Media coverage of Wall Street protest ramps up following cop clash

Dylan Stableford

Major media outlets--Yahoo included--have drawn criticism for their collective role in the lack of coverage of the ongoing, youth-led protests near Wall Street. But it appears that tide is changing.

On Monday, filmmaker Michael Moore visited the protesters, who have been occupying Zuccotti Park near the U.S. financial capital since Sept. 17. Moore then went on Piers Morgan's CNN show to talk about his visit, and said that it was natural for the media to be skeptical about the protest, at least in the beginning.

"People are always cynical at first whenever there's a movement for--or a protest that's starting," Moore said. "This is just the beginning. I mean if we can go back and look at the beginning of the civil rights movement, the women's liberation movement, the anti-war movement against in Vietnam, I mean back then there were just a few people and the majority of the country didn't agree with them. What's great about this is that the majority of the country actually agrees with those protesters on Wall Street."

But not everyone in the media is so sure.

NPR--which as of Sept. 26 had not aired a story on the protests--defended its decision to ignore them.

"The recent protests on Wall Street did not involve large numbers of people, prominent people, a great disruption or an especially clear objective," NPR's executive news editor Dick Meyer explained on NPR.org. (That didn't satisfy Ralph Nader, who apparently called in to complain that the nonprofit news organization was ignoring the left.)

"Does NPR think this is unimportant?" one NPR listener, Daniel Clay, wrote. "Are you going to wait for someone to die or commit serious violence before you give it the attention it deserves?"

Fair or not, it appears that violence did inspire at least some deeper coverage of the protests.

A YouTube video that appears to show a New York City police officer using pepper-spray on women during the Wall Street protests has been picked up by national outlets, including the "Today" show. As The Cutline's colleague Zachary Roth notes on The Lookout, the officer, Anthony Bologna, is also being sued in connection with an incident during demonstrations at the 2004 Republican National Convention.