Occupy Wall Street is Only Going to Get More Contentious

“While a couple of witnesses said that officers used pepper spray to clear the streets, Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said that one officer ‘possibly’ used it.” Well, now we’re all a “couple of witnesses” to last night, dear Times reporters. Welcome to the modern age! Turns out everyone can see these things now! So I would describe that event as not at all “possibly” and also “indiscriminate baton-beating and macing.” (As would the Fox 5 news team, who got it in the face.) It makes it really hard to retain sympathy for New York City’s cops, who do a hard job under often terrible conditions, when, overall, it seems like the NYPD hasn’t much changed for the better since Giuliani times. What’s more, it’s not clear that large media organizations have changed much either, in how they make sense of what they “know.” Never in my life have I thought that people who complained about the “mainstream media” had a point. Let’s blame the bleeding of reporting talent at the newspapers by their short-sighted, tight-fisted owners. And this would be a good time to get down there and pay attention! This kind of tension always precedes a greater conflict. What exactly does everyone think will happen when Occupy Wall Street gets evicted?