By now, everyone is familiar with the Wall Street protesters. All sorts of folks have commented on who they are and billing them as anti capitalists. I am not so sure that is correct. The protesters have not delivered their message well.
To be fair, the reason why some mainstream news journalists and many of the audiences they serve see the Occupy Wall Street protests as incoherent is because the press and the public are themselves. It is difficult to comprehend a 21st century movement from the perspective of the 20th century politics, media, and economics in which we are still steeped.
In fact, we are witnessing America’s first true Internet-era movement, which — unlike civil rights protests, labor marches, or even the Obama campaign — does not take its cue from a charismatic leader, express itself in bumper-sticker-length goals and understand itself as having a particular endpoint.
So who are these protesters? We do we think vs what do we know? Are these simply people who want reform? Wall Street isn’t innocent so they should not be playing the victim. Is CNN right in its assessment?