jeremy ruden 58.
(photo credit: courtesy)
It is very rare for a big story to come along that the majority of the press
doesn’t know how to handle. This is the situation now in the United States with
the rise of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement which has now spread like wildfire
to almost every corner of the country since their first protest on September
More and more people are turning out for demonstrations against the
status quo stemming from the Bush administration’s decision to bail out many
Wall Street financial institutions when the American economy started its
As the movement picks up steam, it seems people from
across the political spectrum are joining even though this is a left-of-center
movement based on the unions and other organizations which have come out to
Where is the movement taking its inspiration from? According
to its website, “We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve
our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all
I believe they’re using the Arab Spring comparison
primarily for PR reasons. There’s certainly nothing “revolutionary” about what
was done in the Arab countries from a Western perspective, as the United States
has seen its fair share of peaceful demonstrations. My best guess is that they
decided to take the recent example of the Arab Spring as not only a success
story but to avoid any domestic animosity with individuals or groups who might
have not backed previous non-violent rallies in the US.
In any event, a
high percentage of the mainstream media in the United States pretty much ignored
the events at least at the beginning.
Today, with demonstrations taking
place all over the country, it’s hard to turn a blind eye.
widespread implications of the story, there aren’t too many news outlets
criticizing the movement – at least not directly.
After all, who would
even want to condemn the self-proclaimed American version of Tahrir Square?
BELIEVE that right-of-center pundits have been reluctant to carry out their
typical “anything left wing is bad” bashing due to the lines which can be drawn
between Occupy and the Tea Party.
Some articles I read even indicate that
Occupy may be the Left’s version of the Tea Party. The two might not have the
same goals but there are similarities which cannot be ignored. Both claim to be
grassroots movements but the main parallel between the two is they are both
extremely displeased with the abuses in the political system, especially within
the Democratic & Republican parties.
Midstream media is also pulling
its punches on Occupy and have kept to reporting the facts. The reason for this
could be the realization that this could turn into something big. Unlike the Tea
Party which had well-organized rallies with ready-for-consumption slogans and
symbols, Occupy seems to have come out of nowhere. Seems being the operative
word. I’m sure that origins of the movement will be revealed soon.
perception that Occupy is a voice for the 99 percent of Americans who are
getting the short end of the stick is, well, sticking – but for how long? How
big will the movement grow? Will they translate the support they’re getting into
It’s too early to tell as so many media outlets are sitting on
the fence. That’s not going to last for too long either and which side they end
up landing on may determine the fate of the entire movement. Social causes and
demonstrations need media support to succeed in the Western world. So far,
Occupy doesn’t have it.
In essence, the United States has moved to a
three-party system as of the last elections. Those Tea Party candidates who were
elected have broken off from the Republican base and do not play follow the
leader. For better or worse, they are following their own
Assuming they’ll retain steam and if Occupy goes political by the
2012 elections, the US just might have a de facto four-party system.
should all keep watching and reading. American politics could be on the verge of
a tipping point.The writer is an independent media consultant and a
former producer at the Fox News Channel in New York.