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Protests Against Money in Politics Hold Little Interest for Beltway’s ‘Political Junkies’

One has to wonder why Beltway reporters, self-proclaimed political junkies, have such a profound lack of interest in a story about people willing to be arrested on the steps of the nation's Capitol in order to protest the role of money in politics. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

More than 400 people were arrested in a non-violent sit-in on Capitol Hill April 11, many having marched 150 miles from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The protest, called Democracy Spring, is about ending the influence of big money in politics and ensuring free, fair elections through things like restoring the Voting Rights Act. The next day, another 85 mostly elderly people were arrested, many chanting, Democracy is not for sale, [we’re] not too old to go to jail.”

Seems like a story. And wait, yes, there it was in the Washington Post—in the Metro section, page B3…in the brief items…after the one about the 10-year-old boy hit by a car riding his bike, after the one about the man who got two years for tax evasion….

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Yes, there: 150 or so words on the arrests, with the Post saying the organizing group seeks to prevent “what it called ‘voter suppression.'”


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As of April 14, the New York Times had yet to report in print on the demonstrations and mass arrests in the nation’s capital. Research by The Intercept (4/12/16) noted that cable news, with all that time to fill, also took a pass. As of April 12, CNN had done nothing, MSNBC mentioned the protests for approximately 12 seconds, while Fox News gave them about 17 seconds. Later CNN (4/12/16) put a short item on its website.

On Democracy Now! (4/12/16), organizer Kai Newkirk said the protests posed a challenge for anyone running for office: “Are you going to stand on the side of democracy and on the side of the people, or on the side of big money and corruption?”

One has to wonder why Beltway reporters, self-proclaimed political junkies, have such a profound lack of interest in following that line of inquiry.

Janine Jackson

Janine Jackson

Janine Jackson is FAIR's program director and and producer/co-host of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. She contributes frequently to FAIR's magazine, Extra! and co-edited The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s (Westview Press).

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