A Guide To The Smear Campaign Against Occupy Wall Street
Research ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER & CHELSEA RUDMAN
The right-wing media have engaged in a relentless smear campaign against the Occupy Wall Street movement, including calling the protesters socialists and Marxists, saying they represent the "fringe of the fringe of the fringe," and claiming they "sound like the Unabomber," among other attacks.
Fox's Doug Schoen Claims The Occupy Wall Street Movement "Reflects Values That Are Dangerously Out Of Touch With The Broad Mass Of The American People." In an October 18 Wall Street Journal article, Fox News contributor Doug Schoen claimed, based on in-person interviews his polling firm conducted at Zuccotti Park, that the Occupy Wall Street movement "reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people." [The Wall Street Journal, 10/18/11, via Media Matters]
For more on Schoen's flawed poll, SEE HERE
Varney: Demonstrators Are The "Fringe Of The Fringe Of The Fringe." On the October 14 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox Business host Stuart Varney claimed:
VARNEY: I think the numbers [of protesters] start to fade away. Rain and cold will do that to demonstrators. I -- they haven't got the numbers. This is not a movement, certainly not in New York, that's numbered in the thousands. It's a few hundred, mostly. And let's not forget, it's the fringe of the fringe of the fringe. That's who is down there demonstrating. And the rest, those who are not fringe, fringe, fringe people, they're flat-out socialists. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/14/11, via Media Matters]
Hannity Graphic Labels Protesters "Lunatics Of The Left Wing." During the September 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity, an on-screen graphic aired while the co-hosts discussed the protests, reading, "Lunatics of the left wing":
[Fox News, Hannity, 9/30/11, via Media Matters]
Fox's Trotta On Occupy Wall Street Website: "What You Will Read Is The Ravings Of What Sounds Like The Unabomber." On the October 8 edition of Fox News' America's News HQ, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta claimed, "I advise anybody who has a sense of humor left about this to go to OccupyWallStreet.com, and what you will read is the ravings of what sounds like the Unabomber ... it's certainly better going down there and carrying signs than going out and hitting the pavement for a job." [Fox News, America's News HQ, 10/8/11, via Media Matters]
Doocy Quotes NY Post To Claim "Number One Reason" People Attend The Protest Is "Free Food." On the October 11 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed she "wanted to give you a flavor of some of the people who are" at the protests. Fox & Friends then showed a picture of an alleged "fugitive" who they said "needs some methadone every day." Carlson then showed an image of a man who was allegedly teaching protesters "how to pick a set of handcuffs with a bobby pin." Co-host Steve Doocy concluded the segment by citing a New York Post article to claim that the "number one reason people are -- you know the crowd is growing -- number one reason people are going to this thing: food, there is free food for everybody." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/10/11, via Media Matters]
Bolling: Occupy Wall Street Protesters "Do Seem Like Petulant Little Children." On the October 10 edition of Fox News' Your World, guest host Eric Bolling hosted syndicated columnist Star Parker to attack the Occupy Wall Street protests. Bolling introduced the segment by claiming that the protesters "do seem like petulant little children ... how about going out and trying to find a job instead?" [Fox News, Your World, 10/10/11, via Media Matters]
Limbaugh Derides Occupy Wall Street Protesters As "Pure, Genuine Parasites," Says Many Are "Bored Trust Fund Kids." On the October 10 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Rush Limbaugh called the protesters "pure, genuine parasites" and said many are "bored trust fund kids." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/10/11, via Media Matters]
Fox's Johnson: Wall Street Protesters Are "The Little Rascals Gone Camping Down In Downtown Manhattan." On the October 6 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. said of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, "We basically have the Little Rascals gone camping down in downtown Manhattan." Johnson later claimed the protesters have become the "unintentional dupes of the 2012 election." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/6/11, via Media Matters]
Fox's Stephen Hayes On Occupy Wall Street: "This Is Not Going To Amount Of Any Kind Of A Serious Movement." During the October 4 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Stephen Hayes, a Fox News contributor and senior writer for The Weekly Standard, said of the Occupy Wall Street protests, "This is not going to amount to any kind of a serious movement." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 10/4/11, via Media Matters]
Johnson: "I Would Think" Wall Street Protesters "Are Deluded In A Lot Of Ways." On the October 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. attacked the Occupy Wall Street protesters, claiming, "Clearly, I would think these folks are deluded in a lot of ways and probably provide the best argument for national service for 18-year-olds that we have ever seen." Johnson later said of the protests: "I don't know what it is. I don't think they know what it is. But it's costing Americans millions of dollars in tax dollars in order to arrest them." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/3/11, via Media Matters]
