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WSJ Surveys #OWS, Finds Dangerous Radicals (Meaning, Democrat Voters)

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Here's a pre-tangled mess of shitty intestines to unravel: Michael Bloomberg's pollster arranged a survey of the Occupy Wall Street campers and published his paranoid/fearmongering results in theWall Street Journal. The pollster/WSJ columnist, Douglas Schoen, then objectively described the #OWS protesters as "dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people" and said the protesters are all "bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies." This proves something, probably about Obama, and even if the results of the survey are completely contrary to Schoen's pre-written conclusions.


In the world of Murdoch's cheat sheet for Wall Street, being an actual leftist is a very bad thing, of course -- even if what American politics needs more than anything is a serious dose of serious leftist policies to swing at least one of the parties away from full-time suckling at the Wall Street teat. But Schoen's conclusions aren't even accurate, as a reporter at Capital New York found by simply asking Schoen for a copy of the raw data.

Left to my own devices to account for the raw responses to the survey (which Schoen was kind enough to send to me), I'd say the opinions of the protesters were not quite as ... exciting as all that. They are about what I would have expected from a poll of the most committed long-haul demonstrators down at Zuccotti Park, who probably skew a lot younger and more activist-y than the much larger numbers of people who have put in appearances downtown ....

What the pre-interpreted numbers seem to show, to me, anyway, is that many of the protesters consider themselves Democrats, many will vote for Obama in 2012, and, relatively speaking, "income inequality" doesn't actually rank too high on their list of grievances.

The OWS protesters top complaint about the U.S. political/financial system, according to Schoen's survey, was "influence of corporate/moneyed/special interests." That's how 30% answered the question, while only 3% identified "our democratic/capitalist system" as the culprit for our continuing economic inequality and injustice. So much for the communist revolution.

Asked what the protests should achieve, the top response at 35% was "Influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the GOP." How radical. Invest in guillotine blades now, we guess. [Capital New York]

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Well, goddamn it, a wonderful person we'd never heard of until last night is dead. Lyra McKee was 29, an investigative journalist who specialized in looking at the legacy of "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. She was murdered by someone shooting at police during rioting in Derry, or perhaps Londonderry, depending on who you want to piss off by using either name for the city. The rioting broke out after police "started carrying out searches in the area because of concerns that militant republicans were storing firearms and explosives" in advance of attacks planned to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Police are blaming the violence and McKee's death on the "New Irish Republican Army," a radical republican group formed a few years ago from several smaller groups. Despite the name, the group has no ties to the old Provisional Irish Republican Army, which renounced violence and disarmed in 2005 following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which was supposed to have brought peace to Northern Ireland, and kind of did, at least much of the time.

McKee is being remembered by colleagues and readers as a promising journalist who was expected to go far. A year ago, McKee signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber; the first of the books, The Lost Boys, an investigation of eight young men who disappeared in Belfast during the Troubles in the '60s and '70s, will be published next year. A 2016 Forbes profile said "McKee's passion is to dig into topics that others don't care about." For instance, CNN reports, McKee spent five years investigating a story about the only rape crisis center in Northern Ireland and its long struggle to regain funding after the government eliminated it.

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