Thursday, September 03, 2009

Who Was More Obsessed with Tea-Baggers?

E. J. Dionne argues that the mainstream media was obsessed with loud-mouthed teabaggers at the health care townhalls during August.

But what if our media-created impression of the meetings is wrong? What if the highly publicized screamers represented only a fraction of public opinion? What if most of the town halls were populated by citizens who respectfully but firmly expressed a mixture of support, concern and doubt?

There is an overwhelming case that the electronic media went out of their way to cover the noise and ignored the calmer (and from television's point of view "boring") encounters between elected representatives and their constituents.

But it's hard to believe that CBS, NBC, and ABC were any more focused on townhall disruptions than HuffPost or TalkingPointsMemo. The progressive media might have had a different agenda in covering the townhall protesters, but progressive outlets were just as obsessed as the mainstream media.

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