On the Gullibility of the Media and Wall Street
It’s not often that you get two for the price of one, but I saw this small, unassuming story early today about an Occupier who packed up her protest signs for a job in the nexus of evil, on Wall Street.
The story was all over the place by the time I saw it, but Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post got there first conveying the paper’s glee that capitalism had seduced one of the radical believers in revolution.
“She was ranting about Wall Street, and now she’s working on Wall Street. Banks are not so bad. I hope we have opened her eyes,” said Thomas Belesis, the chief executive of the John Thomas Financial Brokerage, which hired the protester. Here’s the original Post exclusive.
All the variations in the mainstream presented the theme that this woman, Tracy Postert is no ordinary occupier. She’s got a PhD in biomedical science, but she has been unable to get and hold a job in her field since graduating in 1999. The story in the post shows her posing at Zuccotti Park with her sign “seeking full time employment” dressed in a white lab coat.
The next day, the Post went back to the park and did a man-on-the-street story, asking other occupiers what they thought. The article said some objected that she was a sellout. That theme has popped up in blogs since.
Well, Postert is not the kind of protester the left likes to conjure up, and not because she took a job on Wall Street. A number of right-wing blogs were gleeful that another side of Postert appears now and then in the news and on Twitter, as a promoter of some of her other causes over the years.
She’s a woman of many guises, and a couple of names. In fact, there much more about her as Tracy Blevins, than as Tracy Postert, the struggling postdoc who’s never held a job.
Here’s one from Twitter, as Dr.Babsie on Nov. 20: “Check out the paper I wrote about World Trade Center dust”. WTC Dust, which promotes a theory that the twin towers were demolished by a mysterious advanced weapon.
Dr. Babsie is a reference to another cause, the legalization of marijuana — or at least the promotion of medical marijuana. According to the New York Times in 2001, Ms. Blevins, “dresses all in pink for these protests and calls herself Medical Marijuana Barbie.” This was from a story about remnants of the 60s group, the Yippies, who were having a party in the East Village.
Recently, she’s been promoting the use of ibogaine, a hallucinogen with both psychedelic and dissociative properties that she says might fight addiction to opiates.
If this were only about Ms. Postert, a.k.a. Ms. Blevins, it would indeed be a small story, and the only people who’d be interested are various people on the right who’d like to pin kookiness on the Occupy movement. Whether or not she’s a kooky protester, a malcontent, or a long-standing believer in bizarre theories, is not important. Ms. Postert doesn’t bother me, and she doesn’t prove one thing or another about Occupy Wall Street.
But it’s the media that bothers me — the same media that swallowed the Tea Party narrative hook, line and sinker, thereby promoting radical right-wing politicians, who plague us in Congress and in many statehouses.
And more than the media, it’s the ever-credulous Wall Street. John Thomas Financial hired this woman to train her as an analyst to assess the merits of various biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Yikes.
If I had entrusted my money to John Thomas Financial, I’d be getting scared now. The whole story makes me wonder if this sort of thing isn’t exactly why Wall Street crumbled to dust in 2008.