‘Liberal Media’ Ignoring Liberal Outrage at Republican Congressional Town Halls

Remember the summer of 2009 when the “liberal media” rushed to broadcast every shaky, homemade video of tea baggers having hissy fits at town halls held by Democratic members of Congress in their districts?

Now, two summers later, when it’s the liberals who are showing up at Republican House members’ town halls, not a single clip from one of these outbursts has been shown on either of the two legitimate cable news networks or treated as a top story by a news magazine or major newspaper.

But that doesn’t mean the outbursts are not happening. The Hill newspaper reports on several of these incidents, none of which has made it into the national news:

  • In Minnesota:

    Hundreds of people showed up at the Wayzata Golf Club in Wayzata, Minnesota, Friday to protest a fundraiser for Reps. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) and Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), which was attended by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

    Holding signs that blared “Jobs, not cuts!” and “People before profits”, the protesters, some wearing labor tee shirts, sought to put a hot spotlight on the exclusive event, which charged donors up to $10,000 to play a round of golf with the lawmakers.

    Dozens of constituents held a rally in Duluth earlier this month to protest Cravaak’s refusal to hold a town-hall meeting in that part of his district, which is a Democratic stronghold.

  • Wisconsin:

    On Thursday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R) the chairman of the House Budget Committee, called police to break up a sit-down protest at his district office in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

    Unemployed constituents took over Ryan’s office because they felt he was ducking their request for a meeting…

    While Ryan held 17 town-hall meetings in 2009, he has not scheduled any in his district this August.

  • Florida:

    A two-hour town-hall session turned contentious on Thursday night when constituents grilled Rep. Sandy Adams (R-Fla.), a member of the House Tea Party Caucus, about her opposition to raising taxes on the rich, at times hooting at her answers.

  • Michigan:

    Protesters gathered near Rep. Fred Upton’s (R) office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Wednesday morning holding “Where are the jobs?” and “Show us the jobs” signs and even a paper-mache effigy of the congressman. Upton is one of six Republican members of a supercommittee charged with crafting a $1.5 trillion deficit reduction package.

The Hill article also says “[at] least ten other House Republicans have been the targets of protests or angry questions at public events in the last two weeks.”

The Hill goes out of its way to make it clear that the liberal protests may have been coordinated by national groups, including unions — and yet, in 2009, the legacy media rarely, if ever, reported on the behind-the-scenes coordination of the tea bagger temper tantrums by corporate astroturfing groups funded by the Koch brothers and other promoters of corporatism.

David Weigel at Slate.com posted videos from two incidents that may have been been among the ten not specifically cited by The Hill, including the video posted above from a town hall hosted by Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla, and the video we published here on Sunday of a young liberal taking on Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., chairman of the House Administration Committee.

So why did the legacy media rush to give national coverage to the tea baggers’ tantrums while ignoring similar tactics by liberals? There are at least three reasons:

  1. Tea party’s implicit threat of violence: The tea baggers were showing up at the meetings with guns. The corporate media could not risk missing it if a member of Congress was assassinated at a town hall, and yet, there were no media cameras on hand 18 months after the tea party’s summer of outrage when a crazed gunman opened fire on Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.
  2. IOKIYAR: Generally, corporate media is complicit with Republicans’ sense of unearned entitlement. The most extravagant example of this was the Beltway media’s complacency over the impeachment of Pres. Bill Clinton because he lied in a deposition in civil lawsuit unrelated to his presidency, in contrast to their utter dismissal of the idea that Pres. Bush should be impeached for lying and/or incompetence in his rationale for invading Iraq, an act that led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people, including members of the U.S. military.
  3. Fear of being labelled the “liberal media”: The corporate media is so cowed by the right wing Big Lie that they are in cahoots with the liberal agenda that they avoid giving fair and balanced coverage to the left out of fear of reprisal by Fox News and the other Republican propaganda outlets.
  4. Optics: The pictures of white middle-age people putting on displays of spittle-spewing rage is visually more interesting than pictures of young people engaged in similar behavior.

One Response »

  1. Vic Anderson August 22, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

    Firebag DEM, then!

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