Fox's Watters: Wall Street Protesters Are "The Sludge" Of "Every Left-Wing Cause." On the September 30 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News producer Jesse Watters said of the protests: "I think if you put every single left-wing cause into a blender and hit power this is the sludge you'd get. And it's basically anti-capitalism. And they want to redistribute the wealth. But if you eliminate capitalism, there is no wealth to redistribute." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 9/30/11, via Media Matters]
Guilfoyle: Protesters Have "Absolutely No Purpose Or Focus" And Are "Just Looking To ... Dirty The Streets." On the September 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle said of the protests: "It's like Woodstock meets Burning Man meets people with absolutely no purpose or focus in life. No wonder, they have nothing but free time to be down there. They make up a slogan or a cause as they go along. And they are just looking to, like, go out there and dirty the streets. And they really don't have any, like, idea about what they are doing there." [Fox News, Hannity, 9/30/11, via Media Matters]
On Fox, NY Post's Goodwin Says OWS Is A "Socialist Movement Designed To Destroy Capitalism." On the October 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin said that Occupy Wall Street is a "socialist movement designed to destroy capitalism." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/18/11, via Media Matters]
Fox's Charles Gasparino: Occupy Wall Street Is A "Marxist Epicenter" That's Becoming "Increasingly Violent." On the October 17 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, co-host Jenna Lee quoted her guest, Fox Business correspondent Charles Gasparino, as calling the protests a "Marxist epicenter." Gasparino went on to repeatedly call the protesters "Marxist" and later called them "anti-American" and said the protests are becoming "increasingly violent." [Fox News, Happening Now, 10/17/11, via Media Matters]
WSJ's Bret Stephens: Occupy Wall Street Protests Are "Not Populism -- This Is, Maybe, Anarchism." On the October 16 edition of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, Wall Street Journal columnist and editor Bret Stephens said the Occupy Wall Street protests are "not populism -- this is, maybe, anarchism or something entirely different." [CNN, Fareed Zakaria GPS, 10/16/11, via Media Matters]
Nugent: "Occupy Wall Street Is Nothing More Than Anti-American Socialism On Parade." In his October 14 Washington Times column, Ted Nugent derided the Occupy Wall Street protesters as "useful idiots" and "softheaded numskulls," and claimed that the movement is "nothing more than anti-American socialism on parade." [The Washington Times, 10/14/11, via Media Matters]
Kilmeade: "Taxpayers [Are] Launching A Counter Protest, Saying ... 'We Are the 53 Percent That Actually Pay Our Taxes.' " During the October 11 broadcast of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade hyped conservative commentator Erick Erickson's counter protest, "We Are The 53 Percent," by saying:
KILMEADE: All right, Occupy Wall Street getting some competition. Taxpayers launching a counter protest, saying, quote, "We are the 53 percent that actually pay our taxes and the protests are costing us millions." All true. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/11/11, via Media Matters]
Crowley: Protesters Are "Useful Idiots Who Probably Haven't Paid Much In Taxes Their Whole Life." On the October 10 edition of Fox News' Your World, Fox News contributor Monica Crowley called the protesters "useful idiots who probably haven't paid much in taxes their whole life, have no concept -- and all they know is, 'Oh, profit is a four-letter word, corporations and rich folks -- millionaires and billionaires are evil, they need to be taxed more.' As if they don't pay enough." [Fox News, Your World, 10/10/11, via Media Matters]
Daily Caller, Malkin Claim Occupy Wall Street Protests Suffer From "A Serious Lack Of Diversity" And Are "99 Percent Non-Diverse." On October 4, The Daily Caller published an article titled, "99% what? 'Occupy Wall Street' organizers look for minorities." The article claimed "photos and videos" of protesters "indicate they suffer from a serious lack of diversity." It went on to quote right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin as saying, "When Occupy Wall Street activists call themselves the '99 percent,' it turns out they mean 99 percent non-diverse (by their own politically correct measurements)." [The Daily Caller, 10/4/11]
Fox Nation Links To Daily Caller Article Under Photo Of Diverse Crowd. On October 5, Fox Nation linked to the Daily Caller story under a picture of a racially diverse crowd of protesters:
[Fox Nation, 10/5/11]
Limbaugh Speculates About "Anti-Semitic Code" In Phrases Like "We Are The 99 Percent" And "Occupy Wall Street." From the October 11 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Now, there's something interesting, too, about the protests. We've talked to you before, last week, week before that, I think, about this group, this magazine called Adbusters. You know, Adbusters is also very much involved in the Occupy Wall Street Now movement. And David Brooks, you know, a clock is right twice a day. David Brooks has a column in The New York Times today with an interesting implication. He writes that the impetus for Occupy Wall Street was sparked by Adbusters magazine.
