Demonstrators at the Capitol were loud and angry on March 20 as they jeered House Democrats preparing to approve landmark health-care legislation. Before the day ended, The Post and other news organizations had reported a series of incidents so ugly they were denounced by congressional leaders of both parties.Gee, do ya think so? First rule of journalism I learned 21 years ago when taking journalism classes was to get all sides of the story. The ComPost, as well as the major networks, immediately took the words of these congressmen at face value, never mind that we live in a different media age. Citizens armed with handheld cameras or cell phones can take photos and or seconds of live video that can make news, or discredit an individual. Those of us who have blogs can add these videos and photos to our blogs and post them/have them picked up by other sources.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, a black Democrat from Missouri, said a protester spit on him. Rep. Barney Frank, the openly gay Democrat from Massachusetts, was heckled with anti-gay slurs. Two black Democrats, Reps. André Carson of Indiana and John Lewis of Georgia, said protesters subjected them to racial epithets. The episodes were recounted for days in Post stories and columns. Much blame was directed at Tea Party activists.
But many readers, echoing conservative broadcasters and bloggers, insist the reports were exaggerated or that the events simply never took place.
If there was such a thing as journalism, you'd think that the ComPost and the networks would have checked YouTube or the blogosphere to see if there was anything to contract the claims of Carson, Lewis, Cleaver. But they didn't, because the lapdog media is invested in the success of the Obama Presidency that they had a movement (the Tea Party) to smear.
As for the Barney Frank allegation, I cannot say. I have not seen the video that Alexander claims exist, and I've heard one story where Frank egged on protesters by telling them (in the vernacular) to go forth, be fruitful and multiply. But that doesn't call for slurs, if they did happen.
I can say, since I was in front of the Cannon Building when the CBC left for the Capitol and came back (and my video evidence proved it) that I did not hear or pick up anyone yelling the word "nigger" once...let alone 15 times, to these Congressmen. I did not see the alleged spitting incident, but the video proves that it was--at the very least--an accident instead of being intentional.
Kerry Picket at the Washington Times Water Cooler blog has had great coverage of this allegation, as she was at the Capitol when the allegation was first made to reporters by Rep. Carson.
This whole story is telling, not only for the fact of how the profession of journalism no longer exists, but to the effectiveness of the Tea Party movement. Remember that in February of last year, when the first Tea Parties were held, the media largely ignored them. On Tax Day last year, the media made fun of them by using the homophobic slur "teabagger" or (as on CNN) claiming falsely that it was promoted by Fox News. They tried hard to minimize the size of the 9/12 Rally in Washington and then resorted to playing the race card on March 20th, because the Tea Party was effective, despite the best attempts by the media to minimize it. So, they sought to smear it with the dirtiest trick in the book by using the race card.
So, to my friends in the Tea Party, keep your cameras with you at all times. Especially now, when the liberals are making threats to crash the parties and make incidents happen. As Jon Voight said last night: watch the person next to you.