When last we looked in on the Occupy movement, we saw that it was being Nixonized by rightbloggers — that is, the occupiers and their supporters were being treated as dirty hippies who would be rebuked by a Silent Majority of Americans more sympathetic to Wall Street, big banks, and Republicans.
A few weeks in, the strategy seems not to have changed, though the intensity of their emotions has increased. When occupiers have done damage, large or small, rightbloggers have been outraged. And when the occupiers have been assaulted, rightbloggers have been pleased. They’re sort of like the hard hats of the early 70s, except much less inclined toward manual labor.
Clashes between police and protesters at Oakland and elsewhere, though denounced by movement figures, gave rightbloggers room to portray the occupations as an armed rebellion that had to be stopped before it invaded our homes.
“The Occupy movement would seem to be the latest heirs to the ‘Vandal tradition,'” claimed Sister Toldjah, “despising the civilization that’s given them so much, making incoherent demands, and engaging in barbaric and even criminal behavior.” (It’s like every parent-of-a-hippie’s lament: We gave the kid everything, and he still won’t cut his hair or move out of that filthy commune.)
Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft did his part, solemnly informing readers that that “the Obama-endorsed Occupy goons started defecating in bank lobbies this week,” then showing a video of a “local reporter” wandering through an encampment and demanding of random people “Did you poop and pee in the bank?” until someone knocks the camera out of her cameraman’s hands, whereupon she yells for the police.
Don Surber was mad that the occupiers were mean to cops. “They should Occupy Prison,” he snarled. “This is the face of liberalism, America. It is lawless, selfish, disrespectful and above all mean.”
You might expect Surber would follow up with a story about hippies torturing a puppy or something. Instead, he had pictures of protesters yelling at policemen, and news that “Denver police fired pepper spray and pepper balls at a crowd of protesters in Civic Center and arrested 20 people.”
Perhaps aware that this unequal contest would fail to move the needle, Surber went through a treasury of old, reputed Occupy malfeasances — they shit on cop cars! They masturbate! — and celebrated the arrest of “more than 1,000 Occupiers — even as police ignore permit violations, camping violations and pot-smoking.”
Not quite “Acid, Amnesty, and Abortion,” but it’ll have to do. Presumably confident that the arrest of a thousand protesters would prove that they had no legitimate grievance, Surber concluded, “my hope is the American people will see through this charade and vote Republican next year in a backlash against this group of freeloaders.” What the hell, it worked for Nixon.
Robert Stacy McCain told a no doubt horrified public that Occupy DC protesters had said mean things to a rightwing reporter. “They actually had a person covering me all night, for about three hours,” cried a shaken Michelle Fields of Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller, “with someone walking around with a camera, screaming things out to me like, ‘You’re worse than Fox,’ and attacking me, attacking what I’m wearing. So I won’t be returning.” Patriots everywhere will be adopting Fields as their Twitter avatar and crying, “I am Michelle!” any day now.
At Big Government, John Nolte provided a “rap sheet” for the Occupy movement, claiming “the MSM is willfully covering up the violence, vandalism, and anti-Semitism that truly does define this movement.” His list of 150+ headlines included “#OccupyPortland Protesters Sing ‘F*** The USA,'” “Flag Used as Chew Toy by Occupier’s Dog,” “Underage Drinking at Occupy Charlottesville Site,” and other such blood-curdlers.
Nolte also listed some more serious incidents, including the rapes and sexual assaults of some occupiers. When you remove the assaults in foreign countries, there are about a dozen such incidents on Nolte’s list. That’s terrible, and makes us concerned for the safety of the occupiers who have been preyed upon.
Rightbloggers, as you may imagine, saw things differently: as an opportunity to portray the entire movement as a string of busy rape camps.
“The Left raises cain about Cain’s sexual harassment, yet they don’t say shizzle about the Occupy Other People’s Panties protestors trying to forcibly knock someone else’s knickers,” said Lux Libertas. “The protest sites themselves are epicenters for filth, drug peddling and (as we’ve learned in headline after headline) sexual assault,” said SayAnything. “Rape, sexual assault are all outside of the normal order, so they should have expected it,” said Conservative Hideout.
