By: Amy Lutz
As my eyes absentmindedly glanced through the stories on The Huffington Post (don’t worry, I wasn’t actually searching for hard-hitting news stories), the word “pizza” diverted my gaze. Hoping to get a laugh from a possible Herman Cain joke, I clicked on the story. What I found was much different than a brief piece of comic relief. The article “NYPD Allegedly Steals Pizza from ‘Robin Hoods,’ Housing Works Demands Restitution,” told the tale of how NYPD officers had “sadistically” eaten two pizzas sent to 8 protesters posing as “Robin Hoods” during a “die-in” sponsored by Occupy Wall Street, Vocal-NY and World AIDS day organizers in New York City. During the protest, activists dressed up in Robin Hood-esque attire are went so far as speaking in British accents to get their message across. The ‘Robin Hoods’ harnessed the “take from the rich and give to the poor” mantra of the famous character to demand a Financial Transaction Tax on Wall Street and a millionaire’s tax in New York to fund the fight against AIDS. Several protesters were eventually arrested for blocking traffic. That night, at Manhattan’s 7th precinct, police officers allegedly did not provide a meal for the arrested protestors and even ate two pizzas sent to the Robin Hoods by Housing Works, a left leaning activist organization that seeks to end homelessness and AIDS. The next day, a press release issued Housing Works initiated the allegations that the officers “sadistically” consumed pizza in front of the imprisoned protesters. How one can “sadistically” eat pizza, I’m not sure, but that was only the beginning of the barrage of negative attacks against the NYPD. A New York Times blog even accused the officers of “brutality” Although it has not been proven that this event actually occurred, it’s the giving season, so I’ll give the protesters the benefit of the doubt. Sure, the decision to consume the two pizzas might have been in bad taste (pun intended), but as usual, the media focused on only a small portion of the actual story and neglected to look at the situation in a rational way. I mean, really, if the media is ignoring the behavior of the protesters themselves an instead calling something as small as eating pizza “police brutality,” we’ve got a bigger problem on our hands. Either the mainstream media believes that Americans are by nature stupid or they’ve completely detached themselves from reality. Perhaps it’s a bit of both.
Can I just look at this rationally for a second? Over the last two months, the Occupy Wall Street movement has done just about everything to discredit itself. The ridiculous Robin Hood costumes and other strange attire are perhaps the most innocent part of the movement (the same “Robin Hood” activists actually dressed up as bagels last year. Yes, bagels). Rape, disease, and crime are pervasive in the camps that have popped up in cities all around the country. Useful idiots with little civic education make up the majority of the protestors. They march around the dirty encampments, usually blocking traffic, preaching phrases like “fair share” and “the evil 1%” without really knowing what they are talking about. The type of activism that makes up the Occupy movement is filled with ignorance, crime, and ridiculousness. And we’re worried about a couple pizzas? I think perhaps we need to be more worried about a society that puts up with this kind of behavior, let alone takes it seriously. I mean, these people are walking around dressed up as BAGELS and we give them the time of day? No thank you. Please come back when you actually have something important to say; or even better, when you have something valuable to contribute to society. Give me a well thought out, researched argument for your position and then we’ll talk. The mainstream media might warp the message in order to portray Occupiers as rational, heroic individuals but even propaganda (and exaggerated claims of police brutality) can’t hide the ridiculousness of the movement. Until Occupy Wall Street fizzles out, I plan on merely sitting back and watching the protesters, and by extension their supportive media allies, discredit themselves.