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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Real Media Bias: The Police Force’s Disproportionate Power

To say Occupy Wall Street has “clashed” with police is to pretend they have equal power and weaponry.

Brian Stelter wrote last weekend about the news coverage of Occupy Wall Street and of its 1,000 or so offshoots here and abroad. Stelter reports that the Pew Center’s new survey found that OWS captured just 10 percent of national news coverage (presumably liberal, moderate, and conservative media combined) starting in October. Coverage fizzled to 1 percent until last Tuesday, when the NYPD prepared to muscle protesters out of Zuccotti Park. No surprise: At that point, news coverage soared.

With a few exceptions, the general tendency has been to ignore OWS. It doesn’t have obvious leaders or an obvious agenda, both of which make it hard to understand if you don’t put in the effort. So it gets a pass from most newsrooms — unless the cops get involved. Then you have a story that lends itself to the genre of news writing. It has characters, conflict, chronology, drama. Every reporter wants to cover such news. But it’s this habit of waiting for the cops that leads me to my point.

The media has a bias, but not the one everyone talks about. The media’s bias favors cops.