Interviews

Is Media Glorifying Violent 'Occupy Wall Street' Protests?

Bernie Goldberg analyzes press support of movement

 

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 31, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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MONICA CROWLEY, GUEST HOST: In the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight: "Occupy Wall Street" protests continued around the country this weekend as more and more demonstrators were arrested. On Saturday, a rally in Denver became violent, and 20 people were arrested after the protesters defied police orders over where they could build their sleeping tents. Despite the violent nature of some of these protests, the media seemed to glorify the movement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, "TODAY" SHOW: What's the civics lesson in this for our kids as they're watching this on TV?

NATALIE MORALES, CO-HOST, "TODAY" SHOW: Well, I think they're -- as a parent, I think there's a huge civics lesson. And it teaches, you know, what is important about this? What are -- I think you have to ask the questions what are they there for? What are the reasons behind this? And I think the idea of having a civil discourse is important to teach our kids, and it's something in history we've seen.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC ANCHOR: This protest movement is showing strength. It's still growing, changing and spreading.

BILL WHITAKER, CORRESPONDENT, "CBS EVENING NEWS": Some people are unemployed. They are students who can't pay back student loans, people who need health insurance. But what unites them is a frustration, even anger, over an economic system they see as stacked against them.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

CROWLEY: Joining us now from Miami, the purveyor of BernardGoldberg.com, Mr. Goldberg. So Bernie, here we have the very rich irony of major network news anchors and hosts and reporters making a gazillion dollars a year empathizing with "Occupy Wall Street." Do you think that there is anything -- anything to this apart from pure left-wing ideological affinity?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, let's put it this way, Monica. I think there's a handy rule of thumb that if we understand, it explains a whole bunch of things the so-called mainstream media do. And the rule of thumb is this. If they share your values, you will get basically an easy ride. If they don't share your values, fasten your seatbelt because it's going to be a real bumpy ride.

Now, they treat the Tea Party, to use an easy example, one way because they see conservatives as people who aren't very nice and, frankly, who are racist. So if there is one sign at a Tea Party rally that is, in fact, racist, it's not only going to get on the air, it's going to be made to be typical of the movement.

On the other hand, they see these demonstrators as young idealists, sort of the American version of the Arab Spring. As a matter of fact, a number of reporters have made that very comparison, which is superficial at best and insane at worst because the Arab Spring was about people who were trying to overthrow dictators who often tortured people with whom they disagreed. And in this country we have elections every two years. So what in the world is the comparison between the two?

That's where the rule of thumb comes in. If they like you, they treat you one way. If they don't share your values, they're going to see you in a totally different way.

CROWLEY: Bernie, let's talk about the coverage because you also mentioned the Tea Party. And when the Tea Party was at its height, you saw a lot of the left-wing mainstream media coverage pounding the Tea Party for nonexistent offenses.

GOLDBERG: Right.

CROWLEY: The racism that didn't exist, the signs that didn't exist. And yet, in "Occupy Wall Street," you actually have some serious law breaking going on. You've got drug use. You've got violence. You've got the open sex. And you've got the anti-Semitism.

GOLDBERG: Yes.

CROWLEY: And yet, as you point out, the mainstream media is glorifying this movement and romanticizing socialism.

GOLDBERG: Well, yes. I mean, let's -- let's use an apple to apples comparison. As I said earlier, if there was one sign at a Tea Party rally that was racist, it would get on the air. I guess I don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is suggesting that it was typical of the whole movement.

But in this case, we know that there have been more than a few anti-Jewish signs and more than a few rants against Jewish people who supposedly control the whole country by, you know, "Occupier," Wall Street "Occupiers" in New York and in other places. And these things don't get any attention because one fits the template. It fits the template that conservatives are racist, so we'll show the one racist sign, but it doesn't fit the template that these people -- these liberal people are Jew-haters.

Now I want to make clear, I'm not saying at all that these anti-Semitic signs are typical of the entire movement. They may, in fact, be outliers. But the one racist sign at a Tea Party rally was also an outlier, and that didn't stop the media from smearing the entire movement with that one sign.

CROWLEY: Bernie, should we not be at all surprised that the left-wing mainstream media has done very little to no investigation into who created "Occupy Wall Street," who is orchestrating it, who is funding it, and who is making sure that it continues?

GOLDBERG: No. We shouldn't be surprised at all. We should be troubled by it, but not surprised. The storyline has been written in stone, and we have seen it. These are the good guys. The Tea Party people were, well, we will say the bad guys to keep it simple. But these people who "Occupy Wall Street," you heard some of these reports. They are shared in their frustration over the fact that the system is stacked against them. We shouldn't be surprised at all.

Listen Monica, I have met people who sell Slurpees and cigarettes to insomniacs at 7-Eleven on the overnight shift who have more introspection than journalists who cover important events in our country. They will never look inward. They will never see their biases.

I don't want to -- I don't want to end this part of the segment on a bad note, but there is no hope, there is no hope for them ever coming around and doing the right thing. They are not -- they are not introspective people when it comes to their own profession.

CROWLEY: Yes, we give up. That's why everybody is here watching Fox. Bernie, great to see you. Thank you.

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