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Forum Post: The Occupy Movement and CBS News Coverage, N17 - Letter to 60 Minutes

Posted 10 years ago on Nov. 18, 2011, 9:49 a.m. EST by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

To: Scott Pelley

60 Minutes

CBS News Anchor


Dear Sir,

Last night your news broadcast indicated that there were less than one thousand demonstrators in New York City participating in the Occupy Movement. This stands in contrast to statements made by movement members who claim they heard over police scanners that NYPD estimates were upwards of 30,000 demonstrators.

Sitting in Vermont I have little access to the facts either way. It is possible that Occupy Movement members were exaggerating, it is also possible that NYPD was exaggering - either hoping to benefit from the psychological effect.

It is also possible that your coverage was constrained by upper management and their desire to make this all go away. It isn't going away, Sir. I'm sure that is obvious.

It must be a tremendous honor to sit in the seat once occupied by Walter Cronkite. I have no doubt that you sense a tremendous responsibility as well. I would do whatever I can to assist you in your dealings with upper management.

Toward that end I think it important to note: Friends of the Earth, a coalition of environmental and human rights activists released a statement yesterday in support of the U.S. Occupy Movement and the protests that took place not just in New York, but around the country.

You can find their statement here:


This is not just about the U.S. banking system, nor is it just about Wall Street. These are simply two points of pressure on somethinig that is much larger. The college kids, anarchists among them, have done a huge service, not just to America, but to all of humanity. If you think that is not so, Sir, then I submit for your consideration the Nigerian Delta, where global demand for oil has had obvious and devestating consequences that date back over 50 years.

Corporations are specifically designed to maximise profit. To do so they exploit resources - human, economic, and natural. This legal structure ensures that personal accountability for corporate actions is never an issue. Terms like externality help ensure that costs associated with production are not just minimized, but in many cases completely and fraudulently understated. This has an undeniable human cost, as was seen when PG&E poisoned the drinking water of their neighbors in California.

The issues raised by the Occupy Movement will not go away of themselves. As I sit here today, I am well aware that there are those in both the public and private sector, who support the general message of this movement, if not it's methods. To those who doubt this is possible, I would begin by pointing to statements from men like Warren Buffett regarding tax policy.

I insist, that as we sit here today, the repelican party is done as a political organization in America. To most that is, I am sure, what seems a bold and sweeping overstatement, evidence of some mental defect, megalomania or something similar. Yet I ask you to consider very carefully the process of debate - brinkmanship - that took place over our debt ceiling this past summer and it's consequenses on not just our economy - which saw both jobs and market investment numbers drop precipitously in the six or so weeks preceeding resolution of that issue, but the relationshp this had on other issues, like that of national security.

I ask you to consider carefully some bed rock principles, core platform planks, such as 'there is no global warming', and the staunch, bold faced solidarity of the repelican party leadership around these kinds of lies.

Watch carefully Sir, as those who ideologically oppose everything this movement stands for, begin to modify their language and their behavior - all as a result of this movement.

We are not going away, Sir.

And we will prevail.

Most sincerely and respectfully yours,

D. Winter






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[-] 2 points by starSparrow (23) 10 years ago

Hear my song upon your breast, noble beast, for the winds of November blow chilly upon you! Never have those words been more true than today! Though they've always been true!

[-] -2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

It is windy out. and you are an interesting bird . . . speaking of which, I should go cut some wood . . .

[-] 0 points by mee44 (71) 10 years ago

If you're so concerned about corporate welfare, then you should really be looking at dummocraps. They're the ones pushing this "green energy" sheit with massive subsidies to General Electric, Solyndra, General Motors and anyone who will vote for their moronic donkey azzes.

You may not be honest with anyone here, but be honest with yourself.

[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

I think I just answered that -

By saying that I would much rather the government supported new technology rather than the oil industry.

I think it was 2007 when Biden pressed the oil industry on the subject in Senate hearings, and they admitted they did not need them -

yet they are still getting them.


must be cuz a nimrods like you . . . .

[-] 2 points by me2 (534) 10 years ago

The 30,000 were taking part in a union sponsored and organized rally which had gotten permits for the event in advance. OWS timed their actions to coincide with this event. The OWS events of N17 had a much smaller level of participation. It was only when the OWS people latched on to the union rally that "their" numbers swelled.

