Saturday, January 7, 2012

With the Suppression of the Occupy Movement Encampments, the 1% Media Lies Return

With the Suppression of the Occupy Movement Encampments the False 1% Media Lies Return

Robert Kane Pappas directed the prescient documentary "Orwell Rolls in His Grave." He knows a bit about corporate control of the media frame, and he's deeply concerned that the nationwide crackdown on the Occupy movement was an attempt to divert news coverage back to the status quo frames of the 1 percent.

What concerns Pappas, he said in a conversation with BuzzFlash, is not so much that there might have been national coordination among cities who, within a few days of each other, evicted protesters to squash the physical presence of the Occupy campaign's encampments - an issue which BuzzFlash at Truthout has discussed before. Rather, Pappas is worried that, by depriving protesters of the pieces of land that created a visible image of the movement, the suppression has allowed the media to return to its numbing "process" coverage of politics and the acceptable terms of the DC/Wall Street debate ("debt" reduction, lower taxes for the wealthy, the "need" for more oil, global warming denial, etcetera).

True, the Republican caucuses are tomorrow and certainly deserve political coverage, but the frame that emerged during the "landed" days of the Occupy campaign - the plight of the 99 percent - has already greatly shifted back to mainstream DC lobbyist concerns.

The police crackdown on the nonviolent Occupy protesters fulfilled the number-one exception to corporate-owned television's usual echoing of the wealthy's mantras: violence that could be sensationalized because it portrayed conflict and drama: A crack on the head with a nightstick; a war veteran suffering traumatic brain injury at the hands of the police; women being pepper-sprayed by a commanding police officer for no reason. All of these incidents, and others, create more news viewers and higher advertising rates. The police "rioting" and over-reaction to persons asserting their First Amendment rights brought a new frame to the news: the inequality of the distribution of wealth in the United States, in which people who sat at desks and gambled with working people's money made off like bandits while the mass of America struggled to pay the bills.

Not only do the superwealthy indulge in gluttonous lifestyles, they also accumulate even more wealth as the working class and the poor go into debt and pay onerous interest rates to survive. Pappas' point is that the shutdown of Occupy's pieces of claimed land was a way to refocus news coverage on the perennial false frames of the "haves."

And judging from the coverage since the closure of the long-term physical encampments of the national Occupy movement, the powers that be have succeeded in reinstating the false frame of "debt," not greed, bringing down America.

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