On Saturday night, I saw a high school production of “Curtains”, the Broadway show from 2006. In one scene a group of stage actors are all aghast at reading the horrible reviews of their latest production. The actors hide behind newspapers before revealing their horrified expressions. It got me thinking of all the times I have seen this tactic used in films and television shows, often by spies or curious eavesdroppers at a nearby table. The newspaper, like the curtain, functions as a disguise for the players when they don’t want their presence to be revealed.

Ever since the Occupy Wall Street protests began, I have been surprised by the lack of in-depth media coverage about the movement. The pepper spray incident and now yesterdays coverage of the Brooklyn Bridge arrests at long last shined a spotlight on this newsworthy event. However, in The New York Times, an important part of the story was edited during a twenty minute span that was noticed by a reader who offered a visual response to the edit, which i have pasted below. Did the reporter make an initial error in stating that the police lead the protestors onto the bridge upon which they were later arrested? Did someone with editorial or political power request that the story be changed so that a level of order and respect could be maintained towards the NYPD who made the arrests? I believe that corporate media has created an unfortunate trend in misguiding readers and creating a sense of mistrust. Newspapers – what a fitting disguise. Perhaps the potential to reveal the truth of a story now lies with us in the democracy of new media.

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