All day yesterday, students asked me if the OWS protesters were planning on shutting down subways.
No, I said to them, all that is happening is protesters are going to stand at some subway stops and tell their stories.
I kept checking the Internet to see what was going on as the day progressed and I kept seeing the same thing - no subway shutdowns, just mic checks and the like.
But the fear the kids had about not getting home grew all day.
Then an announcement was made that the DOE was saying protesters were trying to shut down the subways and there might be substantial delays getting home.
Again, I checked the Times and NY1 - no alerts about that.
In fact, at 3:42 PM, the Times City Blog reported that there were no subway shutdowns.
Yet by that time, the damage had been done - 1 million school kids and their parents had been told by the DOE and Chancellor Walcott that the dirty fucking hippies were trying to shut down the subways and wreck the evenings of millions of NYer's just trying to get home.
And whither did this misinformation come from about the OWS protesters trying to shut down the subways?
Why, FOX NEWS, of course.
And who dispersed that information late in the day even though they knew there were no news reports about subway shutdowns and even the NYPD was saying everything was fine?
Why, Mayor Bloomberg's Department of Education, of course.
I went down to my local C/E stop to find half a dozen protesters on one side of the street, about 10 on the other. All were holding OWS signs, none were actively bothering people trying to get on the subway.
I asked a cop at the station if there were any delays on the trains.
He laughed and said, "No - it's very quiet down there right now. Not like downtown at all."
I headed down to Chambers Street and asked another officer if there were any slowdowns on the subways. He, too, shook his head and said no.
It took me 12 minutes to get from my stop to Chambers Street - a few minutes quicker than usual.
So much for the substantial subway delays.
But all those kids in the New York City schools and their parents know is, the chancellor said the dirty fucking hippies were trying to shut down the subway and keep them from getting home.
Despite the reality that OWS was not trying to do this, I wonder how many of those people have now turned against the movement?
One thing I don't wonder - if that was the intent of either the NYCDOE or FOX NEWS.
The answer to that is, of course it was.