Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Reuters Trolls for Traffic With Soros' Occupy Wall Street Non-Connection

Is #soros cash behind #ows protests? We took a look and here's what we found @michellenichols @reuters #occupywallstThu Oct 13 14:29:47 via TweetDeck

This amazing piece of trolling by Mark Egan and Michelle Nichols at Reuters has set the world on fire with the news that George Soros is the sole financial backer of Occupy Wall Street! Oh except he isn't. (He granted cash to an organization that then made small grants to Adbusters, a publication of which Soros had never heard, and which was one of the organizing groups behind Occupy Wall Street.) But good job, shady mega-trolls, from your headline ("Who's behind the Wall St. protests?") to the whole rest of it ("there has been much speculation…."). Mark Egan really went the extra mile on Twitter: "Here's what we found"? What you found is a handily shareable non-connection between the right's favorite lefty bogeyman and an independent protest movement. Kudos go to Reuters editor Claudia Parsons for really juicing it up. Gross job, everyone!

38 Comments / Post A Comment

deepomega (#1,720)

Listen. Soros:Right::Koch Brothers:Left. In every possible way. Once you accept that, you'll let the hysteria wash over you like the dull and ceaseless tide it is.

flossy (#1,402)

@deepomega Except for the part where the the Koch Bros. literally bankroll major Tea Party-affiliated organizations?

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@flossy I mean, Soros bankrolls progressive causes. The fact that the Tea Party is backed by Koch money (and not "authentically grassroots") isn't the real problem. The fact that billionaires pay the Tea Party to direct their ire at targets like the government and poor people, and not at their billionaire benefactors (where it belongs) is the real problem. If a billionaire like George Soros wants to pay for a movement targeting billionaires like George Soros, good for him.

flossy (#1,402)

@boyofdestiny Okay well I think the distinction between purportedly grassroots/populist protest movements that are being literally funded (and organized, by proxy) by billionaires and those that are not, is an important one, whether or not you or I agree with the target of whatever protest movement we're talking about.

Astigmatism (#1,950)

@flossy I think you misreaddeepomega's point: it's not that Soros:Left::Koch Brothers:Right, i.e. they don't act similarly; rather, they're perceived similarly by the opposite side. This is exactly correct: Soros's name is like a dog whistle for Limbaugh fans.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@flossy You're not wrong on that point. I guess I was speaking from the perspective that we've given up the ghost that the Tea Party is a "populist" movement any more. I'll grant that not everyone spends as much time in the left political blogosphere as I do.

flossy (#1,402)

@Astigmatism Fair enough. It just rankles to read "Soros:Right::Koch Brothers:Left. In every possible way." because only one of them actually derserves their reputation as a nefarious master of puppets. Just shrugging it off like "Oh well, people gonna blame George Soros for everything liberalish!" leads to comments like General Ariel Sharon downthread.

deepomega (#1,720)

@flossy There's not much point to my arguing about whether Soros or Koch are actually nefarious puppetmasters. I'd say all are just dudes with strong political convictions who donate to organizations that mirror their political convictions. Acting like this is in some way new or nefarious is weird? Like, neither the Kochs nor Soros are in their underground bunker watching their megascreens like Adrian Veidt? And it is weird to suggest that money is evil, except when you agree with the person providing the money. The act of paying for shit is not evil!

That said, my original point was about the emotional response to them, not whether or not they are assholes.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@deepomega The only real difference between Soros and the Kochs is that Soros's megascreen is one giant monitor, while the Kochs' megascreen is a grid of smaller individual monitors.

deepomega (#1,720)

@boyofdestiny Also Soros is forward thinking enough that he yells "BUY! SELL!" into a bluetooth headset. The Kochs prefer the old ways (two cordless phones).

