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Massive Conservative D.C. Protest Buried and Dismissed, But Smaller Liberal Rallies Hailed
A conservative protest at the Capitol numbering in the tens of thousands was worth an unfavorable story on page 37. A much smaller Obama rally got better placement, and so had a previous ACORN-led left-wing protest numbering…40 people.

Posted by: Clay Waters
9/14/2009 3:43:28 PM

There was a huge protest against Obama’s big-government plans at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, but one was hard-pressed to find evidence of it on the Times home page Sunday morning: A small headline tucked under the Political subhead.

The print edition wasn’t much more forthcoming. Although the Washington D.C. Fire Dept. estimated 60,000 to 70,000 people attended the 9/12 protest, and many estimates are higher, the Times made do with one medium-sized story buried on page A37 of the Sunday paper, “Thousands Attend Broad Protest of Government,” teasing it on the front page in a below-the-fold photo from the march. A much smaller Obama rally got better placement in the Times, and so had a previous ACORN-led left-wing protest numbering…40 people.

Reporter Jeff Zeleny painted protesters as “angry” and “profane” and that the rally contained “no shortage of vitriol,” as if there were never raised voices and obscene signage at left-wing anti-war rallies:

A sea of protesters filled the west lawn of the Capitol and spilled onto the National Mall on Saturday in the largest rally against President Obama since he took office, a culmination of a summer-long season of protests that began with opposition to a health care overhaul and grew into a broader dissatisfaction with government.

On a cloudy and cool day, the demonstrators came from all corners of the country, waving American flags and handwritten signs explaining the root of their frustrations. Their anger stretched well beyond the health care legislation moving through Congress, with shouts of support for gun rights, lower taxes and a smaller government.

But as they sang verse after verse of patriotic hymns like “God Bless America,” sharp words of profane and political criticism were aimed at Mr. Obama and Congress.

….

The atmosphere was rowdy at times, with signs and images casting Mr. Obama in a demeaning light. One sign called him the “parasite in chief.” Others likened him to Hitler. Several people held up preprinted signs saying, “Bury Obama Care with Kennedy,” a reference to the Massachusetts senator whose body passed by the Capitol two weeks earlier to be memorialized.

Other signs did not focus on Mr. Obama, but rather on the government at large, promoting gun rights, tallying the national deficit and deploring illegal immigrants living in the United States.

Check out this backhanded compliment:

Still, many demonstrators expressed their views without a hint of rage. They said the size of the crowd illustrated that their views were shared by a broader audience.

Zeleny found some unnamed “Republican officials” to fret over a backlash, and downplayed the significance of those who turned out:

Mr. DeMint and a few Republican legislators were the only party leaders on hand for the demonstration. Republican officials said privately that they were pleased by the turnout but wary of the anger directed at all politicians. And most of those who turned out were not likely to have been Obama voters anyway.

Did the Times ever suggest anti-war demonstrators “were not like to have been Bush voters anyway”?

While there was no shortage of vitriol among protesters, there was also an air of festivity. A band of protesters in colonial gear wended through the crowd, led by a bell ringer in a tricorn hat calling for revolution. A folk singer belting out a protest ballad on a guitar brought cheers.

Obama’s health-care speech on Saturday actually got slightly better placement. It landed on page A35 under a similar headline, “Thousands Rally in Minnesota Behind Obama’s Call for Health Care Overhaul,” although the attendance at the Target Center in Minneapolis was reliably estimated at around 15,000, making it at least four times smaller than the D.C. rally. Obama and his fans also got more positive coverage from reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg:

Thousands of roaring supporters turned out Saturday to rally behind President Obama’s call to overhaul the nation’s health care system, packing a basketball arena here as Mr. Obama warned that nearly half of all Americans under 65 could lose their insurance at some point during the next decade….On a day when demonstrators crammed onto the west lawn of the Capitol to protest what they regard as Mr. Obama’s brand of big government, including his health plan, the images of screaming, cheering Obama supporters here provided a welcome visual counterpoint for the White House. The White House estimated that 15,000 people attended the rally here; the applause was thunderous when the president bounded onto the stage, shirtsleeves rolled up, as he revived an old campaign rallying cry: “Are you fired up?”

