Stuart Varney Tries To Downplay Wall Street Protest Numbers


During a Fox & Friends segment in which he mocked the Occupy Wall Street protests, Fox Business host Stuart Varney stated: "there's not thousands of people," and "the numbers are not there" so they "lack much influence."

From Fox & Friends:

VARNEY: It's hard to ignore. There are more people protesting but it's still numbered in the hundreds. This is not a mass movement. There's not thousands of people out there. I don't think it's been numbered in the thousands. And it's been very well received by the establishment media which kind of likes it, you know, but not well received by the conservative media but look, those people protesting, I think, are Obama's base. And they are rallying for Obama's base. The issues are precisely the same. They're railing against the fat cat bankers, that's the expression that president Obama used. They want to spread the wealth, exactly the same as President Obama. They want to tax the rich. Same as Obama. They hate Wall Street. I think President Obama does not have a soft spot for Wall Street. They hate big oil. They hate -- they want to do something about global warming. The issues are the same. That is President Obama's base. I would not be surprised if he didn't in some way embrace them.

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): Actually, you've just spelled out what they're down there protesting for better than any one of them has done in the interviews that I've seen but besides that point, let me just say this. Do you think this is the left version of the tea party?

VARNEY: Looks kind of like it. The numbers are not there. But they may have some influence on the Democrats. They may keep President Obama way out there on the left. In that sense, maybe they'll have some influence. But in terms of numbers and real power, organization across the country, not even a pale shadow of the tea party.

But Varney's estimate of the crowd attendance at the protest is disputed by reporting from local media.

Over the weekend, the New York Daily News reported that prior to the arrest of 700 attendees,"[t]housands of Occupy Wall Street protesters swarmed the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday, shutting down car lanes and setting up yet another tense showdown with the NYPD."

Furthermore, ABC news reported:

The Occupy Wall Street movement, growing to more than 1,500 people in New York two weeks after it began, had called for a march in lower Manhattan today at 3 p.m. to "show that it is time that the 99% are heard."

The New York Times pointed out that similar protests outside of New York City are growing:

This week, new rallies and in some cases urban encampments are planned for cities as disparate as Memphis, Tenn.; Hilo, Hawaii; Minneapolis; Baltimore; and McAllen, Tex., according to Occupy Together, an unofficial hub for the protests that lists dozens of coming demonstrations, including some in Europe and Japan.

In the nation's capital, an Occupy D.C. movement began on Saturday.

Also From ABC News:

The protests have spread across the country, with events popping up in Boston, Chicago and dozens of other cities across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.

In Albuquerque, N.M., there were more than 500 protestors, and demonstrators in Spokane, Wash., set up a tent city before police enforced a no-camping rule.

A march and rally was held in Boston Friday called "Take Back Boston" run by the Right to the City alliance, a national organization that "seeks to create regional and national impacts in the fields of housing, human rights, urban land, community development, civic engagement, criminal justice, environmental justice, and more," according to its website.

Police estimated about 3,000 people attended the events Friday.

Varney's misleading claim falls in line with Fox's repeated attacks on the Wall Street protests.


Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Class
Stuart Varney
FOX & Friends
Occupy Wall Street
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