In what appears to be an almost willful attempt on the part of AnnArbor.com to misrepresent or misunderstand the local Occupy movement, their lead article yesterday was headlined “Occupy Ann Arbor leaders on a mission to open new 24-hour warming center”. The piece spent several paragraphs implying that the local movement and its leaders’ main mission is a homeless project. The problem? The local movement has no “leader“, and this homeless project – though admirable – is merely a single project autonomously created by three individuals. It is not even fully supported by all participants in what would reasonably be defined as “Occupy Ann Arbor”. Having personally interacted with and having on request donated printing services to the camp residents who have mobilized the project, it is doubtful that the parties mentioned in the article represented themselves as “leaders” of anything other than the particular pursuit in question. It is more likely that the piece is either the result of lazy research and poor reporting, or an intentional and willful editorial decision to portray the local occupy movement inaccurately. One would like to assume the former. I personally – since I am not required to contact the fictional “leaders” of Occupy Ann Arbor described in Political Reporter Ryan J. Stanton’s piece to do so – challenge AnnArbor.com and Mr. Stanton to give equal time and space to a piece correcting their error-laden and simple-minded piece yesterday. I also welcome any concerned parties from the various local Occupy groups to comment here. Perhaps the most insightful thing about yesterday’s AnnArbor.com piece was how it highlighted the callous nature of the website’s most avid readership. Comments on the article mostly focused on hostility toward the homeless, and anger at “occupiers” for wanting to help them. People are certainly entitled to their positions on issues, but they’re also entitled to the facts. And AnnArbor.com mangled the central truth with the few facts they did present in this piece.