Current TV series examines Occupy Wall Street movement and “The 99 Percent”

By Tom Comi

Many people on both sides of the political landscape simply dismiss the conservative Tea Party or the liberal Occupy Wall Street movements as partisan factions, but how much do we really know about the people and thoughts behind these groups?

Tonight at 9pm ET/PT on Current TV, correspondent Christof Putzel goes below the surface of the Occupy Wall Street movement to explore what they are really protesting and — perhaps more importantly — what exactly it is they are hoping to achieve. Airing as part of its award-winning investigative “Vanguard” series, The 99 Percent delves into the inequality between the wealthiest 1% of Americans and the rest of the nation.

In order to paint a picture for viewers, Putzel actually immersed himself into the movement. He moved into Zuccotti Park in New York City with the rest of the Occupy Wall Street protesters so as to better familiarize himself with their plight and goals. This included planting gardens, serving meals and participating in “the human mic” at the daily general assembly where budget approvals and upcoming marches were discussed.

Perhaps most interesting, Putzel also explores the use of technology — specifically social media — and the integral role it plays nowadays in helping to plan such rallies. Through mediums like Facebook and Twitter, organizers are able to quickly mobilize individuals in order to create a louder voice.

Time will tell if any of these grassroot campaigns will have an effect on swaying elected officials or voters, but at a minimum programs like The 99 Percent and correspondents such as Putzel put a face on these organizations. And whether you agree or disagree with what he discovers, it’s refreshing to see such a show airing on TV.