Ohio Media Let ProgressOhio Deception Slide


After ProgressOhio executive director Brian Rothenberg’s claim that ProgressOhio has nothing to do with the Occupy movement was cited in a May 4 story on WTAM 1100, Rothenberg said his organization had nothing to do with the leadership of Occupy in a May 7 Youngstown Vindicator interview. Media Trackers has presented evidence that a ProgressOhio employee helped lead Occupy Columbus from November of 2011 through March of 2012, hosting Occupy Columbus leadership meetings at ProgressOhio headquarters.

Reporter Marc Kovac’s Vindicator interview with Rothenberg follows, accompanied by a transcript of the relevant quote.

Kovac: Can we get your reaction to comments being made from Tea Party groups about ProgressOhio and its involvement with the Occupy movement – what’s going on there?

Rothenberg: You know what, I really don’t know. We have events and Occupy has come to some of our events, but I haven’t been involved in any kind of training with Occupy, we don’t fund Occupy, we’re not in a position where we have anything to do with the organizational structure of Occupy.

In the more than three weeks since the WTAM story and Kovac’s interview were released, legacy media outlets which rely on ProgressOhio for left-of-center commentary have not challenged Rothenberg’s misleading statement. Even after the alleged bomb plot by Occupy Cleveland members, Ohio media have failed to examine the claim that ProgressOhio is not involved with “the organizational structure of Occupy.”

To review the reams of evidence that for several months ProgressOhio employee Sam Briggs helped lead Occupy Columbus, coordinating events and providing access to ProgressOhio office space for Occupy Columbus “general assembly” meetings, review the Media Trackers story published on May 14.

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