In fact, the Times’ coverage of the huge anti-government rally in the nation’s capital was on the same level as the coverage of an ACORN-organized left-wing “bus tour” of homes of American International Group executives back in March, a piece of Astroturf so blatant even the Times admitted the media outnumbered the protesters. Yet while 40 left-wing protesters in Connecticut were worth a 724-word Times story back in March, an estimated 70,000 anti-Obama protesters in D.C. garnered a 932-word story on Saturday. A slight anomaly?

There was nothing on the Times’ “Caucus” blog from the actual march, although the blog did preview it Saturday morning with a pessimistic estimate of the crowd size (“as many as 30,000 demonstrators are expected”), in a post marked with suspicion of the protest’s origin and motives. That post also granted top billing to Obama’s speech.

Another telling contrast: The coverage of Saturday’s march (and the previous Tea Party protests) with the fawning coverage of the pro-illegal immigration protests of 2006, when amnesty for illegals was on the agenda. The Times didn’t find much “vitriol” at the massive rallies in support of illegal immigration. Here’s Robert McFadden in the April 10, 2006 Times, describing the largest of the nationwide rallies in Dallas:

The Dallas protesters were young and old. Some were families pushing baby strollers. Some walked with canes, others rolled along in wheelchairs. There were members of unions, churches, civil rights organizations and business groups, but many were strangers to one another. Some spoke passionately about their desire to be Americans, to vote and to hold a job without fea

