Article by WashingtonStateWire. Published on Thursday, October 13, 2011 EST.
Name that Action!
We all know that certain words trend in the media, like when meteorologists all start talking about the “bitter cold”. C’mon people, your job is to engage us – you need to have a thesaurus at the ready and be on the lookout for overused words and phrases. Here’s my first submission for you to consider: Protester.
The reason I know it is time to shake things up is that the media described the 100 people encamped at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as “protesters”. Now, the article says they’re protesting their loss of funding, but that funding didn’t come from the Gates Foundation. And their messages could have been clipped from any dissatisfied group of leftists today – “Corporations are getting tax cuts, whereas the social safety net is being shredded.”
Well, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation isn’t a for-profit corporation, folks. And it happens to do a tremendous amount of charitable work in exactly the area that these homeless advocates for homeless shelters care about. In a statement from the Foundation, “In fact, we have committed to more than $100 million in the tri-county region alone to address this problem.”
So, to KOMO, KIRO, and all the rest, I offer this observation. When someone camps out in front of a building and won’t leave until the people inside give them more charity than they already do, that person isn’t a protester. At best they’re a beggar, and at worst they’re an extortionist.
But in the spirit of problem solving and not simply complaining, I offer the following synonyms for “protester” from Thesaurus.com: demonstrator, agitator, dissident, heckler, militant, radical, rebel, revolutionist. Although none of these accurately characterize the misguided folks waiting for another $50,000 from a foundation that has given hundreds of millions to their cause.