If, by now, you haven’t read the incredible public response from NPR regarding the intentional decision to ignore the Occupy Wall Street protests now in their second week, prepare to be repulsed even if you automatically deride liberal protests as dumb hippies who need a bath or less piercings:

We asked the newsroom to explain their editorial decision. Executive editor for news Dick Meyer came back: “The recent protests on Wall Street did not involve large numbers of people, prominent people, a great disruption or an especially clear objective.”

Haha, right. Because the fucking Tea Party protests with their “more media than protesters” and the great disruption of several Hoverounds crowding the snack cart and the “especially clear objective” of birthers and Paultards and racists and gun nuts and apocalyptic Jesus freaks and Glenn Beck fanatics was really compelling and newsworthy, right?

Never never never listen to NPR. If you want honest news, go to Bloomberg or Pacifica or something. And if you want an interesting take on the Occupy Wall Street action, read this smart Field Report by Jonathan Baldwin:

[F]rom twenty-somethings with asymmetric haircuts, to war veterans, elderly women and others in full business attire, there’s a wonderful dynamic of opinions and back stories to those that have come. Although the occupation has been taking place since Saturday, September 17th, Wednesday was my first real encounter with the park. I knew immediately that this protest was different – it didn’t have that feeling of transient haphazardness that plagues other activist clusters, where turning away for a moment might make the whole thing disappear. Occupy Wall Street is special, it’s a community trying to be self-sustaining. Organizing first, becoming survivable, then figuring out their demands to Wall Street in an organic bottom-up approach. The most unique aspect of this dynamic are the working groups that have sprung up to take care of community needs: tasks for media, legal, direct action, arts & culture, food distribution, communication, medical, waste disposal & cleanliness, treasury and child care have been carefully divided amongst volunteers with a surprising amount of efficiency.


Based on the interviews with Matt and Ted, I feel as if there is a shift in the active members. Matt had mentioned that many of the original planners were burnt out from the months of meetings and couldn’t make it through another week. What they did was catalyse a movement and let others take over when the basic structures had been formed. In my thesis work, this resonates with my view of targeted stakeholders and users. The stakeholders I have to engage are those that work with mesh technology and the people willing to go into micro-communities, or clusters, and setup the basic infrastructures. Additional stakeholders and the users need to rely on an interface to engage and perpetuate an information exchange economy to keep the mesh alive.

[Occupy Wall Street field report]

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  1. Used to listen to NPR because there were no commercials. Now it seems their whole line-up is one big commercial for "go-along to get-along". Must be tough to be scared all of the time.

  2. How can you expect them to cover these protests, when really important stuff like the murder trial of Micheal Jackson's doctor is going on *right now*.

  3. Ok, Will, can you give us the answer to last week's Puzzle?

    Sure, Audie. I asked you to provide the name of a clueless Executive Editor here at NPR, first name a common phallic term, last name a well-known brand of phallic-shaped food.

    And what was the answer?

    Dick Meyer.

    We had about ten million correct entries. Here on the line from somewhere in California is our randomly chosen winner, Ken Layne. Hi, Ken.

    Hi, Audie, hi, Will. Go fuck yourselves.

  4. “The recent protests on Wall Street did not involve large numbers of people, prominent people, a great disruption or an especially clear objective.”

    Hear that, #OccupyWallSt? You're not being disruptive enough to make the news. And if you do get disruptive enough to make the news, you'll be written off as filthy bomb-throwing anarchists who just want to hijack the coverage.

  5. NPR, in their defense, pointed to the fact that the NY Times had also poo-pooed the idea of reporting earnestly or enthusiastically on the protests, apart from the one or two sneering, dismissive articles of the "whatever happened to the American Left " variety. So there you have it — NPR refuses to get scooped or do any scooping!

    EDIT: je je — I said "poo poo" and "scooping"

  6. CNN's front page has a box with several stories on the Jackson trial, and their Top Stories, mixed in with real news, include two stories on the Palins, a story about Dancing With the Stars, gossip about fighting between William Shatner and George Takei, and a cute dog story; but no mention of the Wall Street protests; that's unimportant enough to be buried within their US News section.

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