An Open Letter to NPR On Covering Wall Street Protests

Published on Huffington Post, by Sandy Goodman, Sept. 28, 2011.

Congratulations. You finally got around to doing a story about the Wall Street protests last night on All Things Considered, after 11 days of ignoring them. What a disgraceful decision to have avoided coverage for so long, and having your ombudsman try to mitigate that dopiness by noting that you covered the demonstrations via several AP print stories and blogs on your website. I thought you were in the radio business. I must have been mistaken. The ombudsman quotes your executive news editor explaining all the days of non-coverage this way: The recent protests on Wall Street did not involve large numbers of people, prominent people, a great disruption or an especially clear objective. 

Every one of those points is either flat wrong or ridiculous:

  • (1) the protests involved hundreds, I would say at their height several thousands of protesters — based solely on the videos I watched. Sorry that wasn’t a large enough number for your executive news editor.
  • (2) no prominent people were involved: what a ridiculous gauge of importance. If ordinary people from all over the country come to protest, that’s not enough? How stupid can you get.
  • (3) No great disruption: so if a few thousand people from all over the country stage more than a week of peaceful protests, that’s not good enough for your executive news editor; they have to be disruptive to merit coverage.

… (full long text).


National Public Radio NPR;

Growing anger over police attack on Wall Street protesters, on WSWS, by a reporting team, September 29, 2011;

Occupy Wall Street Protest: 12 Days and Little Sign of Slowing Down, on TIME/NewsFeed, by Nate Rawlings, Sept. 29, 2011.

Occupy Wall Street Protest Pepper Spray Incident: Was a Permit Needed? Sept. 28, 2011;

Susan Sarandon lends support to Wall Street protest, Sept. 28, 2011;

Wall Street Protest Begins, With Demonstrators Blocked, on CityRoomBlogs.NYT, by COLIN MOYNIHAN, Sept. 17, 2011;

Farewell Prozac, on Enemies of Reason, by blog owner Anton Vowl, not dated.

Another Depression Chart, by Matthew Yglesias, Sep 28, 2011.

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