Yesterday’s “This Week” taught America some valuable lessons about media and the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Lesson No. 1: If ever you get the opportunity to get Christiane Amanpour to say the word “aluminum,” take it. Bait her by talking about Reynolds Wrap. Or the mining industry. Or just talk about metals and manufacturing. If you’re lucky, she’ll just come out with it.
Lesson No. 2: Jesse LaGreca is the best possible spokesman that a left-wing protest movement could ever ask for. He’s smart, sober-minded and more civil than Americans expect from a protest movement that’s been branded anarchist. And he doesn’t just prattle on with classist nonsense; he delivers it in ways that stun you. Like when he told Amanpour:
The reality is, I’m the only working-class person that you’re going to see on Sunday news — political news — maybe ever. And I think that’s very indicative of the failures of our media to report on the news.
That’s a Roger Federer ace for match point.
Lesson No. 3: George Will should never be allowed to ask a question of a working-class person. It just doesn’t work. Here’s the question he posed to LaGreca:
Mr. LaGreca, I hear a certain dissonance in your message. Your message is, Washington is corrupt, Washington is the hand-maiden of the powerful, and a lot of conservatives agree with that. But then you say this corrupt Washington that’s the hand-maiden of the powerful should be much more powerful in regulating our lives. Why do you want a corrupt government bigger in our lives?
Lesson No. 4: The media has no frame of reference for the Occupy Wall Street protests. It has no idea what’s going on here or even what questions to ask. The movement has no plan or schedule or agenda written on some Web site and e-mailed out each day to the Gang of 500. And that is simply inexcusable. It’s not the way PR firms operate! It’s not the way congressional offices roll! If you’re going to make an impact on this country, the media appears to be saying, you have to have a white paper. Come on, where is it?
On “This Week” they verily demanded such documentation from Occupy Wall Street. At least twice in the segment, Amanpour pushes LaGreca for some of the movement’s demands, maybe even a list. Something!!! What are you after!? In the first instance, LaGreca responded by saying that the protests are about economic justice.
Not good enough, Mr. LaGreca! Later in the segment, Peggy Noonan, herself accustomed to a world in which people advance bills and proposals on a certain schedule, burst with frustration:
What is your plan? You going to spend the next six months blocking the Brooklyn Bridge? Or are you going to harness the movement into political action?
Amanpour stepped in and steered that inquiry at LaGreca:
Are you going to harness this into a political movement or are you going to, you know, hang out for months?
LaGreca wasn’t budging. “I think we have succeeded tremendously in pushing the narrative that working-class people can’t be ignored.”