May 11, 2012 · 1 Comments
Re: “At May Day Demonstrations, Traffic Jams and Arrests” by Andy Newman Colin Moynihan (news article, May 1).
It took two reporters plus four contributors to throw together 400 words trivializing a huge global event?
Out of tens of thousands of May Day marchers filling Manhattan peacefully for over 12 hours, 30 arrests were made. And your lead was mayhem and an arrest count? Halfway through the article there are two short paragraphs on the purpose of the march; then back to arrests and mayhem. No mention whatsoever of labor union participation in a May Day event. What distinguishes the Times‘ coverage from that of the tabloids?
Is there an editor on board with an awareness that May Day has a history going back to 1886? That there’s a reason why close to 100 countries (not just Russia; look it up) recognize International Workers Day and the U.S. doesn’t? That May Day was launched in 1890 in commemoration of an American labor incident? That the intentional destruction of unions in the U.S. today coincides with a historic level of income inequality and the steady vaporization of America’s middle class? Is there no Wikipedia your reporting duo might have turned to? Is there no NY Times archives to consult? Is there no NY Times?
Either there are editorial decisions being made to mollify advertisers or the Times nurtures a willful cluelessness and lack of curiosity about a national movement which has gained the attention of legions of noted authorities, a president, millions of American citizens and activists around the world. Plus Fox News and the NY Times foaming about arrests and mayhem. There are active Occupy groups in every region of the U.S. that have drawn serious people to do serious work for no pay. It’s because we recognize a systemic disease in the DNA of this nation and there is no functional institution left to petition. That might answer answer some questions about why OWS chooses to make no demands. The movement is no longer about tents and wiggly fingers. And the alleged stoners appear to be members of the press who apparently bang out one-dimensional stories between bong hits and get rewarded with bylines.
I’m wondering if the rest of the Times reportage is equally lazy these days.
New York City, May 1, 2012