It’s unsurprising that establishment media outlets have been condescending, dismissive and scornful of the ongoing protests on Wall Street. Any entity that declares itself an adversary of prevailing institutional power is going to be viewed with hostility by establishment-serving institutions and their loyalists. That’s just the nature of protests that take place outside approved channels, an inevitable by-product of disruptive dissent: those who are most vested in safeguarding and legitimizing establishment prerogatives (which, by definition, includes establishment media outlets) are going to be hostile to those challenges. As the virtually universal disdain in these same circles for WikiLeaks (and, before that, for the Iraq War protests) demonstrated: the more effectively adversarial it is, the more establishment hostility it’s going to provoke.
Nor is it surprising that much of the most vocal criticisms of the Wall Street protests has come from some self-identified progressives, who one might think would be instinctively sympathetic to the substantive message of the protesters. In an excellent analysis entitled “Why Establishment Media & the Power Elite Loathe Occupy Wall Street,” Kevin Gosztola chronicles how much of the most scornful criticisms have come from Democratic partisans who — like the politicians to whom they devote their fealty — feign populist opposition to Wall Street for political gain. […]
But much of this progressive criticism consists of relatively (ostensibly) well-intentioned tactical and organizational critiques of the protests: there wasn’t a clear unified message; it lacked a coherent media strategy; the neo-hippie participants were too off-putting to Middle America; the resulting police brutality overwhelmed the message, etc. That’s the high-minded form which most progressive scorn for the protests took: it’s just not professionally organized or effective.
Some of these critiques are ludicrous. Does anyone really not know what the basic message is of this protest: that Wall Street is oozing corruption and criminality and its unrestrained political power — in the form of crony capitalism and ownership of political institutions — is destroying financial security for everyone else? Beyond that, criticizing protesters for the prominence of police brutality stories is pure victim-blaming (and, independently, having police brutality highlighted is its own benefit).
Most importantly, very few protest movements enjoy perfect clarity about tactics or command widespread support when they begin; they’re designed to spark conversation, raise awareness, attract others to the cause, and build those structural planks as they grow and develop. Dismissing these incipient protests because they lack fully developed, sophisticated professionalization is akin to pronouncing a three-year-old child worthless because he can’t read Schopenhauer: those who are actually interested in helping it develop will work toward improving those deficiencies, not harp on them in order to belittle its worth.
“Got up went to Twickenham rehearsed until lunchtime—left the Beatles—went home, and in the evening did King of Fuh at Trident studio, had chips later.”—An excerpt from George Harrison’s diary on January 10th, 1969—the day he left the Beatles. (via newsweek)
“So even as the members of Occupy Wall Street seem unorganized and, at times, uninformed, their continued presence creates a vexing problem for the Police Department.”—New York Times writer Joseph Goldstein • In an article about the NYPD’s seemingly poor handling of Occupy Wall Street. The article as a whole makes intelligent and understandable points (and goes in-depth about the use of pepper spray on Saturday), but this particular line really bothered us. This comes off as The New York Times ripping the dirty hippies for being dirty hippies, which is just an approach they should not take here. It’s condescending and shows a lack of respect for the protesters. What if they just dropped a line like that into an article about the Tea Party? It’d get savaged by the blogs! Instead of just interviewing your sources at the NYPD, Mr. Goldstein, why don’t you interview the protesters (who, we don’t know if you’ve noticed, have been clamoring for media attention), instead of discretely calling them idiots? You did it before, with this article. This piece feels like you’re writing an article about one side of the story. source (via • follow)
NYTs #Editorial #Bias demonstrated…remember the run up to the Iraq War & Judy Miller, etc.
