland's mayor. He made it clear that he hoped the movement would "evolve" and that he sympathizes with it. It's impossible for me to imagine how the occupation can make it as is through the kind of winter we had last year in the northern half of the nation. It's also unthinkable to imagine that it will go away. Evolve is the perfect term.

  8. Nance -- I don't know what the winter will hold for the Occupiers eithers, but I trust that they will find creative ways to continue their protest.

  9. The far-right-wingers do understand the power of marketing. They're counting on winning the propaganda war ... and on the gullibility of their target audience.

  10. Cognitive Dissenter -- Aye, they understand it very well, so progressives and moderates have to stay on our toes.


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