I see Crazy People

This morning I said:

I have a theory that the media finding “crazy people” in a protest is less a function of how crazy the people are and more the bias of the person covering the event. You can always find crazy people.

Allow me to demonstrate this by referring to the reporting on a recent student protest.

A group of University of Otago students concerned about student debt issues yesterday staged a brief protest outside the office of National list MP Michael Woodhouse.After listening to protest speakers outside the University Union, the group of more than 40 chanting protesters left about 12.20pm and marched along George St footpaths until they reached Mr Woodhouse’s office, south of the Exchange.

Organisers said members of the Young Labour and International Socialists student clubs and the Education Action Group had taken part in the protest

The report is quite matter-of-fact, giving perspectives from police, and telling us what the protesers were asking for.

But hang on, what’s with this “members of the Young Labour and International Socialists student clubs and the Education Action Group”.

I have circled in red the signs that show they were created by the International Socialists. Do I really need to explain that these guys are to the left of the old Aliance party? No. They’re extremists, pure and simple.

Now, that doesn’t mean that those holding the signs are extremists. I’ve held such signs myself – as a joke – and known friends who’ve grabbed a sign not knowing who they were endorsing. What tends to happen is that the International Socialists turn up to ever protest with around 20 signs and distribute them. (Heh, you can always tell how legitimate the protest is by looking at the ratio of IS signs to people in the protest.)

What is interesting about this photo is that a great number of signs are hidden from clear sight (green) but those we can see appear to be offensive. Draw your own conclusions.

There’s no doubt in my mind that there are at least a few students in this group that would call for the end to capitalism if interviewed. They’d probably claim that John Key is some sort of secret agent controlled by a facist conspiracy.

The ODT didn’t do that. But that’s not the way the media is has reported the Tea Party.

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