Imagine doing it since 1851. Imagine being called the "newspaper of record," producing "All the News That's Fit to Print."
Imagine an establishment publication representing wealth and power, backing corporate interests, cheerleading imperial wars, ducking uncomfortable issues too sensitive to report, and functioning as an unofficial ministry of information and propaganda. Imagine relying on it for real information and analysis at a time it's vanishing except online.
At first, its Occupy Wall Street Coverage was scant, then mostly dismissive and offensive. A previous article discussed Ginia Bellafante's September 23 article headlined, "Gunning for Wall Street, With Faulty Aim,"mocking real grievances.
On September 26, Times writer Joseph Goldstein headlined, "Wall Street Demonstrations Test Police Trained for Bigger Threats,"saying:
"When members of the loose protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street began a march from the financial district to Union Square on Saturday, the participants seemed relatively harmless, even as they were breaking the law by marching in the street without a permit."
The Constitution's First Amendment protects free expression, the press, the "right of the people to peacefully assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Occupy Wall Street protesters lawfully expressed their First Amendment rights without which all others are at risk. They don't let Times writers like Goldstein play fast and loose with the truth, but he and others do it daily in Times articles, op-eds and opinions.
For New York cops, "the protesters represented something else: a visible example of lawlessness akin to that which had resulted in destruction and violence at anticapitalist demonstrations, like" past ones against the IMF, World Bank, WTO, G-20 meetings, and Republican and Democrat conventions.
Since Seattle in 1999, all were peaceful. Police, however, violently disrupted them. It's what cops do, deployed to subvert, not protect democracy. Regularly, they cordon off activists in so-called "free speech zones," contain them behind barriers, beat up on people, arrest hundreds, and use thuggish provocateurs to smash windows, set cars ablaze, and commit other unruly acts - unjustly blamed on protesters.
Moreover, surveillance cameras monitor everything. Helicopters at times patrol overhead. Military forces are positioned nearby out of sight. Snipers man rooftops, and thousands of police, mounted patrols and private security guards use tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, batons, and other tactics to intimidate peaceful protesters.
Welcome to America! In disturbing ways, it resembles despotic regimes elsewhere.