At 7pm on March 20, a knot of about half dozen gortex-clad "reporters" in bright yellow or blue jackets approached a handful of peace protesters on Burnside Street near 2nd, who had been tasked with halting the war machine before it could kill again in it's self-stated goal to "rule the world."
Confrontations between corporate media and Portland activists go back decades, but activists, "reporters" and bystanders were about to witness something new. The small group of "reporters" had prepared for this moment: knowing that activists are onto their lies and are no longer willing to be used and abused in the media to gain ratings and support inaccurate stereotypes, the "reporters" contracted hired thugs to assault and harass anyone who stood in their way.
For years, small groups of reporters have taunted and harrassed peaceful protesters and other activists, even spewing out bald-faced lies to their blankly staring audiences in the hopes of provoking an aggressive response and supporting the status quo. During the Bush protests, for example, corporate news channels variously referred to the thousands of Portland citizens who turned out to protest mr. bush as "a small group of disorganized protesters," a "hostile mob" and a "loitering crowd." To butress these claims, they showed overhead footage of different sections of town. The station that claimed it was a "small group" showed just that -- a small group of people standing on a corner. At the same time, another station was claiming they were a "hostile mob," so they showed another shot -- fuzzy overhead images of thousands of people on the street. Although no hostilty was visible, the anchor accused the crowd of "holding the whole street hostage." This, despite the fact that it was the heavily armed police who actually appeared to be holding the city hostage.
But this time, instead of halting at simple lies, the "reporters" gathered together and surged into the crowd, where they had been asked not to film. They became hostile and angry, and began shoving their way into people's faces anyway. When people attempted to block access of their intrusive lenses, brown-shirted thugs bolted into the crowd with the ferocity of trained attack dogs and began assaulting people.
While news helicopters circled overhead, the crowd frantically tried to fend off the battering bull dogs.
Later, the "reporters" used footage of the melee to reinforce the pat story of the day that protesters were a "hostile mob." They failed to mention that the disturbance had been started by their own guards, and that all the pushing and shoving visible on the tiny screen was perpetrated by people in their employ.
The "reporter's" lies had predictable results: As intended, they manufactured consent for police brutality in the city of Portland, and justified the mayor's inability to control the rogue police force. At least, I think they did...but it's hard to say. Because the only people reporting on what the people of portland "really" think of police brutality are the corporate media.