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NY Times’ poster child for #OccupyWallStreet not what he seems (Update: Cole responds)

NY Times’ poster child for #OccupyWallStreet not what he seems (Update: Cole responds)

The NY Times Dealbook section takes a very sympathetic look at the Occupy Wall Street protests, On Wall Street, a Protest Matures.

The article leads with a feature on Andrew Cole, who arrived from Madison, Wisconsin (shock!) where he recently lost a job:

“I think a good deal of the bankers should be in jail.”

That is what Andrew Cole, an unemployed 24-year-old graduate of Bucknell University, told me Monday morning in Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Mr. Cole, an articulate young man dressed in jeans, a sweatshirt and with a blue wool beanie on his head, had just arrived by bus from Madison, Wis., where he recently lost his job.

There was nothing particularly menacing or dangerous about Mr. Cole. He said he had come to participate in Occupy Wall Street because he believed in its “anticapitalist” message. “I see Wall Street as responsible for the mess we’re in.”

The New York Times does not tell us where Cole was working prior to being laid off.  Must be construction, or perhaps one of those state workers brutalized by the evil Gov. Scott Walker and the Koch Brothers.  Or perhaps some heartless business which puts profits over people.

No, a simple Google search reveals that Cole is a professional progressive operative, having worked — according to his LinkedIn profile —  for the past three years for the Progressive Patriots Fund, which he still lists at his employer:

September 2008Present (3 years 2 months)

Trained and dispatched by Senator Russ Feingold’s PAC to work in the field for Eric Massa’s congressional campaign in New York’s 29th district. Responsibilities included volunteer recruitment, voter contact, and coordinating the GOTV push for a campaign satellite office in Canandaigua, NY.

Let’s say Cole was really fired by Progressive Patriots Fund, and his LinkedIn profile is not up to date, was the firing for real or just a set up so that Cole could agitate in New York City and make sure to get interviewed by media outlets as the face of the Occupy Wall Street movement?

Is Wall Street to blame for the fact that a progressive political action group fired Cole?  Or if Cole had some interim job since that time, the fact that he now is unemployed?

Cole does not fit the profile of the downtrodden, hopeless, disaffected youth portrayed in the article. Cole comes from an upper-middle-class family and was sure to be a wise shopper for colleges, being featured in a U.S. News book about shopping for financial aid packages.

And if Cole did not immediately find a new job after being fired by Russ Feingold, or lost some other job recently, is it Wall Street’s fault, or the fact that Cole devoted his college experience to studying such job-relevant topics as Struggle, Revolution, and the MST: Reflections on the Meaning of Resistance:

The following is an ethnographic account of the motivations, attitudes, and ideology of several residents of Lenin Paz II, a Brazilian land-reform settlement in the northeastern state of Ceará.  The particular focus of the study is on the reasons these individuals decided to get involved with the social movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra) that brought them to the settlement after a 2-3 year process of land occupation.  Theoretically, the paper focuses on the development of a collective sense of social or class consciousness amongst the landless who were interviewed, drawing heavily on James Scott’s theory of resistance outlined in Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance.

Andrew Cole is not what he seems, and neither is #OccupyWallStreet.

Update:  Mark Finkelstein at Newsbusters has the story of another Occupy Wall Street protest leader, a former employee of an  investment bank!

Further Update:  The photo in The Times article is not of Cole.  I wonder if the “Andrew Cole” in The Times’ article is the same as “Andrew P. Cole” who received funds from Feingold’s Progressive Patriots Fund, and if so, if he is the Andrew P. Cole who writes for the Socialist Worker Party newspaper and describes himself on Twitter at follows:

Socialist, writer, musician, activist, wage slave. Member of UAW 1981, the National Writers Union.

Update 10-5-2011: I received the following e-mail from Cole:

I’m writing in response to your hit piece on me posted to Legal Insurrection.

I no longer work in Democratic party politics. My politics have evolved significantly since that time. I don’t hide this fact. I told Andrew Sorkin about my background and he chose not to report it.

But you should be clear about one thing: the Democratic Party and professional progressive orgs aren’t involved with Occupy Wall St.

Second, yes I did come from a middle class family. I was optimistic about my future when I gave that interview to US News and World Report as a naive 17 year old. But seven years later, I’m no longer middle class and no longer
optimistic. That downward mobility and my otherwise bleak prospects are what has driven me and a diverse group of others to occupy Wall St.

