While Fox News continues its attack on the Occupy Wall Street protests -- mocking the protesters and baselessly claiming they do not pay taxes -- they are hyping a counter movement launched by CNN contributor and conservative pundit Erick Erickson, a website called, "We are the 53 percent."
CNN's Erickson Launches "Counterpunch" To "We Are The 99 Percent"
CNN'S Erickson Helps Launch "We Are The 53 Percent" Counter Protest. The Washington Post blog Wonkblog reported:
Conservative activists have created a Tumblr called "We are the 53 percent" that's meant to be a counterpunch to the viral "We are the 99 percent" site that's become a prominent symbol for the Occupy Wall Street movement. The Tumblr is supposed to represent the 53 percent of Americans who pay federal income taxes, and its assumption is that the Wall Street protesters are part of the 46 percent of the country who don't. "We are the 53 percent" was originally the brainchild of Erick Erickson, founder of RedState.org, who worked together with Josh Trevino, communications director for the right-leaning Texas Public Policy Foundation, and conservative filmmaker Mike Wilson to develop the concept, according to Trevino.
The overriding message is that the protesters have failed to take personal responsibility, blaming their economic troubles on others. "Suck it up you whiners. I am the 53 percent subsidizing you so you can hang out on Wall Street and complain," writes Erickson, in the Tumblr's inaugural post. "I don't blame Wall Street because it doesn't matter what Wall Street or anyone else does. I am responsible for my own destiny. I will succeed or fail because of me and me ALONE," writes another contributor, who describes himself as a Marine Corps veteran. Another irate contributor writes: "I take risks so my kids can have a better life. Not so you can sit on your [expletive] at my expense." [The Washington Post, Wonkblog, 10/10/11]
And While Fox Has Relentlessly Attacked And Mocked The Occupy Wall Street Protests ...
Kilmeade: Protesters "Sit In Their Own Squalor All Day." On the October 11 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed Occupy Wall Street protesters "sit in their own squalor all day." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/11/11, via Media Matters]
Bolling: Occupy Wall Street Protesters "Do Seem Like Petulant Little Children." On the October 10 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, guest host Eric Bolling hosted syndicated columnist Star Parker to attack the Occupy Wall Street protests. Bolling introduced the segment by claiming that "they do seem like petulant little children ... how about going out and trying to find a job instead?" [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 10/10/11 via Media Matters]
Crowley: Protesters Are "Useful Idiots Who Probably Haven't Paid Much In Taxes Their Whole Life." On the October 10 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Fox News contributor Monica Crowley called the protesters "useful idiots who probably haven't paid much in taxes their whole life, have no concept -- and all they know is, 'Oh, profit is a four-letter word, corporations and rich folks -- millionaires and billionaires are evil, they need to be taxed more.' As if they don't pay enough." [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 10/10/11, via Media Matters]
Doocy Quotes NY Post To Claim "Number One Reason" People Attend The Protest Is "Free Food." On the October 11 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed she "wanted to give you a flavor of some of the people who are" at the protests. Fox & Friends then showed a picture of an alleged "fugitive" who they said "needs some methadone every day." Carlson then showed an image of a man who was allegedly teaching protesters "how to pick a set of handcuffs with a bobby pin." Co-host Steve Doocy concluded the segment by citing a New York Post article to claim that the "number one reason people are going -- you know the crowd is growing -- number one reason people are going to this thing: food, there is free food for everybody." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/10/11, via Media Matters]
Fox's Trotta On Occupy Wall Street Website: "What You Will Read Is The Ravings Of What Sounds Like The Unabomber." On the October 8 edition of Fox News' America's News HQ, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta claimed, "I advise anybody who has a sense of humor left about this to go to OccupyWallStreet.com and what you will read is the ravings of what sounds like the Unabomber ... it's certainly better going down there and carrying signs than going out and hitting the pavement for a job." [Fox News, America's News HQ, 10/8/11, via Media Matters]
Fox's Johnson: Wall Street Protesters Are "The Little Rascals Gone Camping Down In Downtown Manhattan." On the October 6 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. said of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, "We basically have the Little Rascals gone camping down in downtown Manhattan." Johnson later claimed the protesters have become the "unintentional dupes of the 2012 election." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/6/11, via Media Matters]
... Fox Applauds Erickson's "Counterpunch"
Kilmeade: "Taxpayers [Are] Launching A Counter Protest, Saying ... 'We Are the 53 Percent That Actually Pay Our Taxes.' " During the October 11 broadcast of Fox & Friends, Kilmeade said:
KILMEADE: All right, Occupy Wall Street getting some competition. Taxpayers launching a counter protest, saying, quote, "We are the 53 percent that actually pay our taxes and the protests are costing us millions." All true. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/11/11, via Media Matters]
Doocy: "The Message [Of The 53 Percent Site] Is The Protesters Have Failed To Take Personal Responsibility ... They Say, 'Suck It Up, You Whiners.' " Later during the broadcasts, the co-hosts hyped the 53 percent site. Kilmeade claimed the people posting to the 53 percent site "have jobs, and they're trying to earn a living," in contrast to the Occupy Wall Street protesters, who "sit in their own squalor all day." From the broadcast:
CARLSON: In the meantime, you know how this Occupy Wall Street stuff has continued into the fourth week? Well, now some conservatives are launching a counterattack on that, and they are calling this "We are the 53 percent." What does that mean? That means that they say that they are the 53 percent that are paying the taxes that the 47 percent who don't pay federal income taxes -- they're the other group in America who is actually paying federal income taxes.
DOOCY: This is the brain child of Erick Erickson who runs the RedState.com website. And the message is the protesters have failed to take personal responsibility for blaming their economic problems on other -- on others. They say, "Suck it up, you whiners. I am the 53 percent subsidizing you so you can hang out on Wall Street and complain." He's taking aim at those people right there, holding the signs.
KILMEADE: And people also -- that's the picture that they have and that's their daily (unclear) -- and some of the people that write, I don't have health insurance, but I don't blame Wall Street. Stop whining, suck it up, and God bless the U.S.A. I don't blame Wall Street, it doesn't matter what Wall Street or anyone else does, I'm responsible for my own destiny, is another one of the messages. And in the big picture, I think it's interesting that they put pictures and explanations, because they have jobs, and they're trying to earn a living. And they cannot sit in their own squalor all day. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/11/11, via Media Matters]
Kilmeade: "The 53 Percent" Are "The People Who Actually Pay Their Taxes" And "Want You To Pay Your Fair Share." Later during the show, Kilmeade said:
KILMEADE: All right. Wall Street occupiers meet their match. The people who actually pay their taxes are on their way. They call themselves the 53 percent. And they want you to pay your fair share. I'm optimistic that will be a good segment.
During the tease, the following text was aired on-screen:
[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/11/11]