The other night, I ran into a veteran journalist, a writer who I always considered was among the “plugged in.” Yet when I told him I was reporting on Occupy Wall Street, he plugged out, and stared at me cluelessly.
“What do they want,” he asked, echoing the questioned raised endlessly by TV pundits and editorial commentators. He didn’t seem to know or care who “they” are, or why they have taken to living in parks to make their point. He and his colleagues seem to be saying that to understand what’s going on, it all be first compressed into a press release with bullet points they can simplify further.
“I don’t get it,” he sighed. “Its about Occupying Wall Street,” I replied, “Occupying Wall Street, challenging the power of its economic power. Another blank look …
It’s as if we need our politics to follow a predictable format characterized by legislators playing to the cameras, message points, and pithy slogans.… Read the rest