Fox News figures have called the Occupy Wall Street protests a "fringe" movement and have spent weeks attacking the protesters. But a new Time magazine poll shows that the protesters are supported by a majority of Americans, and their causes are supported by large majorities of the public -- including, in some cases, by most Republicans.
Varney Calls Protesters "Fringe Of The Fringe Of The Fringe"
Varney: Demonstrators Are The "Fringe Of The Fringe Of The Fringe." On the October 14 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox Business host Stuart Varney claimed:
VARNEY: I think the numbers [of protesters] start to fade away. Rain and cold will do that to demonstrators. I -- they haven't got the numbers. This is not a movement, certainly in New York, that's numbered in the thousands. It's a few hundred, mostly. And let's not forget, it's the fringe of the fringe of the fringe. That's who is down there demonstrating. And the rest, those who are not fringe, fringe, fringe people, they're flat-out socialists. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/14/11]
And Fox Has Repeatedly Attacked Protesters, Calling Them "Petulant Little Children" Sitting "In Their Own Squalor"
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, 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, 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, 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, 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 -- 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]
For more on Fox News' attacks on the Occupy Wall Street protests, SEE HERE.
But New Poll Shows 54 Percent Of Americans Have Favorable Views Of Protesters
Time Poll Finds That 54 Percent Of Public Has "Very Favorable" Or "Somewhat Favorable" Views Of Protesters. An October 9-10 poll published by Time magazine shows that 25 percent of those polled have a "very favorable" view and 29 percent had "somewhat favorable views" of the protesters "gathering on Wall Street in New York City and some other cities." A post about the poll on Time's blog Swampland stated:
A closer look at the poll's cross-tabs provides a fuller picture of the movement's diverse support. Occupy Wall Street enjoys majority backing among men (57%) and women (51%), young (60% of respondents 18 to 34) and old (51%). Self-identified Democrats, unsurprisingly, comprise the left-leaning movement's largest bloc, with 66% professing support. But more than half of independents (55%) harbor favorable views of the protesters, as do a third of Republicans. [Swampland, Time, 10/13/11; 10/13/11]
Time: "Twice As Many Respondents (54%) Have A Favorable Impression Of The Eclectic Band Massing In Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park Than Of [The Tea Party]." The Swampland post also noted:
One of the juicier nuggets in TIME's wide-ranging new poll is that voters are embracing the Occupy Wall Street movement as they sour on the Tea Party. Twice as many respondents (54%) have a favorable impression of the eclectic band massing in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park than of the conservative movement that has, after two years, become a staple of the American political scene. [Swampland, Time, 10/13/11]
And Poll Shows Even Larger Majorities Support Protesters' Objectives
Time Poll Finds More Than Two-Thirds Of Respondents Support Most Of The Protesters' Objectives -- Including Majorities Of Republicans. From the Swampland post:
As the movement has snowballed, it has become -- as the Tea Party did -- the subject of sneers from opponents bent on undermining its objectives and minimizing its influence. Like the Tea Party, it benefits in its incipient stages by venting a broad array of common frustrations. Many of these are vague enough that even Republicans can co-sign them. Of the respondents in TIME's poll familiar with the protests, 86% -- including 77% of Republicans -- agree with the movement's contention that Wall Street and its proxies in Washington exert too much influence over the political process. More than 70%, and 65% of Republicans, think the financial chieftains responsible for dragging the U.S. economy to the brink of implosion in the fall of 2008 should be prosecuted. Other questions reveal a sharper split along partisan lines but nonetheless reveal the strength of economic populism. Nearly 80% of respondents (96% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans) think the class chasm between rich and poor has grown too large, and 68%, including 40% of Republicans, say the affluent should pay more taxes. [Swampland, Time, 10/13/11]