People Are Catching On to the Occupiers

Pete Wehner writes in Commentary about the media’s extraordinary effort to buoy up the Occupy movement:

There are many ways to measure media bias in America — but in some respects the coverage of the Tea Party Movement versus the coverage of OWS is among the most revealing of all.

Having watched coverage of both movements, it’s clear to me that the press, in the main, approached the stories from opposite ends. There was a palpable eagerness to portray the Tea Party in the most negative light possible — as a gathering of racists, simpletons, and fools. They searched and searched again for any sign, any comment, and any action that might reflect poorly on the Tea Party. The entire frame of the story was, in almost every respect, negative. One could not help coming away from most stories on the Tea Party without the distinct feeling that the press was starting out hostile toward it, determined that readers and viewers alike come away with the impression that those who comprised the Tea Party are at best cartoonish figures and at worst bigots. There was very little effort to understand what it was really all about.

When it comes to Occupy Wall Street, on the other hand, the coverage is much more inclined to be sympathetic. The press – much of it, anyway – is bending over backwards to help us understand the grievances of the OWS protesters. They are the expression of a legitimate anger in America toward Wall Street.

That is unquestionably true. However, the press is fighting an uphill battle, as the Occupiers engage in riots, rapes and assaults, not to mention public urination, defecation and masturbation, and not a little outright insanity. It is hard to hush all of that up. As a result, people are starting to catch on. Early polling showed a reasonably favorable attitude toward the Occupiers on the part of many Americans. But a Quinnipiac survey that came out on Wednesday found that by a 39%-30% margin, voters view the Occupiers unfavorably. Among independents, the numbers are worse–42% unfavorable and only 29% favorable. Those numbers are sure to worsen as Americans learn more about the Occupiers, notwithstanding the manful efforts of the press.

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