Even when Occupy Wall Street created a gender-segregated area as a defense against assaults, that too was considered an outrage. “Their protests now need rape shelters,” swooned Allahpundit of Hot Air. “This is actually happening. And New York City lets it go on.” Then he went on about “rapes being shrugged off by the press” when there were actually hundreds of articles about them.
When the occupiers were not being denounced as violent criminals, they were said not to exist. The UK Daily Mail claimed thermal imaging showed that many of the tents in the London encampment were empty at night. “Masking one’s numbers by putting up extra tents and suchlike is a trick that the Ancient Romans knew,” said Moe Lane of RedState. “So, it makes you wonder: how many other Potemkin tent villages are there in this Potemkin movement?” In fact, maybe no one is actually protesting, and those people you see in the daylight as just a computer-generated effect, engineered by America-hating Hollyweird to deceive us. Well, can you prove it isn’t true?
There were also variations on the old if-you-hippies-think-it’s-so-bad-here-why-don’t-you-move-to-Russia schtick from the 60s: “Occupy Europe,” said Nicole Gelinas at City Journal (“bad lending and borrowing carries a hefty price, for borrowers and lenders alike”). “Occupy Facebook,” said Laura Edghill at World Magazine (“I wonder if Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s youngest billionaire, is camping out at any of the Occupy sites?”). “OCCUPY COP 17-CMP 7!” said the climate-change-denier site Watt’s Up With That (“Where are the OCCUPY! folks when we need them? I say bring on the tents and the undercooked bulgur wheat…”). Etc.
Along with the overt yahoos, there were intellectual-type rightbloggers who wrote deepthink pieces about What It All Meant, and what it all meant was hippies suck.
“Part of what is driving the movement is Tahrir envy and Tea Party envy: left-leaning kids see other groups rising up in successful mass protests, and they don’t want to be left out of the fun,” pondered Robert Tracinski at Real Clear Markets.”If you want to be really radical in this group,” he joked, “show up in a suit and tie or a Carhartt jacket.” That’s telling them longhairs! Tracinski also scoffed at the “naïve young hippies” for being suckered by homeless people, thereby learning, the author hoped, “lessons about the relationship between productive people and freeloaders” which would lead them unto the wisdom of Ayn Rand.
A rightwing thinktank went for some James O’Keefe-style video hijinks, and Beliefnet reproduced their paltry results. “Media watchdog group Accuracy in Media decided to offer protesters camping out at ‘Occupy DC’ real jobs,” they reported. “AIM’s ‘headhunters’ set up a table in the middle of the protest area near the Capital and offered job application forms from a wide variety of employers ranging from the Bank of America to Subway sandwich shops, from Solyndra solar energy to the Disney Company.”
Even in its heavily edited state, the accompanying video makes clear that the headhunters were generally, and understandably, not taken seriously; some protesters said they couldn’t pay their New York rents with the fake jobs on offer, which the auteurs took as proof of their unseriousness. “After speaking with three dozen OWS protesters,” the final super announced, “we acquired two job applications. One for Disney Company… and one for Solyndra.” Big laughs at the cigar bar, to be sure.
In a peculiar turn, Big Peace reproduced an AP story about “thousands of U.S. military veterans” who were allegedly “heeding the rallying cry of Occupy Wall Street, saying corporate contractors in Iraq made big money while the troops defending them came home — and can’t make a living now.” Big Peace’s commenters, not getting the usual boo-hippies stuff they were no doubt expecting, rose to complain. “They have an issue called avarice,” said one. “Nobody made them volunteer.” “These people do not know what OWS really is,” said another. “If they do, they are Communists and traitors.”
“I’d counter that millions of veterans are NOT marching in the flaccid movement,” said This Ain’t Hell. “Scott Olsen who was injured last week in Oakland belonged to both VFP [Veteran for Peace] and IVAW [Iraq Veteran Against War].”
Oh, well, he had that fractured skull coming, didn’t he? This too became a rightblogger talking point.
“The guy being held up as a war hero by OWS is a pot smoker who hates the Marines,” said Verum Serum. Olsen had done two tours in Iraq, but he also had a website called IHateTheMarineCorps.com, “a private user forum apparently dedicated to bashing the Marine Corps,” which apparently nullifies his military service.
