During their weekend joke of a media watchdog program that makes Howard Kurtz's show on CNN look like a bastion of straight journalism, a couple of the panelists on Fox News Watch took issue with Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" being the protester.
Heaven forbid we can't have any of those DFH's in the United States having the public here feel the same sympathy for them as we do for those out there protesting in Egypt and across the Middle East.
I was not surprised that a couple of the regulars on Fox, Jim Pinkerton and Deneen Borelli were doing their best to diminish the protesters here in the Unites States, or their ridiculous assertions that an actual grass roots movement like Occupy Wall Street should be in any way compared to the AstroTurf "tea party" movement and complaining that Time didn't give the same kudos to the AstroTurfers a year ago. What did surprise me is that Judith Miller almost sounded like a liberal here with her support of Time's decision.
Jim Pinkerton, on the other hand should really just be ashamed of himself for the amount of hyperbole leveled here against everyday Americans who are just fed up with the status quo enough to take to the streets and start demanding our system change. I never thought I'd say this in my lifetime, but good for Judith Miller for pushing back at his nonsense. Every once in a while, the earth does tilt the wrong way on its axis and someone at Fox, however unlikely or whatever their faults, tells the truth.
Rough transcript below the fold.
SCOTT: Time's final pick, the protester, so go figure. What's your reaction Judy?
MILLER: Actually, I think that it's an appropriate choice. When I look back at the year's events and I think of what the Arab Spring has meant to the Middle East and to the American policy in the Middle East and what it's going to mean. And I see the way we've all changed the conversation because of the 99 percent to the Occupy Wall Street people, I think it was appropriate. And it was also a little, you know, out of the usual suspects.
SCOTT: But Jim, I guess, my question is, is it right to lump the Occupy Wall Street folks in with the people who are leading those protests in the Middle East?
PINKERTON: I think that's a good point. I think that the conflation there between people who overturned dictators in the Middle East and a bunch of... well... you know... fill in the blank...ahhh it's...
RATNER: I'll fill in the blank Jim.
PINKERTON: I declare, you decide. I think it's horrendous. I think it shows the media put so many chips on the protests. They genuinely thought this was the beginning of the Age of Aquarius and liberation from the hated Richard Nixon... oops... I mean, you know, Newt Gingrich, or you know, whoever, and I just... it was appalling.
However I do believer the protester per se is appropriate...
SCOTT: Ellen, why did Time Magazine not pick the tea party protests in 2010?
RATNER: I don't know why they did. I can't speak for Time Magazine, but I will say this. There's a plus and minus in what Newsbusters wrote. They wrote that the tea party did foreshadow the current protests on Wall Street and they're right and then they're wrong because they basically said all these protesters had nothing to do with this. But the 99 percent has moved right into the lexicon and that has been them.
BORELLI: I agree with your point. Why didn't they pick the tea party movement. The tea party movement had a plan, an agenda, two years ago to reduce government. And when you're talking about the Middle East, they want to celebrate protesting tyrants. Excuse me. Greece is the reduction of the entitlement programs that they were getting, that was what they were protesting about. And then Occupy Wall Street... what exactly is their message? We still don't really know?
PINKERTON: If we did know we should be horrified. That's why they don't really report it. A few wise guys have go asked them, I mean it's all mass patriarchy and you know... liberate animals and stuff... and so they don't report back. They just simply say what they think Occupy Wall Street thinks which is...
RATNER: If you look at their newspapers... I collect these kind of things, so I have the Occupy Boston newspaper, I have the D.C., New York, and they're very clear about what they believe in. I don't think they're unclear at all.
MILLER: And if you get to the general theme of inequality and injustice in America, it's something that's sticking, whether or not anybody likes it.
PINKERTON: Well, one newspaper doesn't speak for the movement when they're blocking deliveries of food to the homeless shelters and poor children and so on in Oregon, I mean like that. That reflects a part of the movement to me as anything else.
And on a final note about this segment and Miller's remarks, there is absolutely nothing that will ever make me forgive Judith Miller for helping to lie our country into invading Iraq, but that didn't make me enjoy any less watching her push back at Pinkerton's hackery in the clip above. Sadly it's a way to rare of an occasion on Fox. The fact that Miller was forced to admit that the 99 percent's message is resonating means even Fox isn't capable of completely dismissing or ignoring the movement.