Protests at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, Ga.
“Can you hear us now?” asked protesters around the country this weekend, challenging the mainstream media to drop a perceived news bias and give fair coverage to the growing movement against Obama administration policies.
Grass-roots organizers pulled together small groups of protesters in dozens of U.S. cities yesterday and today, including more than 100 who descended upon the offices of Florida’s St. Petersburg Times this morning.
“The press needs to be unbiased,” Joe Sekola, an organizer of a group called the North Pinellas 9.12 Project, told the Times. “You guys are the watchdogs.”
The paper reports protesters accused the media in general of biased reporting on big-government issues like health-care reform and stimulus spending. They carried signs reading “State Run Media,” “Take the Left From Your Slant,” and “Journalism Malpractice – Just Report the Facts.”
Reports of the “Can You Hear Us Now?” protests are pouring in from around the country:
- In Phoenix, Ariz., a reported 40 gathered outside the Arizona Republic.
- On camera in front of a sizeable crowd in Portland, Ore., a protester estimated 100 were present during KGW-TV’s live news broadcast.
- Also in Oregon, protesters fanned out to voice displeasure at several newspaper and television stations.
- Dozens were reported gathering at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C.
- Protesters braved cold and rain in Hagerstown, Md. “This is about fixing the economy, this is about keeping within the confines of the Constitution, this is about small government, low taxes, about creating jobs for American people,” said Terri Clark of Inwood, W.Va.
- Wilmington, N.C., saw two different groups rally at the city’s Star-News with a “message about small government and fiscal responsibility.” According to one organizer, the Star-News was chosen because it is owned by the New York Times Co.
- A Facebook page devoted to the events includes posts from a growing list of cities, including Baltimore, Md.; Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; Houston, Texas; and West Palm Beach, Fla.
Bostonians protesting at the Globe (Photo: Michael Carl)
In Boston, chants of “Hear us now!” and “Tell the truth!” were raised outside the offices of the Boston Globe.
“We want to be heard, the media is the fringe. The media doesn’t hear anything we say,” event organizer Edie Lekites told the crowd.
“The largest march in Washington in a long time was the Tea Party March on Washington on September 12 and the media tried to ignore it,” Lekites told WND. “There was about 1.6 million people and the networks said there were only 40,000. They never heard us.
“We had more people at that march than went to Obama’s inauguration. There was trash everywhere after the inauguration. There wasn’t even a gumwrapper after the march. We’re peaceful, we just want to be heard,” she said.
In New York City, protesters gathered early in the day at the headquarters of CBS chanting an acronym, “CBS: Can’t believe your stories,” before descending on the city’s other media giants. Video can be seen below:
The largest of the gatherings reported thus far, however, seems to be in Georgia, where protesters contend an alleged 500-1,000 gathered before CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta.
In Chicago, protesters gathered during the news hour last night at multiple locations, as can be seen in the following video:
Protesters in Phoenix, Ariz.
“Things are fast and furious,” Paine told WND. “We just passed 2 million hits in four weeks and three days. Alexa has us in the top 68,000 sites.”
WND listed more than 100 scheduled media protests. Some, such as the crowd in Atlanta, proved to be very successful, while others proved to be too ambitious. Organizers in New York City report only 99 gathered in the morning hours, and a WND reporter in Manhattan discovered the day-long march didn’t go off as planned.
Nonetheless, organizers are encouraged to see nationwide participation.
“People from all over are helping out,” Paine said. “It’s great.”
“It’s the national media problem,” protester Adella Robison in Coos Bay, Ore., told KCBY-TV. “The regular networks are refraining from publishing things or putting out information about the corruption in the government.
“Let people know in America that we can’t have this debt,” she added. “We can’t go bankrupt; our currency is losing its value; there’s nothing left for us.”
Paine told WND, “We The People intend this day to be a ‘shot across the bow,’ so to speak, as a warning to the ships in the mainstream media’s biased fleet.”