Now, Adbusters magazine is known for -- you may not have heard of them, but within certain circles Adbusters magazine is known for quite a lot, and one of the things that they did that stands out was an essay in 2004 entitled "Why Won't They Say They Are Jewish?" David Brooks says that that 2004 essay in Adbusters outed influential Jews as a tiny elite with a nefarious grip on America. The old Jewish power brokers, the movies, the bankers, that stereotype, that conspiracy theory. Well, not just the neocons. This was an attack on -- neocons included in it -- but this was an attack on all Jews, this was an anti-Semitic bunch. The -- and some people no doubt are gonna think that Brooks is on to something here. The one percent line -- these people are running around saying, "I'm the 99 percent." These signs I just shared with you in the first half hour of these people writing, "I am the 99 percent" is how each of them ends. That's the last line in each of these signs, or messages, that these people are writing. But they are touting themselves as the 99 percent.
Now, some people think the 99 percent's also the 99 weeks of unemployment compensation because that group also calls themselves the 99ers, but the 99 percent versus the 1 percent is another angle that the group is talking about here. And Wall Street and bankers, those two terms have been anti-Semitic code for Jews in this country for a long time. Occupier, Occupy Wall Street Now. I mean that's -- I've often said, I said last week he who controls the definition of words, the meaning of words, controls the debate. He who controls the language controls the debate. There's a lot of interesting stuff here. Occupy Wall Street Now, 99 percent, that leaves 1 percent, roughly the percentage of Jews in the population, too. And Wall Street and bankers have been anti-Semitic code for Jews in this country going back quite a while.
Now, what's happening here is that the Democrats -- this is where Brooks may be on to something. It's too early to tell. But the Democrats are embracing this group of people. They are embracing them big time. The Democrats -- Jan Schakowsky in Illinois, members of Congress -- cannot help themselves. They are embracing this group and encouraging this group. Celebrities are showing up now. Kanye West shows up with Russell Simmons, and he was wearing his big gold chains, and he hung around for a while. He did a little -- he did a perp walk, signed some autographs and had to get out of there because he was mobbed by these people. But this Adbusters bunch has a history of anti-Semitism, proud anti-Semitism. The article about Jewish "neocons" was just one of their pieces, Snerdley, that you mentioned here, along those lines. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/11/11, via Media Matters]
Ace Of Spades Labels Occupy Wall Street Movement "Anti-Semitic." From an Ace of Spades HQ post titled "Obama to Embrace Anti-Semitic 'Occupy' Movement":
After waiting three weeks for glowing MBM reports and biased polls to give the Occupy movement some heft, the White House is ready affiliate itself with the raging hipsters.
In a call previewing Obama's upcoming bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama "will continue to acknowledge the frustration that he himself shares," about Washington's laggard response to the financial crisis.
Earnest added that while on the trip, Obama will make it clear that he is fighting to make certain that the "interests of 99 percent of Americans are well represented" -- the first time the White House has used the term to differentiate the vast majority of Americans from the wealthy.
