E.J. Dionne: Shame on Me the Media for Over-hyping Right Wing Town Hall Screamers!

The Washington Post columnist, on Sept. 3:

Health-care reform is said to be in trouble partly because of those raucous August town-hall meetings in which Democratic members of Congress were besieged by shouters opposed to change.

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? [...]

But the only citizens who commanded widespread media coverage last month were the right-wingers. And I bet you thought the media were "liberal."

Dionne, Aug. 20:

This is not about the politics of populism. It's about the politics of the jackboot. It's not about an opposition that has every right to free expression. It's about an angry minority engaging in intimidation backed by the threat of violence. [...]

All this is taking place as the country debates the president's health-care proposal. There is much that is disturbing in that discussion. Shouting down speakers is never a good thing, and many lies are being told about the contents of the health-care bills. The lies should be confronted, but freedom involves a lot of commotion and an open contest of ideas, even when some of the parties say things that aren't true and act in less than civil ways.

Yet if we can't draw the line at the threat of violence, democracy begins to disintegrate. Power, not reason, becomes the stuff of political life.

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  • Xeones||

    Cognitive dissonance much?

  • ||

    Maybe on Aug 20, Dionne was referring to SEIU thugs that beat up or intimated protesters as the jackboots?

    (I could barely type that with a straight face.)

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Is it really difficult to think that perhaps the healthcare bullshit being spewed by the hollow suits is just not all that popular? Must there always be some type of catch?

    Am I crazy for thinking this? It almost seems like it.

  • Anonymous||

    Dissent is the highest form of muckraking.

  • Xeones||

    Power, not reason, becomes the stuff of political life.

    We turned that corner a very long time ago.

  • Joe M||

    Matt, you are being a lazy bastard. E.J. Dionne is just waaaaay too easy. Try doing some real work.

    Dionne's problem is he's so used to spouting whatever random bullshit he wants, which he has done for decades, that he forgets it's incredibly easy to fact check his sorry ass. He is a worthless moron.

  • Fluffy||

    Yet if we can't draw the line at the threat of violence, democracy begins to disintegrate.

    Maybe, but if we do draw the line at the threat of violence, liberty begins to disintegrate.

    So we have to pick one.

    I'm sure there are plenty of issues where Dionne would find the threat of violence OK.

    If there was a major political movement attempting to revoke the 13th Amendment, and it looked like they might put together the votes to do it, it would be entirely appropriate to turn to those people and say, "Hey, vote all you want, but if you win this vote it's violence time, bitches."

    And that would represent a "disintegration of democracy", but that wouldn't really matter a whole hell of a lot.

  • Xeones||

    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

    Ben Franklin did not actually say this, but who says Ben Franklin has to have said everything that is true.

  • ||

    All this is taking place as the country debates the president's health-care proposal.

    What debate? If it had not been for these townhall incidents the healthcare bill would have been rammed through congress a month ago. This has got to be the most disingenious sentiment currently making the rounds. Nobody backing this bill wants any form of debate. Because if they did that means they would have to explain how it works. Which they can't.

  • robc||

    Ben Franklin did not actually say this, but who says Ben Franklin has to have said everything that is true.

    Ditto the God/beer quote commonly attributed to Franklin.

  • ||

    The media is starting to realize it missed on the one thing they are supposed to be good at; reporting the political horse race. The townhall meetings were not rightwing astroturf. They were not even products of the GOP. They were an expression of the country having had enough of deficits and debt. Obama wasted too much political capital on the stimulus and TARP and the country did not support a new healthcare entitlment. But the media was too busy repeating DNC talking points and looking down their noses at average people.

  • Warty||

    Ben Franklin did say that he loved fucking French whores, though.

  • ||

    "Ben Franklin did say that he loved fucking French whores, though."

    Who doesn't?

  • ||

    Ben Franklin did not actually say this, but who says Ben Franklin has to have said everything that is true.


    Ben Franklin

  • CaptainSmartass||

    Warty | September 3, 2009, 9:54am | #
    Ben Franklin did say that he loved fucking French whores, though.



    Yeah, well, who doesn't?

  • CaptainSmartass||

    John | September 3, 2009, 10:05am | #
    "Ben Franklin did say that he loved fucking French whores, though."

    Who doesn't?



    *Shakes tiny fist of rage*

  • !||

    Nice, Dionne provides the answer key before writing his quizzes.

  • Tony||

    They were an expression of the country Larouchites and Hannity followers who don't know what the fuck they're talking about having had enough of deficits and debt.

  • ||

    Dionne : "But the only citizens who commanded widespread media coverage last month were the right-wingers. And I bet you thought the media were "liberal."


