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Police assault protestors at #occupywallstreet demo

September 28, 2011

The clip below is from MSNBC’s “The Last Word” presented by Lawrence O’Donnell. This is extraordinary coverage of police actions during a public demonstration. I’ve never seen anything like it in the mainstream media. In fact I don’t know what I find more shocking: the sickening violence of the police, or the fact that this made it onto TV?

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2011 10:02 am

    Rab – it’s ironic that the Left in the US and internationally criticize the US mainstream media for being corporate and system-maintaining compared with the mixed media systems of Europe where the ideals of public service are still practiced even in the commercial media sector. The US media’s almost blanket non-coverage of the Occupy Wall St protest would seem to support that view yet at the same time O’Donnell’s blistering attack on the police could only happen in the US. There are no rules in Britain preventing the media either covering or ignoring a protest. Indeed, I don’t think there are any rules either to bar journalists expressing strong views as long as they’re clearly labelled as the private views of the journalist and not of his/her employer. It’s just that I can’t imagine it ever happening on British television. There is no need for rules.

  2. wartimehousewife permalink
    September 30, 2011 12:21 am

    Bloody hell – I wish I hadn’t watched that just before bed time. Who is Lawrence O’Donnell? I completely disagree with Academic – I’m astonished that this was shown on American TV and I think that the British media would be all over a story like. Or have I misunderstood what he was saying…

  3. Rab permalink*
    October 1, 2011 8:41 am

    Hi Wartime,
    From Wikipedia: O’Donnell is an American political analyst, journalist, actor, producer, writer, and host of The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, a weeknight MSNBC opinion and news program. This is the first I’ve heard of him.

    I think what AA is getting at is that one of the the peculiarities of the US media is that even though it is commercial and corporate, and almost uniformly supportive of rather narrow political spectrum, it has the capacity to throw up some very surprising editorial comment like that of O’Donnell’s. In UK media, which still has a public service ethos, it would be harder to imagine such strong opinions being aired in this way.

    But I can remember when Channel 4 certainly used to commission documentaries that could be very polemical – maybe it still does.

    While it’s refreshing to see someone in the mainstream media covering the Occupy Wall Street protests, it still doesn’t get us away from the fact that there is effectively a media blackout on the story.

    The UK media has a very poor record when it comes to covering protests, demonstrations, civil unrest and the behaviour of the police and army on these occasions. From Peterloo to the recent student demonstrations and the riots in English cities over the summer, the media assume that the police version of events is the truthful one. Journalists and broadcasters only begin to question power when evidence gathered by ‘ordinary people’ piles up and becomes impossible to ignore.

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