During tonight's massive Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York, a local Fox News affiliate reporter and his crew found themselves on the wrong side of the NYPD.
While covering the Occupy Wall Street protests on Wednesday night, Fox 5 photographer Roy Isen was hit in the eyes by mace from a police officer and Fox 5 reporter Dick Brennan was hit by an officer's baton.
The protests on Wall Street continued to grow all day. The rallies and their participants are showing no signs of slowing down.
In the evening, crowds surged past barriers and NYPD officers moved in to contain the protesters. By many accounts, mayhem broke out.
Officers, many wearing white shorts indicating supervisor rank, swatted protesters with batons and sprayed them with mace, video from the scene showed.
Fox 5's Isen and Brennan were there and witnessed the chaos. At one point, Brennan was hit in the abdomen by a police baton and Isen got irritant in his eyes. Both journalists were all right and continued to cover the protests and arrests.
Note what's missing from this story: Violence on the side of the protesters. Crossing a barricade is not violent. It is not threatening. It is simply crossing a barricade. The response of the officers left me feeling pretty shaky. Batons, pepper spray, and yes, done by the white shirts, but not only the white shirts.
Evidently these policemen do not understand that beating and pepper-spraying protesters and hapless reporters in the area will do nothing but increase resolve in every person who watches to join the protests. Do they learn nothing from previous experience? No, evidently not. Check out this officer standing at a barricade bragging about what he and his little nightstick are going to do:
While there's certainly a story here in the fact of police not only attacking protesters but also reporters and their crew, I think the larger story will unfold when we see how Fox News handles this story. Will they ignore it? Will they gloss over it? Will they blame those who tried to cross the barricade?
Can you imagine what their lede would be the next day if a tea party protester and news crew were pepper-sprayed and beaten?
This will be a moment of truth for Roger Ailes. How will he spin an attack on reporters for a Rupert Murdoch-owned news channel? Inquiring minds want to know.