Truthdigger of the week

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Truthdigger of the Week: Jesse LaGreca

Every week, Truthdig recognizes an individual or group of people who spoke truth to power, blew the whistle or stood up in the face of injustice. You can see past winners here, and make your own nomination for our next awardee here.

An article in The New York Observer this week pointed out that Fox News has “generally been a tad dismissive of the Occupy Wall Street movement.” With zero references to the protest on the Fox News homepage, that’s quite an understatement. But what Fox News has done to cover the protest is send a reporter out to ask questions in what appeared to be a ploy to rile up the participants. Fox News did succeed in pushing the buttons of at least one Occupy Wall Street protester, who in turn responded with such clarity and fortitude in support of the movement that his message gained viral attention, despite the fact that Fox News ultimately left the entire interview on the cutting room floor. That protester, Jesse LaGreca, is our Truthdigger of the Week.

“I’m glad to see you coming around and kind of paying attention to what the other 99 percent of Americans are paying attention to,” LaGreca told the producer, “as opposed to the far-right fringe who would love to just destroy the middle class entirely.”

LaGreca went on to denounce the kind of coverage Fox News is infamous for producing, from the tea party movement and birthers to racist comments by Glenn Beck. As Truthdig reader Syndi put it, “He absolutely spanked a Fox News reporter with the facts, leaving no room for spin and no room for doubt as to the meaning of his words.” Truthdig reader Christopher seconded the nomination, saying: “The dude looks better than any of our elected representatives at taking the fight to the other guy. Sign that man up!”

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Honorable Mentions

The Raging Grannies, a group of activist women, joined the Occupy Wall Street protest near the start of its second week, proving to skeptics that the movement is not just about a bunch of hippie students complaining about student loan debt, but a movement that speaks for very nearly everyone in the United States, no matter their age, religion, race, sexual orientation, political party, etc. One particular granny, 96-year-old Lillian Pollak, caught Truthdig readers’ attention. Pollack, who has lived through many wars in her near century-long life, said she was protesting because she is “tired of the endless wars.” Truthdig reader Lisa has a message for Pollack: “YOU INSPIRE ME!!!” she wrote in her nomination of the grannies.

On Wednesday evening this week, MSNBC political commentator Keith Olbermann read aloud a formal statement released by Occupy Wall Street protesters listing their collective grievances and demands. He read the statement with the force and conviction its authors meant for it to carry, continuing even to the end where it morphs into a call to action. His voice was one of the few (if not the only) to give due respect to the growing movement via network television. Truthdig reader John, who nominated Olbermann, said he admired Olbermann’s “continued coverage of Occupy Wall Street, which started even before any other national news even had interest.”

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Watch Jesse LaGreca tell off the Fox News reporter below:

Watch Keith Olbermann’s reading of the Occupy Wall Street statement below:

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