I have Yahoo! as my home page on my Safari browser, largely to make sure I always see a “mainstream” source of news, even on my busiest days. More often than not, I discover a left-leaning article leading the news, with headlines almost always more favorable to the Democrats than Republicans. But, oftentimes, they do link fascinating articles about astronomy or archeology. And sometimes, they’ll surprise us by linking an article which paints conservatives in a favorable light.
As I was checking the news before bed Wednesday night, I was delighted to discover an article which painted an unbiased picture of some of the people in Pennsylvania protesting ObamacCare. At first, I thought, the article, Just who are these health care protesters?, would make them out to be mind-numbed robots, mesmerized by talk radio or paid and bussed in by insurance companies, but instead well, they found a diverse crowd.
Reporter Erica Werner reported from State College, Pennsylvania where she reported on a crowd gathering at a town hall for Pennsylvania Democrat Arlen Specter. She did note that the central Pennsylvania crowd was “white, conservative and working class” which she did not note pretty much reflects the demographics of the region. (Yes, I know PennState is in the area, but I’m referring to the broad demographic of the region.)
Yet, while pointing out that yes, indeed, some were drawn by talk radio, she also focuses on an actual couple:
Instead, the Snyders and many Americans like them are adding their voices to a populist backlash evident in the taunts, jeers and rants at lawmakers’ health care forums around the country in the past week and a half. The contentious sessions highlight the difficulty for President Barack Obama and the Democrats as they push for a comprehensive remaking of the nation’s health care system.
Many of those raising their voices and fists at the town halls have never been politically active. Their frustration was born earlier this year with government bailouts and big spending bills, then found an outlet in the anti-tax Tea Parties in April and has simmered in the punishing recession.
While she does seem to reduce the activism of those portrayed to “taunts, jeers and rants,” Werner does report the couple’s genuine concerns in a broadly favorable manner. And when she points out that some of the opposition is organized, she notes that, well, so is some of the support:
There is an element of organized opposition, just as on the other side unions and Obama’s political organization are trying to turn out supporters to town halls and other events.
Indeed, she compares the movement to that which fueled Obama’s election:
The emerging protest movement is almost the mirror image of the grass-roots campaign that helped sweep Obama into office by pulling in people who’d never been politically active. This time Obama is seeing the other side of what can happen when people are motivated, connect over the Internet and seemingly reach a tipping point that turns them from onlookers into activists.
Guess, then, if those protesting the President’s policies are astroturf, so too were the rallies for Obama. As the activism increases, so too does opposition to the President’s policies increase in the polls–as did support for Obama.
I would offer kudos to the AP for doing their job, but, well, should be praising a news outfit for covering the events of the day in an even-handed manner? It’s just that I think to offer them kudos because this kind of coverage is so rare.
NOTE: About five, maybe ten, minutes after posting this, this article had disappeared from the headlines on Yahoo!’s main page. Wonder why.