(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Ministry of Truth has been very busy since his blockbuster responses to a Fox News-TV reporter of earlier this past week.
MoT a/k/a Jesse LaGreca’s appearance on Fox News has been circulating all over the place – yet, Fox News didn’t show it. LOL! He’s also been busy with videos and appearances since then, such as Al Jazeera, PCCC, a Japanese News Network and several others.
This morning, I caught MoT on ABC News, with Christiane Amanpour. Her guests were: George Will, Matthew Doubt, Peggy Noonan and Donna Brazile. Such a line-up!!!!
The video may be seen here.
The intro commercial is long, but bear with it – it’s worth it. Jesse LaGreca (MoT) fielded questions from Amanpour and the self-righteous most smug of guests, George Will, with aplomb, IMV. When questioned about the core issue, Jesse stated that the Occupy Wall Street movement was about economic justice, social rights and social justice. He was unwaivering in his excellent responses and was calm in doing so. When Christiane Amanpour broached the subject of party, Jesse responded:
What I find amusing, it that now people are looking to us to solve the political problems, and they should. But I’m not going to support one party or the other. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, but I will encourage you to be a voter.
Here is the transcript:
Christiane: George, the protesters are railing against Wall Street. It’s a lot of what the Tea Party did in the early days. Is there a comparison to be made here?
Will: No, because the Tea Party was the bourgeoisie in revolt and they immediately went into the business of winning elections and running candidates. I disagree with some of the Republicans. I, I wish for the OWS demonstrators long life and ample publicity for two reasons [note: Peggy Noonan’s fawning, smirk here is priceless]. I think they do represent the spirit and intellect of the American left, but also, I remember the 1960s. We had 4 years of demonstrations like this leading up to 1968 when Nixon/Wallace vote was 57% of the country reacting against the demonstrators, and Republicans went on to win 5 of the next 6 presidential elections.
Donna: I disagree. I don’t think it’s the same protestors that showed up in the late 60s, early 70s. I think this represents a different movement.
Christiane: Is it Tea Party like?
Donna: Tea Party like? Well, I don’t know. I hope it’s heavy on coffee and not on tea, but I do believe that it’s a legitimate movement that grew out of the public outrage over the debt ceiling debate when many Americans saw members of congress basically sitting on their hands doing nothing. These are educated people who cannot find jobs. They have worked hard, played by the rules, and they believe that Wall Street has not been held to account for their actions that created the mess in the first place.
Christiane: Peggy, do you think that people are too quick to dismiss them?
Peggy: Aaaahh, maybe, look, to a certain degree, the OWS folks are reflective of a bitterness that has not gone away in America in the past three years that has accentuated as the economy has gotten worse. A bitter sense out there that Washington, and the investment banks of NY tanked the American economy and paid no price for it. That having been said, OWS, these protestors is nothing like the Tea Party. The Tea Party rose up spontaneously, as I assume these folks have, but they were mature, they had a program, they had a political point of view that they were going to put into legislative action. They made serious political decisions about not going third party. They were real. We don’t yet know yet that these folks are real. Can I tell you though, the Republican party should not take the bait of OWS, and they should not do this replaying of 1968 where the Republicans say, “protesters are bad.” The protesters are doing their thing. Let them be.
Dowd: I think the Republicans are making a huge mistake on this, because I think if I were a Republican candidate, or advising a Republican candidate today, I would say, “Adopt this populist movement,” because right now, I think the Republican party has forgotten who their base is. The Republican party’s base is not Wall Street. The Republican party’s base is a middle class, small town, rural vote out there, and not to say the Republicans agree with that, but I think the Eric Cantors and everybody else out there who are dismissing these folks, if I were Michele Bachmann or somebody else in that field, I would say, this is a Main Street vs. Wall Street problem; these protesters are saying the right thing. They may not have the right policies, but be a populist, and be a populist Republican attacking Wall Street.
Christiane: OK, we’ve spoken a lot about them. I’m now going to bring in Jesse LaGreca who is a blogger for the liberal web site Daily Kos, and he’s been a fixture at the Wall Street protest. So Jesse, you’ve been listening to all of these descriptions of your movement. Where do you come down? I mean, we’ve talked about it as being immature, it hasn’t had a policy, sort of directive. What is it you are sort of trying to consolidate around there?
Jesse: I think the matter at hand is that the working class people in America, you know, the 99% of Americans who aren’t wealthy, and aren’t prospering in this economy have been entirely ignored by the media. Our political leaders pander to us, but they don’t take action. They stand in the way of change. They filibuster on behalf of the wealthiest 1%; they fold on behalf of the wealthiest 1%. So, the conversation we need to have is about the future, about what type of country we really want to be, and I think the most important thing we can do in our occupation is to continue to push the narrative that’s been ignored by so many pundits and political leaders. I mean, the reality is, I’m the only working class person you’re going to see on Sunday news, political news, maybe ever; and I think that’s very indicative of the failures of our media to report on the news that matters most to our working class people.
