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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press NYT Decides to Mock Wall Street Critics

NYT Decides to Mock Wall Street Critics

Sunday, 25 September 2011 09:51

The NYT used its news section to mock critics of Wall Street. It presented the comments of some of the people protesting Wall Street. While the people quoted in this article do appear to be confused about the role of the financial industry in the economy, the paper would have no difficulty finding articulate critics of the financial industry.

For example, it could present the views of Nobel prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz. Or, it could present the views of Nobel prize winning economist, and NYT columnist, Paul Krugman. Or could interview Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

It is not clear what news the NYT conveyed to its readers by presenting the views of people who do not appear to be knowledgeable about the economy. This would be comparable to presenting the opinions of some of the more extreme people at a Tea Party rally as representative of the business community's arguments for lower taxes. This has not been done in the NYT or elsewhere.

Comments (9)Add Comment
written by Aidan, September 25, 2011 11:12
But the NYT wasn't writing an article about Stiglitz, Krugman, or Johnson. They were writing an article about the protests on Wall St, and unless I'm mistaken, those three were not in attendance. It is entirely appropriate for a news organization to accurately quote attendants of an event they are covering, even if it makes people in ideological agreement with Dean Baker look bad.
written by John, September 25, 2011 1:06
Democracy Now! was able to grab some articulate views from the protest they even interviewed one of the organizers. Dean's correct the Times article was written in a way to try to delegitimize the movement.

Starts at 14:50:
written by Union Member, September 25, 2011 1:52
Alan Greenspan wasn't there for the Housing Bubble.

And Thomas Friedman is regularly prone to saying much goofier things in the pages of the NYT itself than these media inexperienced demonstrators.
rules for radicals, Low-rated comment [Show]
written by Moopheus, September 25, 2011 8:50
It was a slow news day, it was a fairly skewed article, and Dean has to find something to complain about. I mean, that's the point of his blog. Both the Times and Dean missed the point: sure, the Times could always find some respectable professional economist to talk to. But these guys are well known, politically connected, they can have their say any day of the week (and they do). Sure, some of these people are inarticulate and half-baked (or even fully baked). But that doesn't matter. They know that Wall Street has fucked them over, fucked over a lot of people. With malice aforethought. And even the inarticulate and half-baked get to have their say. They know that the government is not going to help them. The banks are not going to help them. The Times is not going to help them. Respectable economists are not going to help them. The Department of Justice is not going to help them. Corporate America is not going to help them. The Fed, the IMF, the ECB, etc. etc. All of these institutions were complicit in the fucking-over, and are mostly working to excuse the criminals and let the fucking-over continue unabated. There aren't a lot of options left. Torches and pitchforks for all.
written by McDruid, September 26, 2011 1:37
To be fair, the NYT did include a perfectly idiotic comment from a Wall Streeter who not only didn't understand that the protest was against the financial industry, and not against companies that actually make useful products, but also who doesn't know what a monopoly is.
written by Union Member, September 26, 2011 6:40
If there is any single statement coming from all the protesters, it is that they intend this demonstration to be non-violent.

Your comment slanders Occupy Wall Street as much as the NYT piece.
written by Jethro, September 26, 2011 8:33
You sure that person was a "Wall Streeter" (however that is defined) or just some person walking down the street. What exactly are they protesting again ? Capitalism ? Oh, the system that is probably due the credit for their ability to not work and spend all day as part of the Misfit Troupe - they should be on Broadway, not Wall Street.
Hemp Hipsters
written by Shawn Wilkinson, September 27, 2011 7:31
Well, I do agree with comparing these kids to the kookier end of Tea Partiers, but I don't see where the NYT author takes the arguments seriously. Poh-tei-toe Poh-tah-toe.

But I do wish youths would take their energy to the ballot box and more political activism then emulating hippies. You only need to be 25 to replace your Representative ...

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.