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a22: bush protest

O'Reilly Factor features brief/interview on A22 protest

Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor this evening ran footage of yesterday's protest in Portland, followed by an interview with protester Ivan Maluski of the American Land Allience.
In essence, the host(not Bill O'Reilly; didn't get a name) played down the event in question, turning the interview into an argument over "thinning out" the forests. Major media drops the ball yet again.
I thought it was ok 24.Aug.2002 12:22

Ivan Maluski

I actually thought it went ok given Fox's conservative outlook and the terribly short length of the piece (5 minutes or so). They wanted a story on Bush's new forest policy and how that tied in to the protests. They teased the viewer with initial footage of pepper spray and chaos and asked the question 'what's the beef?' The interviewer mentioned but quickly brushed past Bush's talk of war with Iraq as a one of the reasons people were in the streets and then went right into the forest issue, which I was asked to talk about for a few minutes. The footage they showed while we talked was of large numbers of people peacefully marching and folks in the park blocks giving speeches to a large crowd. Then they went in to footage of clearcuts and machines grabbing trees and putting them on log trucks, plus graphic shots of healthy, old trees getting cut down. By not solely focusing on pepper spray, the story more accurately captured the general tone of the day's protests. By showing destructive logging, and no shots of fires burning forests, it also favored the concerns I was raising. But of course the interviewer got the last word in saying something like 'well the proposal we're talking about is just thinning, not clearcutting' and I was taken off screen before I could even dispute this, although I had earlier called Bush's talk of thinning 'rhetoric.'

I was actually suprised that so little focus was given to the police/protester confrontations and basically %100 of the story focused on an issue people are angry about. That's rare in most mainstream coverage where you'll see paragraph after paragraph about the confrontation with maybe token reference to 'a mix of environmentalists, labor unions, low-income activists and peace groups' as was finally found near the very end of today's article on the in the Oregonian.

The Cascadia Forest Alliance has been getting calls from media around the world and nation in regards to the protests. This is in part because Bush chose to make logging and fires his big presidential issue of the day in his swing through Oregon, so forest issues are getting a huge amount of attention even though it was one of several issues people were protesting about.

Our collective efforts in Portland to show dissent to the Bush Administration are being cheered and acknowledged by people all over the country and world. Nice work everyone!