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NYT Puts Wall St. Protesters Back In Their Place

September 25, 2011

Knowing your place (or “station” if you want to get all ole’-timey)  in society is a wonderful thing: it provides order and stability. When every single person knows their job and what they’re supposed to do or say, and more importantly not do or say, the system always runs better. This is known fact — like the earth revolving around the sun. The NYT and their journalist Ginia Bellafante are to thank  for doing us all a favor on this lovely fall Sunday morning. They’ve managed to put all these recent “Wall St. protesters” back in their place and ensure a little stability in our god-given American society.

The “Occupy Wall St.”  protests which were loosely organized by the left-wing magazine, Adbusters, have continued unabated on Wall St. for over the last week. Thousands of Americans of all ages came out to protest our American culture of greed and violence. The organizers and participants bemoaned a lack of legal responsibility of Wall St. for the global economic crisis, the recent attacks on unions and teachers, and a three-decade long growing disparity in wealth in this country, among many other issues.

Enter Ginia Bellafante and the NYT. Ms. Bellafante employed the time-tested journalistic method of interviewing 5-10 protesters among thousands and then making sweeping generalizations about the nature of the protests, the participants and well, anyone, who might support them not present. I think we all know how useful this method proved to be during the Iraq war protests (“These hippies had no idea how great the war is going to go!” was sentiment garnered from the same interviewing tactic in many mainstream media outlets). Ms. Bellafante’s conclusions were quite clear: this group had no “cohesion” and is simply there to “pantomime progressivism.” In short, they were attending a meaningless carnival, when instead, they should be more worried about things like “paying back their student loans.”

I think Ms. Bellafante really drove home the point when she ended with the following:

One day, a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Adam Sarzen, a decade or so older than many of the protesters, came to Zuccotti Park seemingly just to shake his head. “Look at these kids, sitting here with their Apple computers,” he said. “Apple, one of the biggest monopolies in the world. It trades at $400 a share. Do they even know that?”

Exactly. If you don’t know stock prices or have a degree in macroeconomics, generally, you should shut the fuck up and stay home. It’s too bad the NYT didn’t send Ms. Bellafante out to Tahir Square to quiz all those uppity Egyptians. I’m sure a number of them probably didn’t even know who the vice president was, which of course, would then disqualify their protests. Or even better they could have sent her to Iran during the uprisings of late. I can just picture her standing over the bodies of shot Iranians, drenched in blood, screaming at them, “What is the GDP of your country? Who is the leader of this protest? Are you all on an email mailing list?” Then sighing when she doesn’t get the proper response, jotting a few notes down, and beginning to spin the bromide in her head that will attack these amateurs as not being “cohesive” enough in their actions.

Again, I would like to thank personally the NYT, a paper of such standing and reputation, and of course, Ms. Bellafante for taking the time to write such a piece. I am just grateful she took time away from other such notable journalistic endeavours as reviewing shows like “Awkward” on MTV, mocking feminism, and writing sexist TV reviews to let these protesters know their actions are futile. I think the message is clear: go home, buy some stock and play on your computer. Leave Wall St. alone.

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