Rightbloggers Denounce Occupy Movement Violence -- Unless It Happens to Occupiers
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?
This protester is clearly threatening to sic her dog on you.
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.