There's a Protest on Wall Street?

09/23/2011 01:33 pm ET | Updated Nov 23, 2011

There is, and how do I know that?

I know that because I subscribe to Reader Supported News (RSN), a web-based news service. Otherwise I had caught, through my decidedly left-wing email list, that something was afoot for the third week in September, but a full-blown protest by thousands of people over the weekend... One would think that qualified as news, but one would be wrong.

I was informed by the "mainstream" media when some nut job pastor in Florida (one man) threatened to burn a stack of Korans, the Muslim holy book...

I knew when Charlie Sheen had run amuck in a hotel room in NYC...

I know when demonstrations are held in Libya and Syria... but not in my own country.

I can read accounts of the protest in the UK Guardian and watch it on the BBC or RSN, but not on CBS or NBC or FOX.

This is what is meant by the corporate media apparently. We think we know what's going on in our own country, but we only know what they're willing to tell us, and that's certainly not everything.

We will, as readers and watchers and listeners, undoubtedly be treated to seemingly endless "news" of who's up and who's down in the polls as 2012 approaches, but will anyone tell us what that might mean? Will anyone let us know when our children are protesting on the streets of an American city?

Thomas Jefferson said a long time ago: "Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it." What Jefferson did not foresee was that the press might curtail their own freedom, abdicate their own responsibility in a free society, in favor of the pursuit of money for corporate investors.

Rick Perlstein, an historian and author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, has pointed to union protests in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana earlier this year against anti-union measures in legislatures in those states, to a massive strike by workers at telecommunications giant Verizon, and constituent meetings this summer at which voters angrily confronted congressmen and women about feared cuts to social programs.

"We are seeing a widespread social movement," he said. "The fact that there isn't a media narrative about interesting things happening says more about the media."

It is alarming to contemplate that the continuing protest on Wall Street may be only one of the things we are not hearing about. Our "free press" appears to be not quite so free any more, and strangely, it isn't a government crackdown, but unfettered capitalism that has undermined that freedom.