My otherwise pretty progressive (independent) local station here in VT, The Point, runs the standard two minute on-the-hour “news” with a few local tid-bits, some national news and not much else. It was quite striking, then, to hear this morning a summary of events in the Twin Cities (see below) along the lines of: “250 violent protesters were arrested at the RNC convention after fires were set.” That was it — and, thus, the operatives running the over-the-top security operation appear to have accomplished exactly what they were after: not a word about police state conditions, “pre-emptive arrests” or raids on vegan protest groups after spying on them for months; and nothing about excessive force used while arresting representatives of the media or participants in lawful demonstrations — instead, the narrative has effectively been boiled down to “convention rioters arrested.” Confirmation that anyone who dares to protest is clearly a dirty fucking hippie and only gets what he or she deserves.
What a huge PR victory for those who wield power, and what a massive defeat for the 1st amendment — not only has freedom of speech effectively been canceled in the Twin Cities, but coverage of that fact in the mainstream media has been silenced as well. Tim Karr makes the same point at HuffPo.
Given that the first day of the convention was largely reduced to a farce, it would perhaps not have seemed unreasonable for a few of the timid mainstream media representatives to go find a story elsewhere (right outside the spin room); instead, it devolved into Palin-palooza and the casting of the occasional glance towards the Gulf (where the “real” action appeared to be happening).
(Image from indymedia.org).