In this morning's KPTV broadcast, reporter Jim Hyde spent more time ogling through a deserted fur shop following along as Greg Schumacher lifted staggerly awful coat after staggeringly awful coat from the racks. (I don't just mean awful in that animals died for those coats, I also mean gross in the sense of fashion disaster. One of the coats was a shockingly awful pink affair. Another, garish red with poofy things hanging on it. You can't buy taste, can you.)
There was a quick glance at the very one-sided city council meeting, and then a most interesting observation on the part of Mr. Hyde. He said he figures the protests will continue, "Despite the apparent presence of outside agitators." He then went on to share a clip of IDA's Matt Rosell saying something about how "We can encourage people to protest a certain way, but we can't tell them what to do." (I am paraphrasing that, because I did not write down his words. My apologies, Matt, if I got that wrong. If so, please correct it.)
I find that very transparently interesting because it's similar to the corporate media spin on what is happening in Iraq right now, not to mention Afghanistan. It's always "outside agitators," isn't it. It's easier for them to believe that. Easier to demonize anyone doing anything that resembles real action that way as being "outside" the "more civil" activities of others, and this is an obvious attempt to get protesters to start "policing" each other. In addition, Mr. Hyde stated that "the leader of the protests says he has a plan as to how the Schumachers can stay in business." What? Hmmm. More context, man. I'm not sure who they could possibly mean when they refer to a "leader of the protests." That's kind of like being the "King of the Anarchists," is't it? But Mr. Hyde seemed to be implying that Matt Rosell, since he is such a great spokesperson, must be leading the rest of us. If that's who he meant, I sincerely doubt that Matt is interested in helping the Schumachers stay in business.
Since I was there yesterday, I waded through the spin a bit. I did not hear the particular exchange that was cut up for the sound bite that Hyde interpreted as being about "outside agitators," but I believe that Matt was probaby responding to a question about some of the more raucous activities that may have taken place at the infamous fur shop, and refused to either take credit for them or condemn them. Yes, we are always only responsible for our own actions, and cannot control the actions of others. I very much doubt that Matt was trying to imply that so-called "outside agitators" are interfering with "his" protest. Nice try, Hyde. Either way, the notion of any "leader" of a city-wide belief that fur is gross is just silly. The corporate media spends way too much time with the cops, who always assume there is a "leader." (It's easier for them that way. If there is a leader, they can go after him or her, thereby earning their keep as guardians of the status quo.) As I'm sure Matt would be the first to tell you, there are no leaders or followers in the animal rights movement. There are just people who follow their hearts.
Thanks to Matt and all the other AR activists who showed up yesterday, and who show up day after day in front of Schumacher's.