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The Press Can Be Brutal!
Commercial news = Evil
♣"A little more than a century ago, Governor Charles Evans Hughs warned Americans that the corporations were gaining too much control over our government. The greatest fear of that era is now our living nightmare. The corporations of the world haved seized our government, bought out elections, and have taken control of our political processes we Americans value as sacred."
That is what I reported to the press this morning, however, that statement never made the news. It was dropped from their press report and anything I said to them that sounded nervous or unsure made headlines. I have been speaking to the press for many months in connection with the anti-corporate peace movement, Occupy Albany.
On Tuesday May 1, I was arrested twice. The first arrest came after New York State Police stormed in the state park where we were holding our event. My part of the plans for the day were simple. I was representing a group formed within the Occupy Movement called Democratize the Economy. A friend gave me a nice picnic table to use to display Made in America products and literature about American manufacturers. When the police stormed into the park they grabbed a case of water, a box of garbage bags, and tried to take my table. Again, it was not set up. I was not asked to take it down. On the contrary, the police insisted on taking it. In protest of loosing a table that was just given to me, I stood on it. I calmly said, "I do not feel that holding a Made in America Campaign is an arrestable offense. After about twenty minutes, I began giving a lecture on the manufacturing issues. When drums were played, I danced. About 45 minutes passed and after the rest of the group attended a march through the streets of downtown Albany, New York the NYS Police finally arrested me.
The Police reported to the court and the press that I had my table up and refused to take it down. On the third request, I was arrested. That was simply not the case. The press reported it that way knowing fully that many videos are on you- tube and facebook as proof that I am telling the truth. I did not raise my voice or curse. Yet, it was reported that I yelled and cursed at them. A few friends have teased me about how I was in fact quite polite. In the video you can hear me asking the ladies to get my purse. As one gentleman in my group stated, " How threatening!"
Since then, I have been pressured to respond to the press over and over and they are brutal! If I do not answer their call they will quote me wrong or report that I did not know a piece of crucial information. The ungliest picture of me is the one most showed. If you are crying or look angry that is a plus. The press loves to cast a shadow of foolishness on us as well. Anyone with a sign on a dog or a baby gets attention right away. Purposefully, the press demeans the seriousness of the Occupy Movement with pictures such as these and most of these people are only rare occassionals. Getting them to report the significance of the occupation is difficult. Meanwhile, the dedicated daily occupiers risk embarrassment, arrest, and possibly violence while a few bask in folly.
I think freedom of the press in the computer age only exists in theroy. Pictures can be exaggerated and volume can be controlled. Most of all the press exploits us for their own benefit. After all, the press is working for some of the corporations we are bravely fighting against and they have nothing more in mind then their own self interest. Since October when our occupation began, I have met only two reporters that I can honestly say I respect. The rest are looking for dirt and making a name for themselves. It is my suggestion to all that they must plan what they say ahead of time and count on not really being heard.
By Joanne Kathleen Farrell