Writers sometimes attempt to create an impression – a "hook" – to gain readership. When successful, this impression becomes the story. If the mainstream media then falls for a hook that conveys a false impression, the public is not well served.
Case in point: under a headline referring to "Extraordinary Losers", Comedy Central found humor in the idea that an Occupy protest had apparently been called out of ignorance:
Rush Limbaugh has not shown his face in Chicago since Occupy Wall Streeters started protesting him. This would mean something if he was in Chicago.The item linked to a BuzzFeed article by staff writer Rosie Gray in which she wrote:
Occupiers Protest Rush Limbaugh In Chicago, Where He Does Not LiveShe then included a little more snark: "It quickly became apparent that Limbaugh wasn't in the building, but protesters were undeterred..."
An office that is not Limbaugh's office finds itself surrounded by protesters.
posted May 17, 2012 6:52pm EDT
Occupiers protesting against the NATO conference in Chicago organized an impromptu protest against Rush Limbaugh outside a building that did not contain Limbaugh today.
Gray explained that "the address of the demonstration is that of WLS a.m. radio, which is one of hundreds of stations that air Limbaugh. Limbaugh lives mostly in Palm Beach, Florida."
The impetus for the impression that all of the occupiers were ignorant of the Rush Limbaugh network came from tweets between two people; first, this one, at 2:57 PM:
johnknefel @johnknefelHere it is, as BuzzFeed presented it (tweet and photo):
Amassed outside 190 State, Rush's office building. #ows #nonato http://lockerz.com/...
Then, Gray offered a concluding tweet as if to suggest that in spite of themselves, Occupy folks had somehow realized their huge mistake:
Molly Knefel @mollyknefelBut what is the real story? Were all of Occupy confused? Did they really participate in an impromptu protest of Rush Limbaugh, having no understanding whatsoever of his syndication situation? The truth revealed, after the skip.
So this is just a station that airs Rush. Either way people are airing their grievances. Fav: "He is a racist sexist piece of shit."
Here are the intervening tweets that BuzzFeed chose not to report, this first one at 3:07 PM:
Molly Knefel @mollyknefelJust three minutes later, any confusion was explained away:
.@johnknefel and I are a little confused as to whether this is actually Rush's office or just a station that airs him.
Corey @wookietvTwo persons ("johnknefel and I are a little confused") had joined the protest without understanding the target, and they provided some nice photos of the event via Twitter. Their confusion lasted mere minutes before they were provided accurate information by another helpful Twitter user. Yet BuzzFeed saw something worth snatching entirely out of context, and in doing so, ridiculed the entire Occupy group. As we see from the Comedy Central repetition, the false impression created by BuzzFeed's (willful?) error of omission became the only part of the story worth repeating.
@mollyknefel @johnknefel according to wiki, he lives in FL and broadcasts there. that one in Chi would seem to be just a simulcast station.
What are the facts about Occupy Wall Street's role in the Limbaugh advertiser boycott? The simple fact is, Occupy joining with StopRush could be Rush Limbaugh's worst nightmare. As one example, a threatened Limbaugh protest by Occupy at the Toyota Carlsbad, Lexus Carlsbad and Lexus Escondido dealerships in California threw the dealerships into such a quandary that they caved, even before the protest materialized.
Protests focus attention, but StopRush is where the real work of the Limbaugh boycott is getting done. I'll offer one example. Before retiring last night, I clicked on a couple of random email links in the StopRush database and sent some email messages, sharing my thoughts about Rush. This is the reply to one of them, received early this morning:
I've had many requests to not advertise during the Rush L show and amMany more of these, and Rush will be off the public airwaves. You can count on it.
currently working on changing this. You may hear us a couple more times
until the schedule can be changed, but soon we will not be advertising
during his show.