Christiane: We are trying our best, Jesse, ..
Jesse: And I thank you.
Christiane: and I want to ask you, some of your, you know, most vociferous supporters, you know like our colleague Paul Krugman, have spoken quite glowingly about this populist movement, and you’ve even heard people around this table saying that it should be harnessed, but also saying that it’s the moment now, to perhaps try to translate that into some kind of political question, political demand. Is there something that you can make this about?
Jesse: I think the entire movement is about economic justice, I mean to me, and I’m not speaking in behalf of OWS, I’m just giving my personal opinion, I think it’s a matter of economic rights, and I think it’s a matter of social rights and social justice; and to the people who would take offense at the word “social” being placed before “justice,” I’d invite them to re-read the constitution.
Christiane: Let me ask George Will who wanted to ask you a quick question.
Will: Mr. LaGreca, I hear a certain dissonance in your message. Your message is, “Washington is corrupt. Washington is the handmaiden of the powerful,” and a lot of conservatives agree with that, but then you say, this corrupt Washington that’s the handmaiden of the powerful should be much more powerful in regulating our lives. Why do you want a corrupt government bigger in our lives?
Jesse: You know, I find that a lot of these conversations about the government tend to deflect away from Wall Street, because, let’s be honest. The lobbyists have enormous power, and they’ve shut out the voice of the American people. So, I think we should demand a government that is listening to people, and I find it ironic that when people demand action from their government, suddenly people tend to overreact and say, “Well that’s out of control government.”
Our government is a function of our democracy. By attacking the government, we are attacking democracy. So, to me, I think, yes, we should ask our government to represent the will of the people, and the will of the people are demanding action, then they should follow suit.
Christiane: Do you think these demonstrations are going to have momentum? I mean, is it going to continue now, day after day?
Jesse: Absolutely. People are extremely excited about what we’re doing. We’re engaging in a direct democracy conversation. I mean, the General Assembly is really the new Town Hall, and we don’t have a filibuster. We don’t have lobbyists. We don’t have a system that can be co-opted, and I invite everybody to come down and talk to us.
Christiane: Jesse, thank you so much, indeed, I appreciate you being here.
Let me ask you Donna, clearly, unions and other democratic organizations are jumping on this. Is this something that the Democratic party feels will energize it as the Tea Party did the Republican party?
Donna: There is no question that Democrats recognize the strength of this movement. This is a grassroots movement. On the other hand, I don’t believe that the party itself should try to lead this. Yes, teachers, firefighters, many others who have been impacted by the ongoing recession, they have a legitimate right to go out there and protest. George, many of these Americans are feeling the effect of the economy, foreclosures. How many Americans out there have lost their homes, or their homes are underwater? This is a legitimate movement, and we should not try to marginalize it.
Christiane: Peggy, I was stunned by your column this week where you were talking about a group of Wall Street, sorry Walmart moms, and you were talking about people who were taking extraordinary steps to save money: donating blood, ..
Christiane: collecting aluminum cans, ..
Peggy: yes, they are, I think we can all sometimes miss what is really happening in America. America is in distress. It’s in immediate distress, paying the bills, foreclosures, etc. But another kind of distress its under, is Americans are smart, and they can tell, this ain’t gonna get better for a while. So there is a certain, bitterness is too strong a word, despair is too strong, but maybe very upset, and not feeling so great about the future.
It seems to me the question about OWS is this: what. Is. Your. Plan. Are ya gonna spend the next six months blocking the Brooklyn Bridge? Or are you going to harness a movement into political action which means getting together with each other in living rooms [Peggy, dear, some of us don’t have living rooms any more], deciding …
Christiane: I’m going to have to ask Jesse that. Very quickly, did you hear that, Jesse? Are you still there?
Jesse: Yes, I’m still here.
Christiane: Are you going to harness this into a political movement, or are you going to, you know, hang out for months?
Jesse: What I find amusing, it that now people are looking to us to solve the political problems, and they should. But I’m not going to support one party or the other. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, but I will encourage you to be a voter.
I think we have succeeded tremendously in pushing the narrative that working class people can no longer be ignored, and I think that it’s very important that we have this conversation, because it’s about the future of our country.
You know, right now, working class people are being told to sacrifice. We’re being told that our future is going to have to be put on hold in the name of austerity, and I can’t name a single country that has succeeded in solving their economic problems with austerity. So, I think the more important thing to do, is to come out and speak to us. The town halls that you see are very top heavy. Our political leaders come and try to sell us a message.
Jesse: They should be listening to us.
Christiane: Alright, Jesse, thank you very much, indeed.
(h/t middleagedhousewife for transcript)