The media worked night and day to make the Tea Party out to be a racist, violent group of astroturfed malcontents without any legitimate goal, an impression the Democrats were happy to abet. This time around, the make-believe media is delighted to look the other way while the Occupiers demonstrate casual anti-Semitism. [Ace of Spades, 10/17/11]
Daily Caller Publishes Story Claiming One Organizer "Admit[ted] To Paying Some 'Occupy DC' Protesters." On October 7, The Daily Caller published a story claiming to show that "a liberal organizer" said he "paid some Hispanics to attend 'Occupy DC' protests." [The Daily Caller, 10/7/11, via Media Matters]
Fox & Friends Hypes Daily Caller Story: It's "The Paid-To-Protest Scandal You Got To Hear To Believe." On the October 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy said, "And those Wall Street protests spreading again, this time to Washington, D.C. Hundreds showing up to occupy our nation's capital. But hey -- I'd show up, too, if I was getting paid. That's right -- the paid-to-protest scandal you got to hear to believe." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/7/11, via Media Matters]
For the truth about the Daily Caller's story, SEE HERE.
Fox's Baier Claimed Occupy Wall Street Protests "Elicit[ed] Support" From Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei. On the October 12 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Bret Baier claimed that the protests had "elicit[ed] support" from Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei. [Fox News, Special Report, 10/12/11, via Media Matters]
Baier Previously Claimed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "Threw His Support Behind Protesters." On the October 11 edition of Special Report, Baier claimed that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "threw his support behind protesters" at Occupy Wall Street. [Fox News, Special Report, 10/11/11, via Media Matters]
For the truth about Chavez's and Khamenei's statements, SEE HERE.
Fox, Jim Hoft, And The Blaze Hype American Nazi Party's Endorsement Of Occupy Wall Street Protests. On October 15, Fox Nation, blogger Jim Hoft, and Glenn Beck's site The Blaze all hyped the American Nazi Party's announcement of support for the Occupy Wall Street movement. On the October 17 edition of Special Report, Baier said that the Occupy Wall Street protests were "getting support from some out-of-the-mainstream groups," including the "American Nazi Party." [Media Matters, 10/18/11]
For more on the right-wing's hyping of the American Nazi Party's endorsement, SEE HERE.
Nugent: Wall Street Protesters Are "Hygiene-Challenged" "Stinky Hippies." In an October 14 Washington Times column, Ted Nugent called the Occupy Wall Street protesters "hygiene-challenged, uber-lefty America-haters" and "[s]tinky hippies." [Washington Times, 10/14/11]
Erickson: Protesters Are "Unwashed Hippies" And "Most Of The Common Ground With Most Of These Damn Dirty Communists Is Superficial." In an October 14 post on RedState, Erick Erickson wrote: "We shouldn't let unwashed hippies be the only people [the unemployed] hear speaking to their concerns. ... Most of the common ground with most of these damn dirty communists is superficial." [RedState, 10/14/11]
RedState: Wall Street Protesters Are "A Slothful And Dirty Bunch." From an October 14 RedState post:
Apparently, the protesters holed up in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park are a slothful and dirty bunch. Or, to put it in more PC terms, as the owners of the park, Brookfield Partners, stated in a flyer:
"The manner in which Zuccotti Park has been used for the past several weeks has created unsanitary conditions."
As a result, the park that has housed the Neo-Com protesters for the last several weeks is scheduled to get a badly-needed cleaning on Friday morning.
Unsurprisingly, the squatters of Zuccotti Park are upset at the fact that their hovel needs a bath, insisting, according to CNN, that they will not be moving for the clean up.
"Come tomorrow morning, we will passively resist and make it as difficult a process to remove us as possible," said Occupy Wall Street spokesman Tyler Combelic. "It's not an occupation if you can't occupy the park."
Of course not. You can't be a squatter if you can't squat. [RedState, 10/14/11]
Kilmeade: Protesters "Sit In Their Own Squalor All Day." On the October 11 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Kilmeade claimed Occupy Wall Street protesters "sit in their own squalor all day." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/11/11, via Media Matters]
Kilmeade: Wall Street Protesters "Choose Not To Shower Much." On the October 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Kilmeade mocked the Wall Street protesters, claiming:
KILMEADE: Do you remember during the Bush years around 2004, 2005, the anarchists would just show up at all the G7 meetings? Lot of young people, mostly European, they would show up. This looks [like] the same thing and the same group of people who have one thing in common, they choose not to shower much. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/4/11 via Media Matters]
Erickson: "I'm One Of The 53% ... Subsidizing These People So They Can Go Hang Out On Wall Street To Complain." In an October 5 post on RedState, CNN contributor Erick Erickson wrote:
Well, these people apparently forgot that life is not fair and are demanding the government intervene to legislate that life suddenly become fair. They are claiming to be the "99%" against the evil 1% of rich people who work on Wall Street. They are posting pictures to a website holding up their sob stories. Some are terribly tragic, but most? Boo-freakin'-hoo. Life is not, never has been, and never will be fair.
