I overheard a little chat about Occupy Wall Street between two 1-percenters on Fox so-called News last night.
Apparently - Roger Ailes sent his mustachioed talking head John Stossel over to Zuccotti Park yesterday to get the scoop on what demonstrators are like - and what they want - and as you'd expect from Fox so-called News - this is what went out on the air:
[mostly inaudible or unprintable]... Shame on you! ... Your whole station is corrupt.
Of course that only reflects what a half-dozen out of a few thousands demonstrators think, or even more.
And in their defense - Stossel does have a history of lying.
As columnist David Sirota pointed out - Stossel has repeatedly lied about the effects of raising the minimum wage - about pay disparity between women and men - and about scientific consensus in regard to Global Warming.
And as far as Occupy Wall Street demonstrators not being too pleased about seeing a Fox so-called News camera crew - can you really blame them when you consider how Fox has covered the movement over the last month?
Jesse Watters: I think if you put every single left-wing cause into a blender and hit power, this is the sludge you'd get.
Charles Gasparino: They are some of the most uninformed people if you listen to them. Really unbelievable. I like the one guy says, we are affecting things. I think the only thing he is affecting is traffic.
Ann Coulter: All of those quotes could have been said in 1789 in France before the French Revolution, or the Russian Revolution, or with only slight modifications when the Nazis were coming to power, in Cuba under Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. This is always the beginning of totalitarianism.
Fresh from getting reamed out - Stossel then went on the O'Reilly factor - to talk to Bill - who has a net worth of about 50 million bucks - about what Occupy Wall Street really means.
And watching these 2 guys - you have to wonder - do these two multimillionaires just not get it?
Or - are they working really hard on behalf of their 1% - on behalf of their corporate media overlords and Republican lapdogs - to marginalize the movement?
Bill O'Reilly: The guy with the beard, that's your uncle, isn't it? Isn't that Uncle Alf?
John Stossel: There are some people who are really inflamed.
Bill O'Reilly: I know. What are they angry about?
John Stossel: They just are -- I don't know.
Bill O'Reilly: You don't know.
John Stossel: I mean how can they --
Bill O'Reilly: And you went down there and you talked to them.
John Stossel: I was going to have a good discussion about capitalism. Some of the people wanted to talk.
Bill O'Reilly: And you came back and you don't know? You don't know why they are angry?
John Stossel: They are angry about everything. There's just this visceral hatred of Fox News and of me.
Actually - Occupy Wall Street is very specific about why they're angry - and about what they want.
An Occupy Wall Street working group has proposed electing and convening a NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY beginning on July 4, 2012 in Philadelphia and they have put out a declaration that clearly outlines - or at least begins to shape - their demands.
And just hating John Stossel and Fox so-called News didn't make the list - I hope that doesn't hurt some egos over there.
Among the things that DID make the list though:.
- Banning private contribution to politicians.
- Overturning Citizens United with a constitutional amendment.
- Reforming the tax code so that wealthier Americans pay their fair share.
- Medicare for everybody.
- Reduction of the national debt.
- Reenactment of Glass-Steagall.
- Student debt relief.
- And ending the wars.
It's all pretty specific stuff - and all things that a lot of other Americans who aren't camped out on Wall Street would agree with.
But let's get back to the millionaires - Stossel and O'Reilly - and their take on all of this:
Bill O'Reilly: Ok. Look, so you don't know what their beef is and Doug --
John Stossel: Well, they have 100 beefs.
Bill O'Reilly: All right. And that's true. They all have their own little beefs. Doug Schoen took a poll -- you know he's a former Clinton -- wrote an article in the "Wall Street Journal". You guys all should read that article, Doug's article today.
Luckily - I took Bill's advice - I have Doug Schoen's poll right here to take a look at - but first let's listen to Bill's take on it:
Bill O'Reilly: He says that most of them are radical leftists, they hate capitalism and want to burn the system down. That's the commonality here, they want forced redistribution of wealth. I'm not arguing with that. I think that's what it is, right?
Worried about his fifty million bucks, there. 'Most of them are radical leftists who want to burn the system down and want forced redistribution of wealth'?
Ok - Well - let's take a look at the poll and see if those conclusions pan out:
According to Doug Schoen's poll results - the same poll results O'Reilly was just talking about - when demonstrators were asked what they hope the Occupy Wall Street movement will achieve - these are the demonstrators - 35% of them said, "Influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the GOP".
11% responded they hoped it would break the two-party duopoly.
But what about O'Reilly's assertion that they want to radically redistribute wealth and end capitalism?
Well...only 4% responded that they want radical redistribution - and dissolution of our representative democracy.
Last time I looked, 4% is not exactly a majority.
And in another question - when demonstrators were asked what frustrates them about the political system - 30% said influence of corporate special interests.
21% said partisanship.
15% said joblessness.
Only 3% said the capitalist system itself - again - not a majority.
Moving on - let's hear what else Stossel and O'Reilly had to say about all this:
Bill O'Reilly: You are a little younger than me or a little older, what? John Stossel: Older, sadly. I look younger.
Bill O'Reilly: Well you have had all that surgery. Anyway, remember the Woodstock/Vietnam thing.
John Stossel: Yes.
Bill O'Reilly: There was a commonality there. There was -- ok, we don't like the war and we want to get out of there. And they actually won. The protesters actually won because public opinion turned against Johnson and the Vietnam War subsequently was wound down. ...
Bill O'Reilly: But here, these people, they are not winning and they are not going to win. They are loons. Last word.
John Stossel: Look how few of them there are.
Bill O'Reilly: That's right.
John Stossel: I mean 6,000 according to "The New York Times". The Boy Scout Jamboree had 300,000.
There were more than 6,000 people in the streets as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
This weekend - hundreds of thousands of people across the planet took to the streets in nearly every single major city on Earth.
And just like the polls were behind the anti-Vietnam war protestors - the polls are behind the Occupy Wall Street protestors too.
As even a Fox so-called News poll showed last week - 70% of respondents support the movement.
So what's going on here?
Do Stossel and O'Reilly just not get it - are they so far detached from the economic pain most Americans are suffering that they can't fathom why anyone would be in the streets?
Or is it something else?
Are they trying to cover up the movement - downplay it with lies - and pray that it just goes away, so that they don't end up paying more taxes or losing their power to say "jump" and have Tea Party Republicans ask "How High"?
As the slogan goes - They report...you decide!
That's The Big Picture.