Aatom (#74)

@deepomega @boyofdestiny I wish all political arguments ended this awesomely.

flossy (#1,402)

@deepomega I guess that makes sense if you consider organizations like the John Birch Society, Americans for Prosperity, Tea Party Express, etc. to be morally or practically equivalent to like, AdBusters? The act of paying for shit can be evil! Depends on what shit you're talking about.

kneetoe (#1,881)


I think you miss the point. It's boyofdestiny:deepomega::Astigmatism:Aatom. Wait, now I think I miss the point. Ok, let me think for a while. . .

hockeymom (#143)

The state of my (mostly) former profession is downright embarrassing.
There are bright spots, but you have to look really hard to find them.

(Present company excluded. The Awl is one big bright spot.)

Abe Sauer (#148)

Are #marlboro bucks behind @awl coverage? We took a look and here's what we found @alexbalk @cat #occupuppy

Mr. B (#10,093)

A onetime colleague of mine, at a crappy local paper I once reported for, now works for Reuters. She is also easily the single most opportunistic person I've ever met. Anyway, I wish I could say I'm surprised.

It's so easy to be impervious to this kind of chicanery by simply avoiding Twitter.

melis (#1,854)

@Clarence Rosario Of course we'd like to avoid Twitter, but we all know that the science is years away.

jolie (#16)

@Clarence Rosario But if I avoid Twitter, how will I know what Dina Manzo's hairless cat* is up to?

*Sadly, not a euphemism

@jolie I don't understand most of the things in that sentence.

melis (#1,854)

@Clarence Rosario oh real nice humblebrag

dado (#102)

Mr. Soros must have made them sit at the kiddie table.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

Is it bad that the only reason I've ever heard of the Tides Center is from Glenn Beck's show?

roboloki (#1,724)

@boyofdestiny yes, it's bad that you heard glenn beck's show.

daemonsquire (#9,523)

I thought that sounded familiar: that's the place, some guy under Beck's influence, was planning to go kill some folk, sometime last year, but had his plan foiled when he was pulled over by CHiPs for speeding, and they had a li'l shoot-out! That may have unwittingly been the last missed opportunity for Tea Partiers to nip this OWS hootenanny in the bud.

Ham Snadwich (#11,842)

@boyofdestiny So it's just a matter of time until they're mentioned in the same breath as the Bilderbergs?

Everything the GOP is trying to do with OWS the Dems tried to do with the tea party. This line of attack is very close to the "Koch Brothers are behind it all!" attack on the Tea Party.

hockeymom (#143)

@General Ariel Sharon@twitter Really? Do tell.

KenWheaton (#401)

As a person who wants to (and does!) believe the worst about Soros and all these commie demonstrators (especially those cursed Wobblies), I found this Reuters piece to stink more than a pile of demonstrator doo on the hood of an NYPD patrol car. From the CYA of "conservative critics say" to the fact that the one piece of evidence they found was a six-figure stretch, the whole thing is laughable. (And I don't know why they're bothering on Twitter. The Drudge link alone will be enough to boost traffic.)

Abe Sauer (#148)

All old men are guilty. All of them.

deepomega (#1,720)

@Abe Sauer: Rich old men. Poor old men are hard workers who deserve all the help they can get.

roboloki (#1,724)

let's just start the rumor that soros funds the koch brothers. that should fix it.

cory dodt@twitter (#12,071)

Soros' *cash*? Aren't the Occupiers sleeping on the ground in sleeping bags, and making cardboard signs out of whatever they have around, and eating charity food? Does that sort of thing require a lot of cash?

DMcK (#5,027)

@cory dodt@twitter I hear the 401(k) plan is pretty good.

Ham Snadwich (#11,842)

@DMcK I don't think the Tea Party is fully aware that organizing events through social media is basically free. When you rent the ballroom at the Dayton Ramada and provide a buffet lunch is where you start incurring costs. But hey, that's PAC money, so it's pretty much free.

Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

Because it's so obvious OWS is rolling in money.

Right-wing hacks are right-wing, hacks.

lawyergay (#220)

Jay Rosen had a good blog post about this on his tumblr. To Reuters' credit, a lot of their journos were horrified and publicly said so.

williamwhite09 (#161,932)

xfghfgh dg

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