“This story is really not about Scott Olsen,” said Verum Serum. “It’s about a protest movement inspired and organized by anarchists who wish to destroy this nation… Scott may be the victim of excessive police violence – this has yet to be conclusively determined. But he is also a victim of a fundamentally anti-American movement way too eager to use his military service as propaganda.” We’re sure Olsen appreciates Verum Serum’s support.
Big Government added, “[Olsen’s] Flickr account suggests an apparent enthusiasm for marijuana.” Olsen’s account also showed him performing an un-American kegstand, which exercised Marooned in Marin, who also complained about Iraq War vets being spit at, which under the circumstances is beyond ironic. “OWS Martyr Scott Olsen Loves Weed, Booze and Gerbils,” said The Political Jungle.
When Olsen received support from other Marines, DragonBlasts was dismissive — “there’s all sorts of butt-hurt Marines fanning flames and ratcheting up the tensions by making veiled threats of a shooting war breaking out” on behest of the “professed Marine” Olsen, he claimed. “I would like to know how many of these Marines are Honorably Discharged (or Honorably released from active duty) Marines… how many of the Marines showing up at these *protests* have been court-marshalled (at worst) or Captains Masted (at the least) and have a less than stellar record in the military…”
When another veteran got conked by cops in Oakland, Jim Hoft had the spin: “Second Antiwar Veteran Hurt in Occupy Oakland Rioting – Blames Police For Attack But Didn’t Seek Medical Help Until 17 Hours After So-Called Beating.” No word yet if this vet had a bad website or did too much partying.
In fact, violence against any protester was sanctioned, as with the running down of occupiers by cars in Oakland and DC.
Conservative Hideout admitted that some people they called “Occupods” had been run down, but found the attacks justified because in September some picketing longshoremen had protested around some cars, too, and some of them “stepped in front of [an] SUV, and… the other goons were hitting the SUV with their signs…”
The video Conservative Hideout reproduced showed that the protesting union men had called someone in a car a “fuckin’ scab,” whereupon the car plowed into a few of them, and another protester hit the car with his sign. The union guys were understandably testy with the next car coming through.
Conservative Hideout portrayed it thus: “When the union released their video, they tried to claim that they were the victims. Instead, they were trying to victimize others, and got whiny when it didn’t work out for them. This is a classic leftist tactic.” Thus, the Occupy people getting run down was part and parcel of “more attacks on police, more vandalism, more violence, more stepping into traffic… the liberal way.”
When it turned out the Oakland occupiers got hit by a Mercedes, James Joyner had a good laugh: “If this happened in a movie, we’d be rolling our eyes at the over-the-top metaphor,” he said, and added a video of Janis Joplin singing “Mercedes-Benz.”
Joyner was still in a good mood when a similar incident happened in DC: “Occupy DC Protestors Hit By Car; Car Wins,” he headlined. “Let’s just say that cars have certain advantages over pedestrians in such encounters,” he added. “…DC drivers are not known for their patience or judgment in any case and putting them in a position where they might run your dumb ass over is simply inadvisable.” Joyner must be a wow at parties.
“OCCUPY DC DUMMIES STAND IN THE STREET AND GET RUN OVER,” said Beer Can Politics. “It is amazing to see how stupid the anarchist and their useful idiots are in the Occupy DC movement.” “The Occupiers are going to pick the wrong person to push around at one of these things, one of these days,” fantasized Moe Lane. “You’ll know when that happens when you see a viral video of a twenty-something hipster in a hoodie getting a beatdown from a guy two times his weight and three times his age.” “#OWS seems determined to learn just how much right supports 2nd Amendment. #OccupyDC #nra,” tweeted the Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor.
It appears their bloodlust remains unslaked. And it doesn’t matter to them whose blood runs or why — so long as they can dip their fingers in and paint gruesome pictures with it. Hearing about the protesters getting run down in DC, Weasel Zippers had a typically value-free reaction: “Violence follows the Occupiers around like it’s their shadow.” Just so, and Weasel and his fellow rightbloggers will also follow, gathering up every violent incident, whatever its cause, to build a portrait they hope will scare people enough to make them forget the cause the occupiers gathered for in the first place. photo (cc) uvw916a