In addition, it was the union sponsored event which was orderly and respectful of others. The OWS events of the day were intentionally obstructive and disorderly. Also compare the orderly march across the bridge on N17 to the previous, ows-only version similar march which took place a few weeks earlier.

"dislike" this post if you are against the simple statement of facts which don't support your agenda. For I have merely stated fact which anyone can go independently verify.

[-] 1 points by RockyJ (208) 10 years ago

You need to check you facts! I believe it was the unions that made the decision to take over bridge, which is also an act of civil disobedience! "At least 300 people were arrested in New York, including Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, who was seen loaded into a NYPD bus with dozens of union members who sat on the ground on Centre Street. George Gresham, president of 1199 SEIU, which represents health care workers, was also taken into custody."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2062445/Taking-bridge-Thousands-cross-Brooklyn-Bridge-300-arrested-clashes-riot-police.html#ixzz1eBF3T85z

[-] 1 points by me2 (534) 10 years ago

The unions had a permit and marched across the pedestrian walkway of the bridge, not on the roadway. OWS joined them. They were happy to have OWS join them, but it was most certainly not OWS that got over 30K people to march across the bridge in an orderly fashion, it was the unions who organized the event. To their credit, the OWS people didn't eff it up by acting like goofs - they took care of that earlier in the day.

[-] 2 points by RockyJ (208) 10 years ago

Quit trying to divide us! Of course the Unions may have alternative reasons for their involvement but they would not have gotten this positive attention & recognition they've recently received if not for the Occupy Movement. Nor would many of these progressive & alternative but related organizations. Most all these related organizations are accustomed to compartmentalizing their efforts & goals, and as result they're message becomes short lived or lost. Though I've never belonged to a Union, I believe in them & believe they are the back bone of our country & what happened in Wisconsin and other states is very wrong! But over the years some Unions have developed a bad repetition and haven't always been good for their members. Does that make all Unions bad? Hell NO! So quit your division tactics & if you continue on this same path your true motives will become obvious!

[-] 0 points by me2 (534) 10 years ago

Do you even know what civil disobedience is? Marching across a bridge with a permit is not civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is disobeying laws one feels are fundamentally wrong, it is not just disobeying any old law to protest something. There's a law against a black person sitting at the front of the bus, the black person goes and sits in the front of the bus, that is civil disobedience. The same person speeding on I-95 is breaking the law but is NOT practicing civil disobedience.


And that is why people are saying WTF is up with this, these people are a bunch of loose cannons with no clear direction.

[-] 1 points by paulg5 (673) 10 years ago

If you go according to viewers on the video feeds that afternoon and evening I would say there is a lot of interest if not actual participation. At one point there were 32,000 viewers, and the overall views were something like 658,000 I don't think they were all union members only! It really doesn't matter any way, they are all out there united for the cause to change this disfunctional system!

[-] 1 points by me2 (534) 10 years ago

Why would we go according to viewers on the video feeds? It was a spectacle. People watched it. There is no way to gauge which of those who watched are supporters.

I'm talking about the actual foley square rally and march across the bridge. That was a union organized event that happened to coincide with the 2 month anniversary of ows and so ows was invited to attend. That march across the bridge would have happened whether there had ever been an ows or not and it would have looked very similar in terms of -numbers either way.

[-] 1 points by paulg5 (673) 10 years ago

Those are some big numbers percolating in the back ground dude! It's not just a spectacle it's reality, and so are numbers that represent viewers. Just sayin.....

[-] 1 points by me2 (534) 10 years ago

1) they're not that big.

2) there is no conclusion you can logically draw from them.

[-] 1 points by paulg5 (673) 10 years ago

The networks say that to LOL!

[-] 1 points by me2 (534) 10 years ago

Well even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

[-] 1 points by RockyJ (208) 10 years ago

If you had a brain in your head you would take it out & play with it!

[-] 1 points by me2 (534) 10 years ago

Good one. Boy you sure blinded me with a well crafted argument there.


[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

You raise interesting points.

Patience my friend. Do not let whatever happened distract you from the utility of the whole.

We must stand together as one, and we must find ways to accomplish this with great care. We must soothe those whose emotions are riled with a common vision.

If you were there, I encourage you to reach out, and express your views to others who were there as well.


Ripples are a river

flowing through the soul,

they may be devine.


