Quantcast

Occupy Wall Street Hits Back at Portrayal in HBO's 'Newsroom' | The Nation

  •  
Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Occupy Wall Street Hits Back at Portrayal in HBO's 'Newsroom'


An activist associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement holds up a sign in front a police line during a rally in Union Square Wednesday, March 21, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffe)

Occupy Wall Street was featured again last night on HBO’s Newsroom. The Aaron (Social Network) Sorkin love-it-or-hate-it drama, which launched its second season last week, follows real-life events in its storylines and is now up to late summer of 2011. So we get the drone attack on al-Alwaki, the execution of Troy Davis, Rick Perry’s surge in the GOP race—and the birth of Occupy in New York.

Last week, one of the Newsroomers—the young blog guy, naturally—reads about OWS on Reddit or some such and pitches idea of covering them in advance of the first September 2011 protest. He attends a meeting downtown, meeting criticism from activists—we get the hand signals and all—but a pretty non-leading “leader” (played by Aya Cash, possibly based on Alexis Goldstein) takes pity on him and chats with him later.

Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!

This week finds the blog guy attending a street demo—he meets that woman again—and getting busted at an early protest (but getting the key footage out) and then being sprung by anchor Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels—he happens to be an ex-prosecutor, also—who threatens to expose brutal cop. Here’s how some OWS folks responded to how Aaron Sorkin handled them in the first episode last week.

One excerpt:

Dear fake news anchor: You make a typically dismissive move, in reinforcing the notion that OWS was all about camping out in a park. Certainly, the occupation of Zuccotti Park garnered significant media attention, but believe it or not, MSM: getting your attention is not what OWS is actually about.

Why? Because the State can evict people from a park down the way from Wall Street—as did the Obama administration, in a coordinated national crackdown on Occupy encampments all over the country. But it can’t evict this notion—that yes we can, and must, confront Wall Street relentlessly. That we must keep our eyes fixed and focused on the companies traded on Wall Street, on a 24:7 basis. That idea has occupied minds around the world, and it’s not going anywhere.

This clip below is from forthcoming episode. Note: if the season follows usual scenario for show, Jeff Daniels will come around to respect, possibly even endorse, OWS.

Michael Moore on the purpose of Occupy Wallstreet.

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.