Richard Lui is a News Anchor at MSNBC. To his credit, he has covered issues including but not limited to the Japanese 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, as well as NATO involvement in Libya. Yet Richard not only has an extensive background in journalism and reporting, but he also has strong roots in business.
Mr. Lui’s diverse and accomplished history as a News Anchor and businessman most likely made him one of the top choices of MSNBC for their 70-minute long exclusive multi-panel debate.
The debate was between three Tea Party participants and three Occupy Wall Street participants. Although the event began as a “Roundtable Discussion” it eventually turned into a heated, exciting and revealing debate.
MSNBC truly did an excellent job of bringing up important questions regarding motivations and goals for each side. In all honesty, this 70 minute presentation helped to revitalize confidence that mainstream media is willing to discuss tough issues.
After watching all 70 minutes of the exclusive roundtable, I came away with several important key points.
First, both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) had a peculiar dualistic nature to their rhetoric in terms of their individual vs. collective voices. When the Tea Party panel members or the OWS members were faced with tough questions, they seemed to say disclaimers like, “I’m speaking on behalf of myself.”
Yet when the panel members were asked to discuss an issue they felt confident or passionate about, they would answer as if they were chosen representatives of their respective groups.
What can we learn from this?
One thing is for certain, both OWS and the Tea Party cover a wide range of topics, and each individual supporter seemed to have their own views on the issues. There was slightly more ambiguity on the side of the OWS participant on the far right panel. He continuously asked questions about what the systems in which we live in really are. More often than not, he didn’t have an answer to his own questions. He would just posit them as a point which requires further clarification.
Yet he made one thing very clear. He envisions a restructuring of both the economic and political systems in the United States. The degree by which he desires to see this restructuring was not set in stone, although his rhetoric seemed to lean toward a thorough socioeconomic and political reevaluation.
The Tea Party members pushed the point that they wanted to see people work within the system to create change. There were even accusations on the side of the Tea Party panel that the OWS members were anarchists.
Adherence to the Constitution and economic reform were primary sticking points for the Tea Party panel members.
Richar Lui had to jump in and moderate the discussion several times because he had so many questions and topics to cover. It was refreshing to see how he would encourage the more quiet panel members to share their thoughts. One such inquiry was on the middle Tea Party panel member who discussed her views on employment. She expressed her appreciation for having a job and explained how her work as a secretary paid for the food for her and her children.
What happened next was beyond interesting. The middle panel member for the OWS side who referred to himself as more of an Occupy Los Angeles person, shared his views on how there is something inherently wrong in the system we live in. He said that the current socioeconomic system isn’t working and it is only benefiting a select few. His references on statistics of economic and employment success rates for different ethnic and class segments was without a doubt worthwhile television.
Regardless on where you as a consumer and citizen stand on the political spectrum, this OWS and Tea Party debate and roundtable discussion was a fabulous 70 minutes of poignant and compelling information.
With great pleasure and respect for MSNBC and Richard Lui, we have embedded below the presentation in its entirety.
SOURCES: video.msnbc.com – Roundtable Discussion on OWS and Tea Party – http://video.msnbc.msn.com/msnbc.com/45963315/#45963315 – Accessed: January 11th, 2012