Midnight Express

I read the news today, oh boy. About a lucky man who made the grade …

In watching the Occupy Wall Street arrests that happened overnight, I am apparently not getting one main thing which I will get to in a moment.

First of all, I remember actual news cycles. Deadlines for broadcast news as well as newspaper deadlines pretty much were an important thing prior to CNN coming on to the scene in 1980. In the past 30 years, news cycles changed from the 24/7 news cycles to the Internet and now on Twitter/Facebook. I find out more about breaking news from those two outlets than I do a newspaper these days.  It’s an electronic word-of-mouth, water cooler situation these days. I tend to want confirmation when it comes to certain things with links to reporters just for confirmation. (Reminder, Jeff Goldblum did not die although Twitter assured me he did a couple of years ago.)

So when police officers go into War Memorial Plaza in Nashville in the middle of the night or more recently last night’s arrests, which I find to be more than shady, do they not understand that people are tweeting and posting from their phones on social media sites?

News is hard to navigate these days.  There are hundreds of different ways to get it and in the online world you have about three seconds to get someone’s attention. One thing that the Occupy movement has done successfully is, on my twitter feed at least, is they have stayed on task about “branding” the Occupy label. I realize there is more to it than that one thing, believe me, but I’m talking about news branding right now.

What happens when you go and make arrests in the middle of the night is that you reinvigorate that which you are trying to disband. And as I said a couple of weeks ago, it was bad PR when Haslam did it, and it’s bad PR when other elected officials do it. Health issues? You can check that new anti-Occupy buzz term which is the word soup du jour during the daylight hours.

And it is not over, not by a long shot. The Occupy movement has changed the language of media in just a couple of months. I don’t think the media and elected officials thought that would happen.

And now we find out that Oakland’s mayor, Jean Quan, admitted she coordinated with other cities around the nation regarding Occupy before the raids began.

That’s interesting.

What we’ve seen in news this past week is that people are tired of being invisible. By making arrests in the middle of the night, elected officials are indeed treating people like they are invisible.

It’s not going to end anytime soon.

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