It would seem to be the exact kind of thing the Occupy movement is protesting. High-paid political elites commissioned by the financial sector to battle against the interests of the public. The New York Stock Exchange, targeted in the digital-social-media universe as a main stage for the bad-acting finance sector, is holding a “Social Media Day” on Friday to which it is inviting a high-profile roster of special speakers, according to Politico.
The list includes former Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer; former lobbyist, Obama internet consultant and Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Christine Varney; former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt; Chairman of New Media Strategies Pete Snyder; and Democratic Party consultant Joe Trippi, the man who headed Howard Dean’s organizationally influential 2004 presidential campaign.
“The bottom has the real power to communicate in a way that these organizations have never had to deal with,” Trippi told Politico. “They just don’t structurally get that they don’t have the power they used to have and that’s why you see the Tea party and Occupy Wall Street and other bottom-up kind of movements being able to connect a lot more and challenge your messaging.”
Clearly, the New York Stock Exchange is looking to wrest back messaging power in the era of the mobile Web and asked Joe Trippi and the rest of Friday’s speakers to contribute expertise to the effort, and they agreed, as if they understand the messaging of the Occupy Wall Street movement only in terms of strategy and have missed the contents of the messaging altogether.
Wall Street’s “Social Media Day” would seem to be a frank admission of the reality the Occupy movement has been trying to highlight. The occupiers have focused their political protest not on the National Mall in Washington DC but in the Financial District in Manhattan, where they argue the real political power resides. In response, Wall Street has decided to bring political consultants to the New York Stock Exchange to help it wage a communications war directly against the protesters.
As a way of exposing a political system the protesters say represents and serves “the 1 percent,” it’s hard not to see “Social Media Day” at the New York Stock Exchange as another clear victory for the Occupy movement.