AP, The Hill Ignore How Supreme Court Disruptor Was Inspired By Occupy Wall Street
The Associated Press and The Hill both reported on Noah Kai Newkirk shouting down the Supreme Court justices in their chamber, but ignored his far-left political affiliation. On Thursday, the wire service merely identified Newkirk's organization as "protest group 99Rise." Mario Trujilo of The Hill gave some a bit more information on Friday, but failed to disclose that 99Rise was founded by "a group of Los Angeles organizers active in Occupy" Wall Street.
By contrast, Lawrence Hurley and Joan Biskupic of Reuters explicitly mentioned the protester's ideology and his organization's background in a Thursday report:
Newkirk is a member of a group called 99Rise, which says on its website, www.99rise.org, that its aim is to "get big money out of American politics."...Newkirk, a long-time progressive activist, said 99Rise was formed by a small group of people in Los Angeles who were inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests prompted by concerns that corporations had too much influence on public life.
The unsigned AP article outlined the Newkirk and his group "posted what appears to be the first video of the Supreme Court taken inside the courtroom with the court in session. The Supreme Court forbids cameras and all other electronic devices, but members of the protest group 99Rise appear to have shot video on two separate occasions since October." The anonymous writer continued that "group co-founder Kai Newkirk was the person who called on the court to overturn its 2010 Citizens United decision," and reproduced what Newkirk shouted in the Court.
Trujilo recounted in his article, "Hidden camera footage surfaces of Supreme Court debate," that "video posted on YouTube and recorded by 99 Rise, a group that supports tougher campaign finance laws, shows proceedings leading up to and during a rare protest that took place in the court Wednesday." The Hill journalist then outlined how Newkirk and his colleagues apparently took the video. But like the AP correspondent, Trujilo left out the group's political affiliation.
The website of 99Rise features the organization's logo, which includes the raised fist, a popular symbol for left-wing groups. On the "about" page, 99Rise describes itself as "a network of activists and organizers dedicated to building a mass movement to reclaim our democracy from the domination of big money. We believe that only by getting big money out of politics – by winning a democracy that responds to the real needs of 'the 99%' – will we open the door to finally realizing the progressive promise of the American Dream."
— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.