    The only reason the MSM has been pursuing this story is to try and tar and feather the participants as 'extreme wackos','fringe right wing racists' etc... ad nauseum, just as they try and do to any non-progressives they feel are a threat to their homogenous narrative.

    Mission fail.

  • Anonymous||

    Actually, doubled, his wording is correct. Doing what the Left does is anything but liberal.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Hey, Tony, you didn't finish typing above. It's "LaRouchite Democrats".

  • Tony||

    TLG,

    I don't give a flying fuck what party the psychotic idiots claim to belong to. You're the one defending stupidity like theirs on a daily basis. Does that make you a Democrat now?

  • Warty||

    You're the one defending stupidity like theirs on a daily basis.

    You hear that, TLG? You're against the health care reforms, and they're against the health care reforms. You're therefore defending them on a daily basis. Q. E. Motherfucking D.


    Shut the fuck up, Tony.

  • ||

    We didn't have any town hall forums in Hawaii because our entire congressional delegation was too chickenshit to listen to actual voters.

    Oh, wait, Rep. Mazie Hirono did hand-pick a dozen or so pre-screened invited liberals to sit down with her and ask her questions -- all of which she required be submitted in advance so her staff could research them and tell her what she thinks.

    This from the same Rep. Hirono who criticized Bush for holding fawning town hall meetings with pre-screened admirers.

  • JB||

    Dionne is a retarded fetus. Why his drivel is published I don't know.

  • !||

    Dionne is a retarded fetus.

    Wouldn't he need to be aborted under the new 'reforms'? For the better of the many.

  • mark||

    What debate? If it had not been for these townhall incidents the healthcare bill would have been rammed through congress a month ago.

    So true! I could not be more proud of the Tea Party folks here in Austin, TX, who confronted Lloyd Doggett outside that Randall's supermarket and got all loud and shit. And I could not thank the Congressman enough for referring to them as a "mob", thus encouraging Tea Partiers around the country to engage their Congresspersons and scare the shit out of them too.

  • Jane||

    Anyone who doesn't support the health care reforms is a terrorist.

  • Retarded Fetus||

    I assure you Tony and I are not the same. I once played the guy in checkers, he drooled on the King and bit the head off the Rook.

  • Retarded Fetus||

    No one got that one? Come on! Rook, King, checkers? Do I have to spell it out? It's comedy gold.

  • Hypocrisy||

    I am alive and kicking. No admits that they hang out with me, but I'm at all the best parties in DC.

  • ||

    You wish me to trust the government with my health care because, Nancy Pelosi lets C. Rangel slide on multiple tax problems, or that the president said he was not interested in looking back at water boarding, but his hand picked do boy Holder starts a broad investigation into this very subject, maybe because this same puppet dropped charges against ACORN members who clearly intimidated voters outside a polling station. Could it be a promise of no more pork, a lie, a promise of ousting lobbyist, a lie, the promise of transparency, a lie? I know a promise of honest government, with at least two tax cheats given cabinet post, one even in charge of the IRS, if not all that, how about using his own political machine to run the 2010 Census no conflict there right. Then of course, those he gave power to label those who do not agree with him as terrorist or worse. Or is it because he says one thing but his Party does another. Then we have Nancy Pelosi saying to anti Bush fanatics she loves opposing conflict, and then labels the anti health care group as astroturfers, and terrorists, even while her husband benefits from the Stimulus Bill. Oh yes trust your health care to these split tongue, two face power whores be my guest, at least after all is said and done those who saw the fallacy of such trust may at least enjoy a little laugh. Do not get me wrong the system needs attention, but power crazed Czars and liars are not the answer. Bottom line let government regulate the system do not allow them to be the system. As we have been led to believe, cheats and liars are uniquely qualified to write effective law, but have a tendency to raid the cookie jar if left alone with it.

  • ||

    Wasn't it Ben Frankliln who said, "Ben Franklin has to have said everything that is true."

    Seriously, remember, on 8/20, the liberal media was still pushing their "this raucous behavior will backfire on them" meme. Problem is, it didn't. What backfired, as Dionne now admits, was the liberal media's attempt to push the "this raucous behavior will backfire on them" meme.

  • ||

    Of course this dickbag is the one who is advocating the use of force by having the government use its police powers to make people buy insurance and tell them what medical treatments they can get (is that even part of the police power?).

  • ||

    Thats what happens when your hack... you can not see these kinds of things / contradictions...

  • ||

    Every few years the Inside-the-Beltway combine realizes there is a world populated by real people in the out beyond. They don't like it and don't care who knows it.

  • ||

    E J Dionne,George Stephanopoulos, Emeril LeGasse ( eh?) all born in my hometown.
    Barney Frank our congressman; the late Ted K. our senator.
    I don't live there any more. Barney is the only one left.

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