Billionaire Media Moguls vs. Occupy Wall Street
by Eric Alterman
Posted November 18, 2011
Hundreds of police officers, many wearing riot helmets, marched into lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning to clear out the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The operation required boroughwide task forces and “scores of mobile officers who are usually used to flood high-crime neighborhoods.” According to the police, 142 people were arrested, largely for “disorderly conduct and resisting arrest,” though it turned out that according to a judge’s ruling, the police did not have the right to clear the park at all, but merely to dispose of its tents and sleeping bags.
The first thing the police did was clear out the journalists so that they could not see what was going on—just as they routinely do in totalitarian nations. At least 10 reporters were arrested. Ironically, the owners of at least three New York newspapers could not have been happier. Of course, all three are not merely members of “the one percent” but the 1 percent of the 1 percent.
Lost among this tone of self-congratulation by the millionaires and billionaires who are lucky enough to buy their ink by the barrel are not only their alleged commitment to the protection of the first amendment but the facts themselves that inspired the protests. More…