Ripples Are,

and they are Rivers


We must have respect

when there are so many rivers

of so many different kinds.


Each of us a river,

each of us a drop;

there is but one . . .

. © D. Winter November - December 2007

http://zendogblog.net/poems/ripples.htm . .

[-] 1 points by me2 (534) 10 years ago

I agree with you here. And I think the N17 events were detrimental to your point.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

I just ran across this post of yours ( Zen ) today. It is a very good letter and explains a lot to anyone who is seriously interested in learning what the hub-bub is all about in the Occupy and 99% movements. Did they ever send you a reply?

[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

I don't think so, no. I think that's fairly typical of 60 Minutes though, and I'm not real worried about it.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

I just thought it would have been nice for them to at least acknowledge receipt.

Anyway good letter.

[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

thanks. I'm sure they get lots of them.

[-] 1 points by paulg5 (673) 10 years ago

I can't remember when any of the major networks reported factual information about any issue that went against the grain of their shareholders.... http://www.save-a-patriot.org/files/view/whofed.html

Freedom of the press is dead!

[-] -2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

You should check out today's business section of the New York Times. There are three articles I highly recommend. One of them seems like a favorable review of the OWS movement, though I should reread it when I am more awake.

[-] 1 points by paulg5 (673) 10 years ago

Are the articles on the website I'm in pa

[-] -2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

I'm not sure, I haven't checked.


-- An Uprising With Plenty of Potential by James B. Stewart

-- Tax Pledge May Scuttle A Deal on Deficit by Catherine Rampell

-- 5 Ways to Think About Nuisance Fees by Ron Lieber

I'm really tired, so maybe I was reading too much into these articles - but I did read the first in this list last, and so that didn't color my perception -

I think I'm detecting our influence in all three articles - but like I said, I have to reread them.

NOTE: the online texts are often slightly different for some reason - or they were, it's been awhile.

[-] 1 points by paulg5 (673) 10 years ago

Ok thanks I'll have a look, good night!

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (5843) 10 years ago

Hi ZenDog, Well said. Best Regards, Nevada

[-] -2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago


and right back at ya.

Keep the faith!

[-] 1 points by joesmith7789 (31) 10 years ago

Advertisers for CBS news need to be boycotted. CBS news can not survive if their advertisers pull out due to millions boycotting their goods and services. Even just the threat of the boycott of their advertisers will change things around quickly at CBS news.

[-] 1 points by owstag (508) 10 years ago

Some of the larger events have had large numbers, but nowhere near 30,000. Also, Zucotti Park itself had a much smaller daily population than typically suggested by media images(whether the media reports are positive or negative). If you ever get to NYC and checkout Zucotti Park, you'd be amazed at how small it is (it's basically a little plaza in between two streets). There were usually about 200 or so people there (it couldn't really fit much more than that). The first impression many had upon arriving there to check it out was surprise at how much smaller the the place is than it seems on TV.

[-] 1 points by forOWS (161) 10 years ago

I saw that too. Pelley was dismissive as he reported the protests and then said it was only a small number of people. What a croc! Get out there on the streets and do some real news reporting you wimp-ass desk jockey. MSM types are closer to the one-percent anyway that's why they do not take the OWS protests seriously.

[-] 1 points by me2 (534) 10 years ago

Most of the day, the events were much smaller, though they were more violent and destructive. This is probably what was being reported on that everyone's all bent out of shape about.

It was the union rally and march across the bridge, which OWS participated in but did not organize, that drew over 30K people, some small portion of which were OWSers.

[-] 1 points by owstag (508) 10 years ago

60 Minutes is hardly Fox News; they usually get accused of having a leftwing bias by people on the right. I'll reserve judgment here however having not seen the report in question.

[-] 1 points by forOWS (161) 10 years ago

It was not 60 Minutes. It was the CBS Evening News. The people on the Right think everyone is a Leftist. But I will go with what the Buddhists say about that. You cannot have the Left without the Right.

[-] 1 points by owstag (508) 10 years ago

It is true that right wingers see most media as having a leftwing bias and most leftists see most media as having a right-wing bias. The problem is even a broken clock is correct twice a day. Fox really does have a right-wing bias, and MSNBC really does have a left-wing bias. These unfortunate facts then serve to reinforce delusional perceptions of bias. But hey, if you're to the left of Stalin or the right of Gengis Khan everything is going to appear 'biased'.


