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New Report Documents Media Paranoia and Disinformation in the Run-Up to Large Protests

We've just completed the first draft of a report entitled "Getting Used: How the Mainstream Media Helps Create Climate of Fear and Repression During Political Protests.

From the introduction:

" As New York City prepares to host the 2004 Republican National Convention, a familiar pattern of police exaggeration, governmental fear mongering, and media gullibility is threatening to create protest conditions that harm city residents and the American civil liberties tradition. Since the World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle in 1999, a sad but familiar pattern has become evident in the run-up and aftermath of protests. Police officials, aided by a hype-hopeful mainstream media, exaggerate the possible dangers posed by consistently non-violent protesters. Using the climate of fear created by this hype to justify their actions, the police consistently engage in extra-constitutional and illegal behavior, such as mass pre-emptive arrests, the interference with media outlets, and brutal protest behavior. Inevitably, the mainstream press realizes the hype once the protests are safely over, and sheepishly admits its mistake."

The entire report is downloadable as a PDF over at NYC Indymedia.

July 16, 2004 | Permalink

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