Sara Palin in WSJ on Obamacare, Your Money AND Your Life Posted: 08 Sep 2009 07:25 PM PDT There is a Classic Jack Benny routine that reminds me of Obamacare. In the routine Benny is accosted on the street by a robber with a gun, “your money or your life,” threatens the thief. The master comedian takes his classic pose with his open palmed fingers on the side of his face and remains silent. “Well ?” says the gunman. “I’m thinking” says Benny, “I’m thinking” If Obamacare gets passed in its present form that choice will not be open to many Americans, the government will definitely take out money and,in some cases, as heath care gets rationed they will take your life also. That is the message that former Alaska Governor gives in an Op-ed in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal; Obamacare is too expensive, will lead to health care rationing, and will build a massive and inefficient federal bureaucracy. Obama and the Bureaucratization of Health Care The president’s proposals would give unelected officials life-and-death rationing powers. By SARAH PALIN Writing in the New York Times last month, President Barack Obama asked that Americans “talk with one another, and not over one another” as our health-care debate moves forward. I couldn’t agree more. Let’s engage the other side’s arguments, and let’s allow Americans to decide for themselves whether the Democrats’ health-care proposals should become governing law. Some 45 years ago Ronald Reagan said that “no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds.” Each of us knows that we have an obligation to care for the old, the young and the sick. We stand strongest when we stand with the weakest among us. We also know that our current health-care system too often burdens individuals and businesses—particularly small businesses—with crippling expenses. And we know that allowing government health-care spending to continue at current rates will only add to our ever-expanding deficit. How can we ensure that those who need medical care receive it while also reducing health-care costs? The answers offered by Democrats in Washington all rest on one principle: that increased government involvement can solve the problem. I fundamentally disagree. Common sense tells us that the government’s attempts to solve large problems more often create new ones. Common sense also tells us that a top-down, one-size-fits-all plan will not improve the workings of a nationwide health-care system that accounts for one-sixth of our economy. And common sense tells us to be skeptical when President Obama promises that the Democrats’ proposals “will provide more stability and security to every American.” With all due respect, Americans are used to this kind of sweeping promise from Washington. And we know from long experience that it’s a promise Washington can’t keep. Let’s talk about specifics. In his Times op-ed, the president argues that the Democrats’ proposals “will finally bring skyrocketing health-care costs under control” by “cutting . . . waste and inefficiency in federal health programs like Medicare and Medicaid and in unwarranted subsidies to insurance companies . . . .” First, ask yourself whether the government that brought us such “waste and inefficiency” and “unwarranted subsidies” in the first place can be believed when it says that this time it will get things right. The nonpartistan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) doesn’t think so: Its director, Douglas Elmendorf, told the Senate Budget Committee in July that “in the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.” Now look at one way Mr. Obama wants to eliminate inefficiency and waste: He’s asked Congress to create an Independent Medicare Advisory Council—an unelected, largely unaccountable group of experts charged with containing Medicare costs. In an interview with the New York Times in April, the president suggested that such a group, working outside of “normal political channels,” should guide decisions regarding that “huge driver of cost . . . the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives . . . .” Given such statements, is it any wonder that many of the sick and elderly are concerned that the Democrats’ proposals will ultimately lead to rationing of their health care by—dare I say it—death panels? Establishment voices dismissed that phrase, but it rang true for many Americans. Working through “normal political channels,” they made themselves heard, and as a result Congress will likely reject a wrong-headed proposal to authorize end-of-life counseling in this cost-cutting context. But the fact remains that the Democrats’ proposals would still empower unelected bureaucrats to make decisions affecting life or death health-care matters. Such government overreaching is what we’ve come to expect from this administration. Speaking of government overreaching, how will the Democrats’ proposals affect the deficit? The CBO estimates that the current House proposal not only won’t reduce the deficit but will actually increase it by $239 billion over 10 years. Only in Washington could a plan that adds hundreds of billions to the deficit be hailed as a cost-cutting measure. The economic effects won’t be limited to abstract deficit numbers; they’ll reach the wallets of everyday Americans. Should the Democrats’ proposals expand health-care coverage while failing to curb health-care inflation rates, smaller paychecks will result. A new study for Watson Wyatt Worldwide by Steven Nyce and Syl Schieber concludes that if the government expands health-care coverage while health-care inflation continues to rise “the higher costs would drive disposable wages downward across most of the earnings spectrum, although the declines would be steepest for lower-earning workers.” Lower wages are the last thing Americans need in these difficult economic times. Finally, President Obama argues in his op-ed that Democrats’ proposals “will provide every American with some basic consumer protections that will finally hold insurance companies accountable.” Of course consumer protection sounds like a good idea. And it’s true that insurance companies can be unaccountable and unresponsive institutions—much like the federal government. That similarity makes this shift in focus seem like nothing more than an attempt to deflect attention away from the details of the Democrats’ proposals—proposals that will increase our deficit, decrease our paychecks, and increase the power of unaccountable government technocrats. Instead of poll-driven “solutions,” let’s talk about real health-care reform: market-oriented, patient-centered, and result-driven. As the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon and others have argued, such policies include giving all individuals the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers; providing Medicare recipients with vouchers that allow them to purchase their own coverage; reforming tort laws to potentially save billions each year in wasteful spending; and changing costly state regulations to allow people to buy insurance across state lines. Rather than another top-down government plan, let’s give Americans control over their own health care. Democrats have never seriously considered such ideas, instead rushing through their own controversial proposals. After all, they don’t need Republicans to sign on: Democrats control the House, the Senate and the presidency. But if passed, the Democrats’ proposals will significantly alter a large sector of our economy. They will not improve our health care. They will not save us money. And, despite what the president says, they will not “provide more stability and security to every American.” We often hear such overblown promises from Washington. With first principles in mind and with the facts in hand, tell them that this time we’re not buying it. Today Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) circulated a draft outline for healthcare reform legislation. The outline does not include a public option, however, it creates Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OP)s- which are nonprofit, member-run health insurance companies. The framework also suggests a few revenue provisions for healthcare reform, including a 35 percent tax on insurance companies and insurance administrators for any health insurance plan that is above $8,000 for singles and $21,000 for family plans. It would also impose an annual fee of $2.3 billion on the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector and an annual fee of $6 billion on the health insurance sector, both beginning in 2010. Higher rates would be paid by larger families, older people and smokers. That’s just what people need more taxes. Baucus gave the Republicans on the committee 24 hours to agree with his proposal. I’m not sure what he meant by this maybe after 24 hours he will begin to kill one Senior per hour until they agree. Wednesday Night the President will be making his “revised sales pitch” to Americans, it is almost certain that the President will not substantially address the issues that Palin addresses above. Until then it will be difficult for the POTUS to change very many minds.

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