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Forum Post: NYPD Police Chief's Son Is Fox's On-Air Anti-Occupy Wall Street Activist

Posted 12 years ago on Nov. 22, 2011, 6:44 p.m. EST by alouis (1511) from New York, NY
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The NYPD has an ace in the hole when it comes to spreading anti–Occupy Wall Street propaganda: Local Fox TV station WNYW-​TV news anchor Greg Kelly — son of NYPD Police Chief Ray Kelly. On Wednesday, starting at 7:00 AM, Greg Kelly started his broadcast day by spreading the false story that the Occupy Wall Street protestors were planning on shutting down the New York City subway system. “On Wednesday morning, as protesters tried unsuccessfully to shut down Wall Street, the anchors for the Fox TV station in New York City said several times that the protesters were also planning to “shut down” the subway system in the city later in the day,” New York Times’ Brian Stelzer reported. “The anchors discussed no evidence of such a plan, however, and some protest organizers have said that no such plan exists, that the goal is to gather at various subway stations and hand out flyers.”

“Asked about the sourcing of the station’s information, a spokeswoman for the Fox station, WNYW-​TV, said, “It’s been reported elsewhere and we addressed it this morning during this interview with York City Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway.” In the interview, Mr. Holloway said the city was “advising New Yorkers to stay informed” about possible subway disruptions.”

But the planned protests were described much more ominously, at times, by the anchors on WNYW.

“This is a big deal,” the Fox co-​anchor Greg Kelly said as his newscast started at 7 a.m. Wednesday. “We have thousands of protesters that have indicated they are going to try to shut down the subway system as well, and occupy sixteen transit hubs across the five boroughs.” Mr. Kelly and his co-​anchor, Rosanna Scotto, spoke of indications of a “shut down” plan three other times that hour.

At 8 a.m., Mr. Kelly, who is the son of Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, said of the protesters on Wall Street: “Right now they’re kind of milling about. But the word is that they intend to shut down or attempt to shut down the New York Stock Exchange and vast portions of the New York City transit system.”

Around 8:30 a.m. Ms. Scotto said she was “getting a lot of tweets” about the protests and read one from Melody Carr on the air: “How is shutting down everything such as subways going to help the #OWS? it’s going to make the rest of the 99% upset w/​them.”

Mr. Kelly weighed in. “So far,” he said, “they’ve focused their ire at the wealthy and those who support them, but when they start to shut down the commuting system for folks who are on their way to work, that’s something else.”

The comments about shutting down the subway continued into the 9 a.m. hour on WNYW, though no protesters or reporters were shown on screen backing up the comments.

WNYW is the flagship TV station of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation-​owned Fox Broadcasting Company. Kelly was a Marine and previously was White House correspondent and covered the Iraq War for the Fox news Channel (FNC.) Kelly is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves.

To be fair, Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald notes that The New York Times also reported initially that Occupy Wall Street protestors were planning on shutting down the subways, but removed those comments quickly. Not quickly and journalistically appropriately, but they removed them.

Nothing better than a propagandist ace-​in-​the-​hole, unless that’s a relative who’s the ace-​in-​the-​hole.



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