Good luck with your smear campaign. I hope digging up Internet dirt on people is satisfying work.

Andrew Cole


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Let me see if I got this straight: Protester Andrew Cole was sent by former Wisconsin Senator Senator Russ Feingold to work New York’s 29th Dist. on behalf of Eric Massa? Hmmm…where have I heard of Eric Massa before? No wonder the guy is out of work.

If Bucknell was worth the extra cost then shut up about what you owe and pay for it.

Not what he seems. What a surprise! Well … my lyin’ eyes are playing with the truth, too.

Please excuse me for sounding like a crazed member of the albino lily-white team of frothing heads over at MSNBC (only recently darkened by the addition of anti-Semitic, race-baitin’ “Reverand” Al Sharpton)

… excuse me for sounding like them and almost all the rest of the mainstream media when they’re talking about tea-party protestors … BUT … dang, that crowd of Wall Street “occupiers” sure is predominately … blindingly white!

LukeHandCool (who is normally not a racial bean counter … but … dang, that sure is a white crowd!)

    “Resist We Much”.

    Hey the Wall Street occupiers can borrow that Sharpton profundity as their motto.

    And we can laugh the all the live long day.

It seems like this should be a comedy skit. I went to college to become a community agitator and I just can’t figure out why I can’t get a real job. It serves his parents right that they too are paying off some of it too. If they were smart they could have saved their little sheep from his current troubles by not contributing to a useless degree and encouraging a real career path. Exactly what kind of job is it that this guy would like created for him with money stolen from my family?

Excuse me, I think you got my marching order wrong. I ordered the spicy, colorful “Diversity Platter,” not the greasy “White Angel Food Cake.”

His parents must be so pleased with their investment in his Bucknell education. My son wanted to go there and we couldn’t afford it and didn’t like the idea of the loans it would require.

You wonder how many of the protesters are spoiled brats who have had their sense of “I’m so important & special” shaken for once.

As the parent of (so far) two college kids, here’s where I almost lost it:

“The atmosphere of the campus struck me as somewhere I knew I could be happy, so while I got better aid packages at different schools, Bucknell was worth the extra cost.”

Only a self-entitled liberal “activist” kiddie who has probably never actually worked a day in his life out of need would be so tone-deaf as to say such a thing right after telling us how his parents are paying the bill for him.

It is possible he is out there trying to build up his resume in hopes of landing a job under the agitator in cheif. Sorry buddy, I hate to tell you but your kind is a dime a dozen these days. You are not a special little needle in a haystack. Perhaps acquiring some real skills may help.

Brietbart was right, this is orchestrated theatre. Some of the participants, like this tool, are paid plants, while the rest are mostly just useful idiots.

My guess is that the prime objective is to serve as a distraction from the schism between the hard core left and their failed child king Obama.

“You wonder how many of the protesters are spoiled brats who have had their sense of “I’m so important & special” shaken for once.”

My Inner Cynic suggests to me that none of them have experienced any such shaking. If anything, they’re probably just enraged that the Spawn of Satan (that’s us) have taken their noble, love-for-humanity-based hopes and dreams and trashed them once again. Because we’re racists. Or something.

There’ll be no sudden insights and doubts amongst this crowd. Self-absorbed fanaticism is like the Energizer bunny. It keeps going, and going, and . . .

What amazes me is that so many otherwise intelligent people – people who really do have to know most of the truths which they ignore as they chant their lies over and over every day – it amazes me that they see nothing contradictory about pushing for a morality that cannot be defended with truth, but about which they have to constantly lie to bring others to their side. They really have to hate people to do what they do “for humanity”.

[…] wait! Professor Jacobson: The New York Times does not tell us where Cole was working prior to being laid off. Must be […]

I thought I smelled astroturf.

Imagine the cheek of the New York Times for this special massaging of the political background of Andrew Cole, given his role in the Eric Massa congressional campaign. Suffice it to say that anyone who was in charge of “voter contact” for Eric Massa, certainly must have had his hands full back in 2008.

I am not a conservative. I voted Democratic all my life until 2008. But I am most certainly neither a communist nor a socialist nor a revolutionary. I have no wish to utterly change our system of govt, nor do I hate capitalism.