"But let’s be clear: What he did has nothing whatsoever to do with basketball. Ratner didn’t buy the Nets as a stand-alone commercial enterprise in the hopes that ticket sales and television revenue would exceed players’ salaries and administration costs. Ratner was buying eminent domain insurance. Basketball also had very little to do with Ratner’s sale of the Nets. Ratner got hit by the recession. Fighting the court challenges to his project took longer than he thought. He became dangerously overextended. His shareholders got restless. He realized had to dump the fancy Frank Gehry design for something more along the lines of a Kleenex box. Prokhorov helped Ratner out by buying a controlling interest in the Nets. But he also paid off some of Ratner’s debts, lent him $75 million, picked up some of his debt service, acquired a small stake in the arena, and bought an option on 20 percent of the entire Atlantic Yards project. This wasn’t a fire sale of a distressed basketball franchise. It was a general-purpose real estate bailout."
“Today the wealthy have no such qualms. We have moved from a country of relative economic equality to a place where the gap between rich and poor is exceeded by only Singapore and Hong Kong. The rich have gone from being grateful for what they have to pushing for everything they can get. They have mastered the arts of whining and predation, without regard to logic or shame. In the end, this is the lesson of the NBA lockout. A man buys a basketball team as insurance on a real estate project, flips the franchise to a Russian billionaire when he wins the deal, and then — as both parties happily count their winnings — what lesson are we asked to draw? The players are greedy.”
The Nets and NBA Economics - By Malcolm Gladwell in Grantland
Yeah, so about those protesters downtown… (obviously these are my own thoughts, not representative of my employer…)
While the aimless and outraged struggled to get pics and videos of police abuse…
I understand Charlie’s frustration with the amorphous Occupy Wall Street protestors versus taking positive action (eg. the cool work he’s done with kayaking on the Hudson, start-ups hacking for famine relief, etc.).
However in my opinion, the overwhelmingly peaceful Occupy Wall Street protestors are not looking for a “Don’t taze me bro” moment but are trying to draw attention to some serious evil and possible crimes committed by the “Wall Street” investment community/investment banks - all of which have gone largely unpunished, ignored, and even bolstered by us and our government. And just to review what happened (in overly simplified shorthand):
Whoops, we effed up the world economy!
Bail us out and we’ll fix it - “Wall St. knows best.” Wink, wink.
We make profits doing it.
We save our bonuses to boot. #FTW
"Don’t regulate us Bro!"
Long-term #Stagnation & #Unemployment for the masses - #DoubleDip #FTW
Business As Usual. No effing consequences for Wall Street Co.’s & Execs.
They might not get all the ins and outs of high finance, VC, startups, etc. They might not have gone to B School like you or me or other startup types. And let’s put aside NYPD’s typical over reaction to protestors (good thing they weren’t protesting on bikes!).
But make no mistake, the Occupy Wall Street protestors are trying to make the U.S.A. a better place by: 1. Yes, getting #MSM attention on something that’s wrong and un-American; 2. Having the media and public ask questions about this scary situation that has serious implications for our country’s long-term viability; 3. Taking action (even though they might not know what that action is right now) - all via peaceful protest. That’s their strength.
Attempting to explain David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” to my ten year old and six year old…ummm…that’s going well.
Da Missus is reading "Wonderstruck" by Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret) to los bebes. Early on, it references “Major Tom” so the Missus was trying to explain the song. I played it for them on the laptop 3 or 4 times, went through the lyrics with them and the several potential meanings (2001: A Space Odyssey, drugs, etc.).
Jr.’s take on Major Tom’s : “That’s just odd.”
Here’s a cool version of “Space Oddity” from “Bowie At the Beeb”
While the cable companies may not be directly involved here, they should be really worried about deals like this. These types of deals will keep coming, and over time, the value of cable television service will continue to fall.
I just wonder how long it will be until HBO goes direct? That is, how long until you can buy it for a monthly fee without needing cable service at all? Because I’ll sign up in a second when that happens. And I bet it will happen soon.
The cable operators gives channels like HBO and Showtime a tremendous amount of money to have them NOT go directly to the customer. Until HBO or Showtime is absolutely sure that direct subscriptions through internet connections would equal or exceed these MSO fees you won’t see a direct-to-consumer offer.