Does anyone recall tear gas and rock-throwing riots at Tea Party events? In the days before Obamacare passed in March 2010, the networks aired national stories condemning spitting and name-calling at congressmen. Never mind that it wasn't true. Suppose it was? It still pales in comparison with throwing rocks and small explosives. Yet the Tea Party was painted as a violent fringe, while the occupiers are a syrupy story of History Sleeps in Tents.
Liberal media people would argue, with a straight face, that the occupiers are more newsworthy than the Tea Party because they don't protest for five hours on the weekend and go back to their jobs. Sleeping in the park, night after night, somehow makes the leftists "resonate" better.
OK, reverse it. Imagine if a Christian revivalist group decided to occupy a city park for three months and required police supervision that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Wouldn't the media see this as an improper use -- indeed a violation of public property and an unethical waste of tight city budgets -- for a narrow, sectarian cause?
Or imagine if a gaggle of protesters decided to occupy the hallway of Brian Williams in the Bloomberg Tower for months. Could they chant, "the whole world is watching" every morning when he popped out to grab his New York Times? Would he smile and wave? Or would that suddenly seem less like a free-speech festival and more like politicized vagrants squatting? How much would you bet Williams would quickly call the security forces to get them removed?