If these professional agitators and their useful idiots think that even longtime Liberals in this country are all primed and ready to usher in the glorious worker’s paradise, they have another think coming. If that’s what “liberal” means anymore in this country, then hand me a tri-cornered hat and baptize me in tea. Because they are nuts, dangerous, and I want nothing to do with them.

    jimg in reply to WMCB. | October 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    If that’s what “liberal” means anymore in this country,

    These people aren’t ‘liberal’ in any sense of the word.

    They’re collectivists.

@ WMCB there appears to be quite a few of us fitting your self discription here at this conservative blog and others.

I often wonder how the Republicans and pollsters are labeling us these days?

I’m not independent but lean heavily towards the ideology of the TP also.

As for this Cole kid, I wonder how much support he’ll be giving Obama, when Obama let’s the collection agencies reach these kids on cellphones to collect on their defaulted student loans. GOTTA LOVE IT!!

1. So Russ Feingold’s PAC hired an “anticapitalist” with “Lenin Paz” on his CV. Interesting company you keep, Senator.

2. Not that it is needed, but this is yet more evidence that the spirit of Walter Duranty remains in the thick of things at the NYT.

3. Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times…?—

a. Obama botches the recovery. The Left responds: The government needs more power and money!

b. Obama’s policies drive up gas prices. The Left responds: The government needs more power (and money to fund green jobs)!

c. Obama’s Justice Department sends guns to foreign drug lords. The Left responds: The government should impose gun control!

It’s standard leftist cant that when government fails, the answer is more government. To deliberately fail so as to get more government, if that indeed is the Administration’s game, would be something new.

4. Kudos to Bill for this post. Hopefully his digging on Andrew Cole will receive the dissemination it deserves.

    gs in reply to gs. | October 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I’ll comment on Andrew Cole’s update even though the thread is dead:

    1. Cole worked at Lenin Paz before he worked for the Democratic Party. A skeptic might wonder if his politics have “evolved” more in how he describes them than in their substance. A skeptic might ask whether he has changed his views–or changed his mind about the Democratic Party as an effective vehicle for them.

    2. If Cole is a radical and told the NYT reporter so, I am not in the least surprised that the reporter chose not to put that information in his piece.

    3. In judging Cole and those like him, one should not forget the bipartisan shafting that his generation has received since Y2K.

PatriotGal2257 | October 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm

It looks as though Andrew Cole is yet another in a long line of coddled rich kids who hides the fact that he comes from a wealthy background, but who thinks shilling for the Commies is somehow noble. Good luck with that, kid.

Insufficiently Sensitive | October 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm

It is possible he is out there trying to build up his resume in hopes of landing a job under the agitator in cheif.

It’s more likely that he’s been sent there, under cover, for precisely the interview he gave the Times. His bus fare from Wisconsin and his walking-around money during his Wall Street sojourn are a bit rich for someone who just lost his job, but they’re not too rich for a campaign which expects to raise a billion dollars before November 2012. Equally likely that some of the remaining slush funds the Democrats have skimmed off the enormous 2009 ‘stimulus’ could serve to support him.

The Wall Street ‘protests’ are more than likely funded and led by ‘activists’ eager to divert public attention from Obama’s current three-ring circus of failure: Crumbling economy, Gunwalker, and the masterful new book by J. Christian Adams, INJUSTICE, taking down Eric Holder’s viciously biased ‘Civil Rights’ Division.

BUSTED! hahahahahaha

Thanks for the update.

I think somebody needs to keep a tab on this fellow. Are we sure he is unemployed? Perhaps he is still employed by Senator Feingold? At what point do we hold Andrew Cole and Russ Feingold accountable for their actions?

Gee, does this mean that some of the agitators in Madison were hired “activists”?

The oath United States Senator’s use to be sworn into office is “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.” I guess that since Senator Feingold lost the last election he isn’t beholden to that oath.

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Methinks he doth protest too much. He’s had his 15 minutes of fame twice, and now that he’s been called out on his hypocrisy, he’s going to whine about it. I wonder what his major is. It’s certainly not something that’s actually useful, and is instead something like “Liberal Studies”, “Integral Studies”, “Liberal Arts”, or another one of those “You want fries with that?” type of degrees.

Thrown out of work by those damned, dirty capitalists at the Progressive Patriot Fund!

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