After a year of protests throughout the Middle East toppled dictators who were once America's buddies, the world's media are understandably captivated by the sight of people taking to the streets and occupying a square in downtown Manhattan. But what does it all mean? As they did with the Tea Party, some countries seem eager to pounce on Occupy Wall Street to highlight that the United States has its own internal dissent to contend with. But, as it turns out, there are a lot of differing opinions.
The Islamic Republic has been the most active in its coverage of Occupy Wall Street. State-run, English-language Press TV, in particular, has had extensive commentary on the movement. As one of its commentators put it, America is "living under a horrendous propaganda system."
Meanwhile, the Fars News Agency was largely critical of President Barack Obama's approach to the financial crisis:
And God knows, Americans missed the rendezvous they were supposed to have with democratic politics in January 2009. With a newly-elected president who gave great hopes for change in words, politics failed the Americans in that first phase of the crisis. Barack Obama installed a Wall Street-friendly team that resisted fundamental changes in the financial model that caused the collapse and the deep recession that followed.
In another article published by Fars, Wall Street was characterized as more than just a bastion of corruption; it was "the financial Gomorrah of America."
Meanwhile, the Tehran Times, with little apparent sense of irony, emphasized the police brutality toward protesters in Manhattan. The same article also characterized the demonstrations as a statement against "excessive force and the unfair treatment of minorities."