#OccupyWallStreet and today's (Egyptian) KFC


Hey, remember one of my first blog posts about Occupy Wall Street (of course you do) when I said I'll bet the Egyptian press made fun of the folks in Tahrir Square, too. For once I was right:

Occupy Wall Street's supporters have continually criticized both the dearth of media coverage of their movement and its dismissive tone. "The media has begun dismissing the protesters, calling them delusional, childish hippies," Elshamy says. "This is actually very similar to here in Egypt when the media portrayed protesters as thugs or foreign agents who were getting paid and had other agendas." At one point, Egypt's state media even suggested that the demonstrators were being brought out to the square by the promise of free buckets of KFC.

The crowd took the charges in stride. Vendors began selling T-shirts reading "I am a thug" and fake pamphlets featuring "foreign agendas." The square's makeshift medical tent was renamed "KFC hospital."

Most importantly, Elshamy says, is to be as "neutral and friendly as possible with whatever journalist, no matter where he is from."

Important takeway: Be friendly to journalists! Meanwhile, here's a good report on Occupy Philadelphia from the Inquirer's Monica Yant Kinney, who seems less cynical coming out of the protest than she was going in. Typical reaction.

And if you want to see what a good non-hack writer comes up with after spending some time in Zuccotti Park, check out Charles Pierce (who's just launched a fantastic new blog for Esquire):

This is a very loud and clear yawp against the irresponsible use of power by unaccountable institutions, including, increasingly, the government itself. The protests here are omni-directional. They appear inchoate because their target is so diffuse — an accelerating sense in the country that there is no pea under any of the shells, that the red Jack is not in the deck, that the wealth of the country is being swindled and gambled and frittered away by so many people in so many ways that to sharpen the focus on one of the long cons is to let a dozen others reach fruition. This is a protest about declining wages and corporate greed, about baroque financial schemes and the unfathomable fine print on the back of your credit-card statement, about a grand critique of mutated capitalism and outrage at the simple tragedy of foreclosure fraud.
Read the whole thing, and have a great weekend. When I see you again it will almost be time for Game 1 of the Phillies-Brewers NLCS!