I would like to point out to these people that I work three jobs, can't sell my house in this economy, still am paying massive student loans, and somehow or another do not blame Wall Street for my situation. In fact, I'm one of the 53% -- the 53% of Americans subsidizing these people so they can go hang out on Wall Street to complain.
Get a job hippies! [RedState, 10/5/11]
Doocy: "The Message [Of The 53 Percent Site] Is The Protesters Have Failed To Take Personal Responsibility ... They Say, 'Suck It Up, You Whiners.' " On the October 11 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, the co-hosts hyped Erickson's "53 percent" site. Kilmeade claimed the people posting to the 53 percent site "have jobs, and they're trying to earn a living," in contrast to the Occupy Wall Street protesters, who "sit in their own squalor all day." From the broadcast:
CARLSON: In the meantime, you know how this Occupy Wall Street stuff has continued into its fourth week? Well, now some conservatives are launching a counterattack to that, and they are calling this "We are the 53 percent." What does that mean? That means that they say that they are the 53 percent that are paying the taxes that the 47 percent who don't pay federal income taxes -- they're the other group in America who is actually paying federal income taxes.
DOOCY: Yeah, this is the brainchild of Erick Erickson, who runs the RedState.com website. And the message is the protesters have failed to take personal responsibility for blaming their economic problems on other -- on others. They say, quote, "Suck it up, you whiners. I am the 53 percent subsidizing you so you can hang out on Wall Street and complain." He's taking aim at those people right there, holding the signs.
KILMEADE: And people also -- that's the picture that they have and that's their daily (unclear) -- and some of the people that write, I don't have health insurance, but I don't blame Wall Street. Stop whining, suck it up, and God bless the U.S.A. I don't blame Wall Street, it doesn't matter what Wall Street or anyone else does, I'm responsible for my own destiny, is another one of the messages. And in the big picture, I think it's interesting that they put pictures and explanations, because they have jobs, and they're trying to earn a living. And they cannot sit in - sit in their own squalor all day. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/11/11, via Media Matters]
Kilmeade: "The 53 Percent" Are "The People Who Actually Pay Their Taxes" And "Want You To Pay Your Fair Share." Later during the show, Kilmeade said:
KILMEADE: All right. Wall Street occupiers meet their match. The people who actually pay their taxes are on their way. They call themselves the 53 percent. And they want you to pay your fair share. I'm optimistic that will be a good segment.
During the tease, the following text was aired on-screen:
[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/11/11, via Media Matters]
The Blaze: "Could The 53%-ers Be The New Silent Majority In America?" An October 13 post on The Blaze promoted "a budding movement called 'I am the 53%' " whose followers, it claimed, "are not 'wealthy' people ... but they do not blame 'Wall Street.' " The post went on to claim that the "53%-ers feel a common bond with other responsible/self-sufficient citizens. They also wear their successes and failures with honor." From The Blaze:
Less than a week ago we reported on a budding movement called "I am the 53%." These folks call themselves the 53% because they claim to be part of the 53% of the American people who actually pay Federal Income Taxes, meaning they are ones who support the 47% that pay nothing in Federal taxes.
These are not "wealthy" people. Many are struggling to make ends meet or even to hold on to their homes, but they do not blame "Wall Street." In fact, most feel as if the politicians in Washington, DC are at the core of the problem and do not have the solutions to the troubles plaguing our economy.
The 53%-ers feel a common bond with other responsible/self-sufficient citizens. They also wear their successes and failures with honor. This informal, but growing group of citizens that do not identify with the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd must be of concern for the Left and those who are endorsing the "occupiers" because the Left has started attacking and mocking the 53% movement.
And yet, the growth and momentum of this fledgling movement seems to be building.
Could the 53%-ers be the new silent majority in America? [The Blaze, 10/13/11]