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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 04:19 PM ET, 10/19/2011

Occupy Wall Street: Critics betray fear

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement hasn’t facilitated attempts to measure its success. Absent a set of unified goals or demands, the protesters continue running an operation heavy on social media outreach and street-level improvisation.

Yet by one arbitrary measure, the movement is absolutely killing it. That is, in scaring the daylights out of establishment-media types. The script for attacking Occupy Wall Street hangs within reach of any old hack: Make fun of the people; say they’re all privileged; play up the smell of urine and the cost to New York taxpayers.

There’s an additional component to anti-OWS tracts, and that would be fear and desperation.

Michael Goodwin, in a brand-new New York Post opinion piece, follows the well-trodden continuum from snark to panic. He starts out by saying that the protest movement is gathering steam — by earning the fealty of tyrants:

Iran’s chief mad mullah, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, loves the protests, the government of China applauds them, and Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez is positively gung-ho.

Good one, Goodwin!

The columnist keeps up the dismissive tone as he discusses the efforts of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to handle the movement:

So he dispatches a garrison of New York’s Finest to baby-sit a group of hooligans who occasionally attack them, spew anti-Semitic rants and turn the streets into toilets. And working New Yorkers pick up the exorbitant tab for the stand-off.

Later, he essentially admits how terrified he is of these people:

Yes, yes, about 75 percent of Americans are upset about the economy and the lack of jobs. But it verges on insanity to say that the protesters in lower Manhattan are typical examples of that angst, and thus deserving of mainstream support.

It’s as if Goodwin were pleading with the mainstream, like this: ”Please, Mainstream, don’t support these people.” That’s pure fear.

Were he inclined to launch a support group for those who live in fear of OWS, Goodwin could invite a guest who appeared on Fox Business Network last night. That would be Money Man Scott Martin. In a discussion with Fox’s Neil Cavuto, Money Man Scott Martin said that the protesters were choosing the “wrong spots” and that they should “go to Washington,” where they’d presumably pose less of a threat to Money Man Scott Martin. Undistilled fear.

The Wall Street Journal is freaking as well. An Oct. 17 piece in the paper lays blame for the country’s current economic conditions squarely on the Obama White House. Then it finishes with this bit:

This probably won’t do much to persuade the Occupiers of Wall Street that their cause would be better served in Washington, D.C., where a sister sit-in this week seems to have fizzled. Then again, most of America’s jobless also won’t recognize their values or interests in the warmed-over anticapitalism being served up in lower Manhattan. Three years into the current Administration, most Americans are getting wise to the source of their economic woes. It’s a couple hundred miles south of Wall Street.

Shove off to Washington, in other words — you’re being too effective here. Petrified.

No one’s as frightened as Fox Business Network’s Charles Gasparino. In the video clip below, Gasparino delivers a report stating that the OSW is a “Marxist epicenter.” As the movement evolves from just a bunch of kids playing around to a more sophisticated operation, says Gasparino, the threat level moves up:

“I think it’s getting dangerous now . . .” he says

Are you going to go back? he is asked.

“These aren’t the people you want to argue with.”

“Did you feel physically threatened?”

“No, not yet. But if you point something out to some of them, you might get hit over the head with something.”

No coincidence: All these scared-to-death outlets belong to the same media company!

By  |  04:19 PM ET, 10/19/2011

 
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