The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that started in New York City on Sept. 16 have now turned in to a national movement. There are more than 70 ongoing demonstrations across the country, with New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix and Miami seeing some of the largest turnouts. Police and protestors have had heated confrontations, leading to hundreds of arrests in New York and Boston.
But some public personalities still refuse to take the movement seriously. From elected officials to TV news anchors, people who’ve invested in the status quo are up in arms to brush off the movement that’s trying to hold it accountable. Here are five of the demeaning cheap shots we’ve seen so far.
Fox & Friends: Occupy Wall Street is “full of felons and drug users.”
No big surprise here, but it’s still sort of fascinating to see just what Fox News will come up with next. This time around Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” presented a selective sampling of who they see out protesting: “convicted criminals, methadone felons and professional handcuff-lock-pickers.” And it gets better. According to the hosts, demonstrators are only showing up for the free food.
Newt Gingrich: Occupy Wall Street is full of “dumb ideas.”
Newt Gingrich was a guest on CBS’s “Face the Nation” this past weekend and called the protesters “dumb and uneducated.”
<blockquote><p>"We have had a strain of hostility to free enterprise and frankly, a strain of hostility to classic America starting in our academic institutions and spreading across this country and I regard the Wall Street protesters as a natural outcome of a bad education system teaching them really dumb ideas."</p></blockquote><p>He's also called Occupy Wall Street demonstrators "<a href="http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201110030025">stupid</a>" on his radio show.</p><p> </p> <p><font style="font-size: 1.25em;"><b>Rep. Peter King: "We must stop those ragtag mobs and anarchists before they actually change policy."</b></font><br /></p> <p>Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) was a guest on <a href="http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/rep-peter-king-attacks-ows-ragtag-mob-a">The Laura Ingraham Show</a> and talked about how he's afraid that the growing number of Occupy Wall Street protesters, along with the media coverage of the movement, may end up shaping U.S. government policy -- much like the anti-war protesters did in the 1960s and '70s.</p> <blockquote><p>"The fact is these people are anarchists. They have no idea what they're doing out there," King said. "They have no sense of purpose other than a basically anti-American tone and anti-capitalist. It's a ragtag mob basically.</p><p>"We have to be careful not to allow this to get any legitimacy," he said, adding "I'm taking this seriously in that I'm old enough to remember what happened in the 1960s when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy. We can't allow that to happen."</p><p><br /></p></blockquote><p><b><font style="font-size: 1.25em;">Monica Crowley: Wall Street protestors are "useful idiots who probably haven't paid much in taxes their whole life."</font></b></p> <div style="float:right; margin: 0px 0px 0px 20px; width:320px;"> <object height="240" width="320"><param name="movie" value="http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/flash/pl55.swf" /><param name="flashvars" value="config=http://mediamatters.org/embed/cfg3?id=201110100006" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="allownetworking" value="all" /><embed src="http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/flash/pl55.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" flashvars="config=http://mediamatters.org/embed/cfg3?id=201110100006" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="240" width="320"></embed></object></div> <p>On Monday, <span class="st">conservative radio and television commentator </span>Monica Crowley was a guest on Fox News' "Your World." She got right down to business, generalizing the protesters as working class kids, aging hippies, and Obama supporters. <br /></p><p><em><br /></em></p> <br clear="all" /><p></p><p></p> <br /><p><font style="font-size: 1.25em;"><b>Herman Cain: Occupy Wall Street protesters are a bunch of "jealous Americans" who "play the victim card" and want to "take somebody else's Cadillac."</b></font></p> <p>Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain seems to have a daily insult for Occupy Wall Street. On CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday Cain said<a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-cain-occupy-wall-street-20111009,0,972806.story"> called the protesters</a> "jealous" Americans who "play the victim card" and want to "take somebody else's" Cadillac.</p> <p>Last week, he also told <a href="http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/10/herman_cain_calls_occupy_wall_street_un-american_and_anti-capitalist.html">Wall Street demonstrators not to blame Wall Street, but to blame themselves:</a> "Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks, if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself!" Cain said. "It is not a person's fault if they succeeded, it is a person's fault if they failed."<br /><br /></p>