It’s an attitude shaped less by fact than by a media narrative that plays up Occupy, as seen in the Caller and in “Occupy Unmasked,” a documentary produced by Citizens United this year. “Occupy Unmasked” is the brainchild of the late Andrew Breitbart, directed by his friend and business partner Steven Bannon.
“On September 19 he calls me and says we’ve got to do a movie,” Bannon told BuzzFeed in a phone interview. “I said Andrew, can you give this up? It’s just a bunch of college kids waiting for Radiohead.”
“It was really the Brooklyn Bridge thing when I thought, wow, that is well organized,” Bannon said, referring to the September 2011 protest in which 700 people were arrested while blocking traffic on their way from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
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Bannon dismissed the notion that Occupy has lost steam.
“Anyone who writes that the Occupy movement is dead because it didn’t burn down Charlotte or Tampa totally misses the point,” he said. “I think this is a very large movement and a very well-organized movement.”
“If Obama wins the popular vote and Romney wins the electoral vote, the Occupy movement will be out in large numbers on November 7,” he said. “What you’re seeing today is the remnants of phase one. With Anonymous it can be pulled together very quickly.”
Occupy Unmasked does a convincing job of presenting Occupy that way. The film is narrated by Breitbart and Lee Stranahan, and focuses on the way Occupy was presented in the media, its associations with organized labor and the professional left, and the crime and general disarray that became pervasive in Zuccotti Park. Scenes of mayhem and masked protesters are set to ominous music, in one scene, a union member looks to have been assigned to follow Breitbart at Occupy Los Angeles.
It ends on a powerful note: the moment at the Conservative Political Action Conference this year, shortly before Breitbart’s death, when he stood outside and screamed at the occupiers protesting the event. “Stop raping people!” Breitbart yelled. “Behave yourselves!”