Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari is the Director of the Center for Media and Democracy’s Real Economy Project and editor of the www.BanksterUSA.org site for bank busting activists.

December 12th, 2011 12:21 PM

FOX News, OWS, Banksters, and Bombs

Last week, tragedy was averted when savvy security at Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, spotted a suspicious package and sequestered a letter bomb intended for the DB CEO. This was the second time Deutsche Bank was attacked in this manner. In 1989, their CEO was killed by a bomb later traced to violent extremists in Germany's Red Army Faction.

Scanning the horizon for someone to blame for the latest attack on Germany's largest bank, FOX news pundit Dan Gainor worked "the Internets." Did he detail Deutsche Bank's track record of making friends by ripping off consumers and foreclosing on their homes? Did he mention that Deutsche Bank stirred public ire when it was bailed out by multiple governments, including two billion from the U.S. Federal Reserve? Did he even bother to notice that it was widely reported that an Italian anarchist group had already claimed responsibility for the attack?

No. In his piece on FOX News, "Left, Obama Escalate War on Banks Into Dangerous Territory," Gainor decided to go after the bank-busting activists at the Center for Media and Democracy in Madison, Wisconsin, specifically our BanksterUSA.org site, because the Bankster masthead is riddled with bullet holes.

While I am Italian, I doubt very much that Italian anarchists are getting their inspiration from our little site, which at the moment features a Smithsonian Magazine profile of Ferdinand Pecora and which has been documenting the financial crisis for the past two years.

Bullets, Fountain Pens, and Banksters

Why bullet holes on a site that tallies the bailout ($4.7 Trillion and counting), pushes for the formal prosecutions of big banks ("too big to fail, not too big for jail"), criticizes Tim Geithner and the Federal Reserve on a regular basis and pushes for new ideas for holding the big banks accountable for collapsing the global economy?

Our site, which is geared toward helping consumers weigh-in on public policy debates involving bank reform initiatives, salutes the great Woody Guthrie by featuring his lyrical line: "Some will rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen." The site also pays homage to Ferdinand Pecora, the fiery Italian immigrant and former prosecutor who was chosen by the Senate banking committee to delve into the causes of the stock market crash and resulting Great Depression. The "Pecora Commission" hearings laid the ground work for the 1932 Glass-Steagall Act and other laws that kept our financial system stable for more than half a century. The term "Bankster" was popularized as John Pierpont Morgan, Charles Mitchell, and other titans of Wall Street were publicly grilled by Pecora.

In the Bankster/Gangster trope, as in the real world, it is the big banks that hold all the weapons. All this is obvious from a quick perusal of our site, so what is really going on here? Clearly, the Occupation is on the move.

Occupy Wall Street Has FOX News on the Run

You don't need high-priced polling to tell you that Occupy Wall Street tapped into a deep well of resentment against the big banks. So many Americans hate big banks for what they have done to our economy and for the ruthless way they are continuing to profit off of misery (such as bank fees on foodstamps and unemployment transactions and the ceaseless senseless foreclosures), that pollsters say dislike of the big banks is becoming an "American value."

Woodie Guthrie Lyric at a ProtestWoodie Guthrie Lyric at a ProtestFOX has been flummoxed by the Occupy Wall Street movement. First characterizing protestors as dirty hippies, FOX is now forced into the awkward position of seeing GOP presidential candidates adopting the Wall Street reform message. Mitt Romney is now purportedly part of the 99 percent, and Jon Huntsman offered a serious proposal to break up the banks if he is elected--whittling the behemoths whose assets represent over 60 percent of GDP down to a size that can no longer pose a threat to the stability of the U.S. economy.

The American Bankers Association and their hired PR flaks understand that the big banks "stand at the nexus of where OWS protesters and the Tea Party overlap" and multi-million dollar PR campaigns will need to be undertaken to try to turn that around. Into the breach, comes FOX. Linking bank campaigners like BanksterUSA, SEIU, and Occupy Wall Street to an attempted bombing overseas is an old trick to discredit a movement that has Wall Street and its friends deeply worried. 

Gainor's Group Funded by Koch, Bradley, Scaife & T. Boone Pickens

Gainor's penchant for passing over-the-top accusations and unsubstantiated attacks as journalism should come as no surprise since he has the honor of being the T. Boone Pickens Fellow of the Media Research Center (MRC). Pickens is the oil tycoon who helped George W. Bush's efforts to keep the White House in 2004 by bankrolling the so-called "SwiftBoat Veterans for The Truth." The two million dollars Pickens gave the Swift Boaters helped underwrite four TV ads attacking Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry with spurious claims about his military service and awards. Pickens is a "trustee" of the MRC, which was created by Brent Bozell, previously the chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee.

Gainor's Site Sells Stomp Out DoormatsGainor's Site Peddles Anti-First Amendment WaresThe MRC has received untold sums from Pickens as well as from other right-wing funders like the Koch, Bradley, Scaife, Olin, DeVos and Coors family foundations, as well as from Exxon, the latter for MRC's aid in denying climate change. Its income from these and other patrons of the 1% topped $12 million in 2010. (Meanwhile, in his article Gainor falsely claimed BanksterUSA is funded by George Soros' Open Society Institute even though CMD has noted on PRWatch that its grant is for the national security and surveillance research of CMD's Executive Director, Lisa Graves, who has testified before Congress on such issues.) 

MRC also gets some receipts from selling doormats urging people to "Stomp Out the Liberal Media" featuring the faces of Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann.  

Gainor vs. Grayson Knockdown

Dan Gainor ThreatFOX Pundit Dan Gainor's Embrace of ViolenceThe Center for Media and Democracy's BanksterUSA.org has given voice to a lot of angry Americans as the bank crisis and the bailout unfolded, but it has never advocated violence in its harsh critique of failed banks and failed bank regulators. Gainor, on the other hand, offered $100 to anyone who would punch Congressman Alan Grayson in the nose. He then tried to back off his offer by claiming it was in jest while also saying he would like to see the video of the assault.

What had the sitting Congressman done to provoke Gainor's ire? Grayson had spoken on the floor of the United States Congress demanding that Republicans stop blocking unemployment insurance extensions for hard-working taxpayers who had lost their jobs as a result of the gambling of Wall Street bankers.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles