Ever since a member of the Qatari royal family took charge of the network, coverage was getting a bit weird. Don’t get me wrong, Al Jazeera can do some fantastic coverage on various matters in the region, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They also did an amazing job…
As Clashes Continue in Egypt, a Media War Breaks Out
On the third day of clashes between security forces and protesters in the center of the capital, a new battle broke out Sunday betweenEgypt’s state-run and independent media over whom to blame for the violence.
Is this a class war? Yes, probably. And it’s one of those really long wars, the kind that goes on forever. But in this latest battle, there’s little doubt who fired the first shot. When the financial crisis hit, the Masters of the Universe evaded responsibility and defiantly demanded more sacrifice from their victims. They enlisted their favoured politicians to hold the people hostage and then complained about being unloved despite their crimes. They have won all the early skirmishes - but the people are gathering their forces and starting to fight back.
“The top 1 per cent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 per cent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 per cent eventually do learn. Too Late.
Cops watching a man drown because they can no longer afford water-rescue training? Actually happening. That’s just what happens when one political party openly declares it wants to shrink the size of government until its small enough to drown in a bath tub. Our November/December cover story is up, and it’s a must-read.
What these people are doing is building, for lack of a better word, a church of dissent. It’s not a march, though marches are spinning off of the campground. It’s not even a protest, really. It is a group of people, gathered together, to create a public space seeking meaning in their culture. They are asserting, together, to each other and to themselves, “we matter”.
“A Church Of Dissent”
That’s Matt Stoller’s description of Occupy Wall Street
CNN feted its newest anchor at Robert restaurant at The Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle, just a few hundred feet from CNN’s NYC headquarters, overlooking Columbus Circle and the southwest corner of Central Park.” Among the many fabulous guests celebrating Burnett’s new “news” program was JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Do you think any of this might have anything to do with her scorn for Wall Street protests and her perpetual defense of the nation’s oligrachs? Would it ever occur to CNN that perhaps a former Wall Street banker at Goldman Sachs, currently engaged to a Citigroup executive, might not be the best person to cover those protests? Of course not: that’s exactly the bias that makes her such an appropriate choice in the eyes of her Time Warner bosses.
Nobel Peace Prize winners. From left to right: President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia (AP Photo); Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee (AP); Yemeni Tawakul Karman who head the organisation Women Journalists Without Chains (AP).
They were awarded the prize for “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” Johnson-Sirleaf is Liberia’s first elected female president and has acted as a reformer in her time in office. Gbowee organized a group of Christian and Muslim women to stand up to Liberian warlords. Karman is a Yemeni journalist who is both a women’s rights activist and a leading protest organiser in Yemen’s Arab Spring uprisings.
NEW YORK — Sal Cioffi and Randy Otero are union electricians from Local 3 of the IBEW in New York. They’re working on the Freedom Tower a few blocks over in lower Manhattan. Over the past couple of days, they’ve taken to having their lunch in Zuccotti Park, in the middle of the Occupy Wall Street protesters who have set up camp here. The event has grown sufficiently that it’s now attracted almost as many food trucks and mobile falafel units as it has television-news trucks, so there’s always some place for Sal and Randy to buy lunch. So they park themselves on the stone bench, put their hard hats on the ground and, almost organically, they become part of the event.
“We’ve had demonstrations, and it never makes the news,” says Sal. “We could have 10,000 workers demonstrating, and it won’t make the news. At least, something like this, they get the publicity.”
“We had a rally for the workers, two months ago, and we marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, and there were people crossing that bridge for an hour-and-a-half, and it didn’t hit the news,” Randy adds. “All organized labor, no press coverage whatsoever.
“Now, this here, they’re not leaving, so the media has to cover it. And it’s very close to Ground Zero, and once the police get involved, they have to cover it.”
“They’re waiting for someone to do something wrong,” Sal says.
What the two of them have found for themselves, here amid the guitars and the drums, and the indistinguishable forms shifting in their sleeping bags against the advancing autumn chill, is a public space for ideas. If the primary criticism of the ongoing demonstrations is that they seem to lack, as a hundred media reports have put it, “a cohesive public message,” that is also one of their great strengths. This is a very loud and clear yawp against the irresponsible use of power by unaccountable institutions, including, increasingly, the government itself. The protests here are omni-directional. They appear inchoate because their target is so diffuse — an accelerating sense in the country that there is no pea under any of the shells, that the red Jack is not in the deck, that the wealth of the country is being swindled and gambled and frittered away by so many people in so many ways that to sharpen the focus on one of the long cons is to let a dozen others reach fruition.