Occupy Philadelphia Thinks Fox 29 ‘Ass Spanking’ Video Part of Larger Trend

photo(81)About ten protesters affiliated with the Occupy Philadelphia movement showed up between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. today to vent their rage against Fox 29 for what they believe to be anti-journalistic deference in the face of the mayor’s office and other political and economic interests.

“It’s come to light recently that Fox 29 bowed to political pressure regarding a potentially embarrassing video for Mayor Nutter,” said OP member Dustin Slaughter, who organized the event at Fox 29 studios on Market Street. He says Fox 29 news director Steve Schwaid needs to “make a public apology to the people of Philadelphia.” The protest is scheduled to go on until 6 p.m. tonight.

On February 27, Philadelphia Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross reported that the Nutter Administration had talked Fox 29 out of airing a video showing the mayor casually spanking the butt of a female with whom he was bowling and drinking at North Bowl in Northern Liberties. Neither Fox nor the mayor’s office has spoken publicly of the incident or cell phone video in question since the initial report, other than to cast it off as gossip. The story provoked public debate through other media outlets, and especially on talk radio, but neither new information nor the video in question has come to light.

“We’re not out here because of what the mayor may or may not have done on his own time,” said Slaughter. “What we’re out here protesting is that major broadcasters like Fox 29 have a major responsibility to the public, because they use our airwaves for free, to not bow to political pressure and to remain as independent as possible in the interest of the public good.”

OP protester Julia Alford-Fowler agreed. “It’s not so much the content about what the news is going to show as it is what they don’t show,” she said, adding: “What else are they covering up for the mayor?”

Another protester, who referred to himself as Prince Truth Chaser, said the attempt to expose Fox is just the beginning.

“[Protests are] going to be everywhere,” he said. “It’s going to be Fox, it’s going to be [NBC] 10, it’s going to be CBS 3, and basically, it’s all about awareness to the public that the media is owned by the government. The media is run by the government and refuses to show facts.”

“My whole experience through Occupy has been that the media doesn’t try too hard to put forth what’s really going on,” added Alford-Fowler. “They report what the mayor tells them [and] they assume it’s true. They don’t dig a whole lot deeper than that.”

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