The Third Estate Carrying the First and Second Estates, a French Revolution caricature from Wikicommons

Responding to an inquiry from the CEO of a giant bank, gofer Andrew Ross Sorkin put down his steno pad and got away from his telephone long enough to interview “scores of people” (40 or more?) at Occupy Wall Street. The bank CEO wanted to know if he should worry about his personal safety. Sorkin delivers a soothing response, “This didn’t seem like a brutal crowd — at least not yet.”

Fess up out there: who told Sorkin about all the brutal troops we have just over the hill?

His selection of interviews is the usual silly stuff: he finds a guy who doesn’t know who Warren Buffett is, and another person who flew to the demonstration on, gasp, an airplane. I suggest he go back in a few days, and I’ll bet that guy will know who Warren Buffett is, what Buffett thinks about taxes, and a whole lot more.

Sorkin is intrigued by the fact that a couple of the people there have bank accounts at the Bank of America. Hey, I bet some of the jeans were manufactured by Levi Strauss! And some of the sweaters are from Pendleton! What with having a bank account and flying on airlines, and wearing clothes, doesn’t that show that these silly protesters, and by extension, all of us, are trapped at the mercy of Corporate Persons who screwed us into the ground?

I have to say that I am concerned about this article, because Sorkin omits the crucial information: what was he wearing when he did these interviews? How else will we know whether he is a Serious Person, or a dirty hippy like the guy who flew in from Madison and was wearing jeans, sweatshirt and a wool beanie? Let’s assume that he was wearing coat and tie and polished wing-tips. That way we can trust him when he tells us that danger is on the horizon, that this could turn ugly, and that it is a warning shot about civil unrest. The fact that he found absolutely nothing to suggest violence is no reason to think he is not a Serious Person.  That imagined coat and tie and the shiny wing-tips tell us he is 100 percent correct to fear something. [cont'd]

I’m sure the CEO is glad he sent Sorkin on this errand. He got his money’s worth in propaganda published in the New York Times, and he’ll be able to sleep soundly, especially knowing there are 24 hour guards at the door of his 12 room Upper East Side apartment and knowing he has a bullet-proof town car to take to his office.

Sorkin, the CEO, and the New York Times think that the 99% are either simple-minded consumers of the trash they sell or a bunch of irrelevant hippies. As long as that holds, the rest of us won’t have to worry about a genuine threat: whether the CEO will order his troops into the street, or get the governor to call out the National Guard, or get their friends to call on the police to stomp the people at the park.