Media Malfeasance: Corporate News Downsizes OWS, Downplays Murdoch Ruling

By Gustav Wynn

Can you trust the corporate media anymore? Mayday reporting from NYC showed how top outlets like CNN, Reuters and Washington Post flubbed the most basic facts in reporting the massive march Tuesday. At the same time, the punditsphere remained notably quiet as a Parliamently committee ruled Rupert Murdoch “not fit” as the head of News Corp.


NYC streets occupied May 1, 2012 by

Tuesday’s May Day march was Occupy Wall Street’s largest ever, with one NY Times estimate topping out at 30,000 demonstrators.

The exact crowd size was hard to gauge from the street, with events ongoing from morning till night in dozens of locations, people constantly coming and going and police controlling crowd density and flow to prevent traffic shutdowns or overcrowding.

As pictured, from Broadway and Canal, the streets were packed in both directions as far as the eye could see by about 6:30 pm.

Tellingly, the rest of corporate media didn’t see it this way.

Reuters: “dud”
AP, WaPo, NY Daily News: “hundreds”
NY Post: “a joke”
CNN: “fizzled”

When an event overwhelms the venue it was planned for, it’s a success. But certain media wants you to think there’s “nothing to see here”. NYPD aerial photos are routinely withheld, even though they use crowd size estimation experts to plan responses. 

CBS video feeds showed only “the tip of the iceberg” in some crowd shots. Even the NY Times website deemed the story unworthy of the front page.

The opinion writers have every right to denounce the movement, its tactics or aims, but the “news” division has a responsibility to present the most basic facts and they did not.

In corporate media, the chain of command is clear. There are many reporters, editors, researchers and photographers, but the bosses end up telling the story from the top down, and employees are commonly gagged by non-disclosure agreements from revealing the story behind the fairy tales that go to press.

This, of course came the same day Rupert Murdoch, the head cheese of the NY Post, WSJ and Fox News was declared “not fit” to manage the News Corp media empire after a year-long inquiry by Parliament. The news barely made a ripple in the US media matrix.

This brings us right back to the main contention behind OWS. Every day, in many ways, wealth is used to gain unfair advantages in debating social or political issues, preventing the public from making informed decisions.

Murdoch is chief among today’s biggest propagandists, as Fox remains the biggest player in “news” in the US. But Murdoch and his son James led News Corp as a massive phone hacking and bribery operation gave way to indefensible cover ups and influence peddling at the highest levels.

Within a day of the ruling by the Parliamentary panel, CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) dispatched a letter to the FCC chairman reminding him of clear-cut violations of ‘character’ expectations for licensees entrusted with serving the public interest.

The lack of serious coverage by corporate news of News Corp’s scandal exemplifies media-as-usual, continuing to distort, deny or scrub the most basic facts affecting everyday people. 

Originally posted at

Updated: Alison Kilkenny at The Nation notes that Reuters corrected their “dud” by reporting the rally was “far from being a dud”. Kilkenny reminds the media at large that “a journalist is simply supposed to report what actually happens “.

Gustav Wynn is an inner city schoolteacher from New York, mostly covering media manipulation. I put election/finance reform ahead of all issues but also advocate for fiscal conservatism, ethics in journalism and curbing overpopulation. I enjoy open debate, history, the arts and hope to adopt a third child. Gustav Wynn is a pseudonym, but you knew that. =–> Users may repost my articles, provided it links to the original.








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