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MEDIA FARM: THE MEDIA AND THE MESSAGE

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After two months, the Occupy Boston movement finally, at long last, got the attention of the Boston media at large. What did they have to do to get on the cover of the Sunday Boston Globe? Oh just get shut down.

An orderly close to Occupy” was how Mark Arsenault put it in his cover story.

The protesters never issued a set of demands, and often it seemed they were pulling in different directions. But the encampment came to stand for a gut feeling, felt by many who have suffered in recent hard economic times, that some people get extremely rich on the engine of capitalism, but lots of others get run over.

The “gut feeling” Arsenault is referring to was proven, time and time again, through massive charts, lengthy reports and continually tweeted and retweeted links of information regarding the massive scale of income inequality in just the last four years alone. After all was said and done, did the media get the message?

Some did and some simply refuse to cover the issue, which the President himself has called “The defining issue of our time.”

NECN seems to do the best job in reporting the cause. Brendan Monahan characterized Occupy as a “protest against corporate America.” His co-worker John Moroney reported later that “the economic and social injustices that fueled the movement still exist and must be addressed.”

In reporting on the raid, the national feed from Associated Press said Occupy Boston was “protesting economic disparity and corporate control of government,” a fact which was unsurprisingly edited out of the MyFoxBoston report from NewsCore. Fox also was keen on putting “Occupy Boston” in quotes. And a Globe editorial said the encampment was “a daily reminder of the human cost of the recent economic downturn.”

Meanwhile at the Boston Herald, there are the right-wing windbags who still don’t seem to read the internet. 96.9 WTKK drive-time dilhammer Michael Graham took an entire column explaining his ignorance was exceedingly deep.

One advantage the Occupiers always had, however, is that nobody really knew what they were “protesting.” The only legacy of the Occupation will be the millions they cost taxpayers, and the lingering fear they leave behind that we have raised a generation of entitled spoiled brats.

Nevermind that those “spoiled brats” included unemployed iron workers, veterans back from two tours in Iraq, a family with a two-year old girl and so forth, not counting visits from the likes of Governor Deval Patrick and MIT professor Noam Chomsky. Graham could have even asked his fellow Herald employee Christine McConville, who in the next day’s edition admitted the protestors “said national policies were increasingly designed to protect and empower the wealthiest Americans.”

Ironically, it was our local politicians who seemed to get the message more than the local media. Governor Patrick, in praising Mayor Thomas Menino’s handling of the raid said that “the issue around income inequality and the frustration that people have about whether the American dream is up for grabs is, in fact, widespread.” And then there was the Mayor hizzoner himself. “They shined a much needed light, still needed,” he emphasized, “on growing economic inequality in this country. In the end, they also acted with restraint, I thank them for that.”

SO WILL THE MEDIA EVER address the rampant, recent, runaway income gap in this country? Don’t count them out just yet.

Occupy Boston may be gone. But their point, a new report has found, was valid.

Wait what?

“New report details growing income inequality in Boston area,” was a Globe headline on Tuesday. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council report got the attention of the Boston Globe’s Peter Schworm. The report even pegged that Boston was one of the worst offenders: “This gap is large compared to other Metro Areas, and it’s increasing,” the report said. Using a statistical analysis to look at income gaps across the country, the council determined that Greater Boston is “among the least equal metropolitan areas in the country.”

Well whaddya know.

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One Response to MEDIA FARM: THE MEDIA AND THE MESSAGE

  1. Ellen Honsa Ellen Honsa says:

    Great report on the reporters. I was so glad to see it. Thank you.