Fox News’ ‘coverage’ of the Occupy Wall Street protests, and the interview they chose not to air

Posted on 04 Oct 2011 at 4:51pm

Occupy Wall Street protestor Jesse LaGreca schools an interviewer with Fox News.

The New York Observer is taking Fox News to task this week for Fox’s not-so-fair-and-balanced coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests going on in New York City.

The Observer article by Drew Grant points out that Fox News has failed to cover the protests at all, except for a couple of instances.

In what is apparently supposed to be a “prank” interview along the lines of something you’d see on The Colbert Report or the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Bill Schulz of Fox’s Red Eye with Greg Gutfield program goes “undercover” as a protester to interview other protesters and make fun of them (embedding has been disabled on this video, but you can watch it on YouTube here.). Maybe it’s just me, but I think Schulz is the one who comes off looking stupid in this footage.

And on The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News producers interview OWS protesters in a segment the Observer says was edited to make all the OWS protesters look like half-wit idiots (watch the first video below). It’s tempting to think perhaps that’s just sour grapes on the part of the liberals who don’t like looking stupid on TV — until, that is, you see the footage of the interview with a protester named Jesse LaGreca that Fox chose not to air (watch the second video posted below).

LaGreca thoroughly schools the Fox producer conducting the interview, as shown in footage shot by a third party as the interview was taking place. First of all, he starts by suggesting that the protesters won’t get a fair shake from Fox News, which is part of News Corporation that is under investigation, and when the producer suggests that the protestors couldn’t get their message out without Fox News, LaGreca points out what a good job Fox did of covering — and promoting — Glenn Beck’s Washington, D.C., rally that was, LaGreca says, a low point in American history.

“I’m glad to see you coming around and kind of paying attention to what the other 99 percent of Americans are paying attention to, as opposed to the far-right fringe, who who would just love to destroy the middle class entirely,” LaGreca says, putting even the Fox news producer in the position of having to agree with him.

And when the interviewer tries to corner LaGreca into criticizing President Obama, LaGreca again turns the tables, saying that he believes most people are most interested in the “Jesus stuff” like “feeding the poor and healthcare for the sick,” and that perhaps the president would be able to better address those real problems if he weren’t constantly having to deal with ridiculous issues pressed by the right wing.

“You know, I find it really entertaining that people like to hold the Bill of Rights up while they’re screaming at gay soldiers, but they just can’t wrap their heads around the idea that a for-profit healthcare system doesn’t work. So, let’s just look at it like this, if we want the president to do more, let’s talk to him on a level that actually reaches people, instead of asking for his birth certificate and wasting time with total nonsense like Solyndra,” LaGreca says.

As the Observer points out, it’s perfectly fine for a broadcast company to pick and choose which footage it will air, especially since some of the footage makes that company look bad. But then, maybe a broadcast company that’s going to do that shouldn’t tout itself as “fair and balanced.”

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