Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

I happened upon that YouTube video when looking for evidence of crimes that occur during Occupy protests.  The video sounds like a great resource at first: they haven’t articulated their mission, you say?  Why yes, having read their call to action, it does seem like they are without a specific goal.  They seem to be protesting “everything under the sun,” you say?  I agree, it does seem like people just label everything as “Occupy something” nowadays.  But wait a minute, “unorganized group of punks and entitled socialist dirt bags”?  Okay, maybe this video isn’t so unbiased after all…

However, putting the opinions of the vlogger aside, there is a lot of solid content about crimes that occur to and by Occupy protesters.  This lead to my search for unbiased reporting on the criminal acts at Occupy protests, and let me tell you, this was no easy feat and I feel that I am still very unsuccessful.  As David Meyer said in an ABC News article, “’These protests have a history of welcoming everyone and just assuming they’re on your side'” and as a result, people with maligned intentions have the ability to misuse the cause for their benefit.  However, onlookers do not simply consider that the relationship between crime and Occupy “was just random variation and no causal relationship had been definitely established,” like Ben Adler did in his article for the Nation.  Cara Buckley explains in her article for the New York Times that “stories of crimes and dangerous behavior […] have been used as fuel by those who say the protesters must go.”  As a result, especially within the media it seems, the actions of the few somehow end up representing the masses who attend the Occupy demonstrations.  Thus the bias.

Such is the case in a Yahoo News article by Mark Whittington.  When delivering a break-down on crimes that occurred during the Occupy movement across the country, he muses that “’Occupy Oakland’ has devolved into something resembling Lord of the Flies” and reports that the protesters who are a part of Occupy Oakland are “a group described as ‘bullies, the mentally ill, drunks, thugs and anarchists’ [who] have turned the encampment into something resembling a state of nature, where the strong terrorize the weak, and where ad hoc rule making has caused a combination of anarchy and oppression. ”  Whether this be the case or not, there is no need for name calling.

You can find my post on the Occupy crime report findings here.

Iliana

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2 responses to “Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

  1. Pingback: One Bad Apple Spoils the Bunch | Occupy Wall Street Analysis

  2. Pingback: Occupy Bias | Occupy Wall Street Analysis

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