Did the ‘Times’ turn on Occupy Wall Street?
After hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge this weekend, the New York Times was on the story, updating frequently with new developmets. But some protesters say that the Times’ edits from Saturday show the paper’s anti-protester bias.
In the teaser for what eventually became this article, the Times originally described the arrests thusly:
After allowing them onto the bridge, the police cut off and arrested dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters.
However, an hour later, the teaser was changed to this more vague description:
In a tense showdown over the East River, police arrested hundreds of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators after they marched into the bridge’s Brooklyn-bound roadway.
To the demonstrators, this text change is emblematic of the Times’ bias against the protest; an image of the two teases started making the rounds online this weekend, emblazoned “It takes only 20 minutes to shift the blame”:
However, this all misses one crucial point: Even now, the facts are cloudy about how culpable the police were in leading protesters to the bridge. (The comments on Buzzfeed and Reddit from demonstrators who were at the bridge say that at least some of the marchers were told not to go on the bridge.) In the moment, when some things are unclear, you write a story about the facts that you do have. There’s nothing irresponsible or biased against that.