While the Occupy Wall Street movement is in its third week, and seemingly growing by the day, the media has, with a few notable exceptions, demonstrated that they're having a hard time getting their heads around it. Sometimes they're confused by the lack of demands -- as if you can't have a mass movement without an accompanying PowerPoint presentation. At other times, they're confused by what they see as too many demands. And, naturally, because the movement seems primarily comprised of ordinary working and middle-class Americans, the media is having a hard time relating. "Where is the celebrity figure whose access I'm supposed to crave?" they ask.
Yesterday, NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen made note of CNN reporter Alison Kosik's way-late-to-the-game on-Twitter dismissal of Occupy Wall Street as a bunch of bongo-drumming pot smokers. As he notes, Kosik deleted the tweet later -- I guess she doesn't really possess the sort of convictions that are strong enough to stand behind in, say, Zuccotti Park. Rosen goes on to note Kosik's fellow CNN colleague Erin Burnett's dreary lack of engagement in a clip where she stated, “What are they protesting? No one seems to know.” Burnett should maybe peep some charts that will finally make it clear, or read either of these two good books full of clues.
But let's face it: it takes time to understand charts and read books and gather facts and learn about the lives of ordinary people. And the Occupy Wall Street folks don't have time to wait for the media to come around to a greater understanding. Fortunately for all involved, The Second City's Andy Cobb is on the case.
Cobb went down to the Occupy Wall Street-aligned gathering in Los Angeles and immediately saw what the demonstrators needed to do to get the attention of cable news and the traditional media. He swung into action and gave the assembled protesters a quick "media makeover" -- kitting them out in a style that's proven to draw cameras and sympathy. His solution? Well, once you watch the clip, you'll realize just how obvious it is.