Mike Masterson and Occupy NWA: Dude, do you need political bifocals? | Street Jazz

Mike Masterson and Occupy NWA: Dude, do you need political bifocals?


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Occupy NWA sure must keep Mike Masterson of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette up at night, checking and rechecking the locks and bolts on his doors and windows, lest any of the unwashed masses break in and attempt to convert his family to their evil way of thinking.

Not only that, but Mike has to alert not only his readers to the dangers they poise to the body politick, but he has to alert business local business owners to the dangers of having their names associated with theirs.

Sadly, in his wild excitement, Comrade Masterson got some basic facts wrong.

So basic, in fact, that you sort of have to wonder if Mike actually read what he saw wrong, or saw a golden opportunity to twist some words out of proportion - not that he would do that, of course.

The site for Occupy NWA lists local businesses that residents may wish to support, which is a fine and good thing.

But in his December 6 column for the ADG, “Occupiers’ non-supporters,” Masterson wrote:

“Northwest Arkansas captains of commerce were none too happy the other day when I called to ask if they’d approved of their businesses being listed as supporters of the controversial ‘Occupy NWA’ movement on that group’s website.”

Oh, Mike, this is so beyond the pale, even for some of the other stuff you have written about the Liberal Menace. How could you have looked at that site and construed it to mean that all of the businesses listed were “supporters” of Occupy NWA?

Rather, Occupy NWA was going on record as being supportive of local businesses, and urging folks to do business with them. They listed them as a public service.

As a result of Mike’s calls to the “captains of commerce” - as opposed to the unwashed protesters Mike has such disdain for, I suppose - several businesses contacted Occupy NWA and requested that their names be removed from the list.

Here is what is currently on the site:

Local Businesses Keep Money and Jobs in the Community. You Can Help Them.

The Occupy movement came about as a result of bad economic sense. Supporting local businesses makes good economic sense. The businesses listed here were recommended by patrons and other individuals as a result of their contributions to the local economy. This is not intended to imply that these businesses support Occupy NWA; rather, we simply wish to show support for these businesses.


There is still a sizable number of local business listed that one might seek out, if one needs goods and services. I guess Mike didn’t have time to call everybody.

Or perhaps he didn’t consider them to be “captains of commerce”?

I think that we should all support local business, and yes, even the ones who had the wool pulled over their eyes by Mike Masterson.

And as for Mike Masterson, perhaps he should go on his own “personal apology tour,” visiting all the “captains of commerce” he took it upon himself to call, and reveal the true situation.

And last but not least, he might consider making a personal appearance before Occupy NWA and after apologizing, he might actually listen to what they have to say.


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