[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

This is exactly it

"Toward that end I think it important to note: Friends of the Earth, a coalition of environmental and human rights activists released a statement yesterday in support of the U.S. Occupy Movement and the protests that took place not just in New York, but around the country."

you guys insist anyone protesting is doing so under the OWS brand. you are the ones trying to co-opt the protesters. same thing with many college protests, they have their own groups yet you guys paint them as OWS. you guys give me shit because you say my project is trying to co-opt OWS. let me tell you something. we have all been here long before OWS and we will be here long after your socialist asses are a blip in history books. I am 34 and have no interest in flying your banner or being told when where or how to protest or speak my mind by some snot nose college kids.

[-] 0 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

I have been standing in opposition for a long time. I stood when the protests were small, and Ken Saro-Wiwa but three years gone, taken by the hangman's noose in Nigeria.

We were small, but we were noticed.

This bickering does not serve the legacy of those who have gone before us, whose lives were taken in the preservation of injustice and the consolidation of power.

More lives may yet be lost in this struggle. It is to them that we owe this small debt - to put aside our differences, and aim for the heart of the beast that would commodify all of humanity.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

yeah, i can't really argue with that.

[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

And these are precisely the kinds of arguments we must all learn to make - the kinds that cannot be disputed.

[-] 0 points by jph (2652) 10 years ago

Nice ;) Rock on ZenDog!

[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

; D

[-] 1 points by averagejoel (25) 10 years ago

Don't you find it odd that the only claims of 30000 come from here an rt or rtjtester specifically and heresay only? I don't think it is a conspiracy against OWS. I think it's because it didn't happen. I believe the 2000 numbers myself

[-] 1 points by averagejoel (25) 10 years ago

Bringing it to the attention of 60Min may unravel things even further for OWS

[-] -2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

I believe that yesterday there was a thread with a link to aerial footage of the event. I'm on dial-up and didn't review it for myself.

The issue of which is true is, to my thinking, irrelevant. Not to Scott Pelley, perhaps. Claims were made, and so credibility at stake.

This provides a clear opening. It does not matter if it was 100 people gathered, or 100,000, in this instance. Accurate coverage of the event, and shaping the minds of those who provide that coverage,

this is key.

This is

targeted interdiction.

[-] 1 points by averagejoel (25) 10 years ago

I do agree that accuracy is important regardless. I disagree that the number is not critical though. If a number that size can be verified it would open the eyes of otherwise disinterested people to the movement perhaps...

[-] 1 points by guynorth (33) 10 years ago


This looks easily in the ballpark of 10's of thousands of people.

For rough comparison, Occupy Portland previously went over 10,000 people in estimates as well.


Source for 10,000 number: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Portland

I also watched livestream.com/occupynyc (since news stations weren't covering the event) for most of the day, and the footage that was showing there was excellent - providing on-ground and areal coverage simultaneously for most of the day. I can say that the populations around Foley Square timeframe were visibly alike the Portland mass. It was truly a colossal size.

The journalist that had been covering footage that day since 7am, that livestream was piping in, even voiced his personal estimate at one point of at least 10,000 people.

Either way, the population was massive. And even if an individual wishes to dismiss Novemeber 17th in New York, one would still have to account for various other instances around the nation (and world), such as Occupy Portland (which is sadly getting even less attention than OWS for their large numbers).

[-] -2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

Sure, in time it will be. In this instance it simply provided a moment of controversy, a thing to capitalize on.

An opportunity to bend minds where they are in a position to be useful.

[-] -1 points by mikePac (52) 10 years ago

The OWS popularity is dropping faster than Michael Moore chasing a doughnut over a cliff. As far as the economy goes it will not start to improve until the Odumber admin is out and that will be in 2012

[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

You would be making a terrible mistake if you were to confuse this forum as a measure of the Occupy Movement as a whole.

I assure you,

next summer will be insane*

[-] 0 points by mikePac (52) 10 years ago

I heard next summer from a few others also. Is that what Van Jones means when he says "he is taking OWS to phase two soon"???

[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

piss off nimrod

[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

I would know if there is some defect with this email.

[-] -2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

Hey hey ho ho

The Repelican Party has Got To Go!


[-] -2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

I've just sent this to 60 Minutes.

You can too. Email address is in the header.