Adventus

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“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

All the News that Fits

I'm not much for news bashing, but this story on "Countdown" last night intrigued me because it was from Texas (and nearby), so I went looking for it. What I didn't find was the most interesting part about it.

Here's the story I first saw:



I looked up "Pete Olson town hall" to find more. And all I found about this was on blogs or websites. Through Think Progress I found this article from "The Daily News of Galveston County", which is remarkable for two things. One is this:

Even a group of Girl Scouts found themselves part of the debate. Cali Brown, 9, of Clear Lake, was joined by some Galveston County Scouts to hand out different colored ribbons that served as code for how those attending felt about health care reform.

Brown, who said she was inspired to get into the health care debate after watching her mother struggle to find insurance to cover the family, plans to send the ribbons to Congress as an informal poll of what people expect from the government when it comes to reform.

She said most of those who pulled ribbons for her project chose the aqua marine-colored piece of cloth that represented a desire for improving the system.
The other remarkable part of this article is the dog that didn't bark. There is absolutely no reference to the events in the video "Countdown" had. So either this encounter wasn't newsworthy, or this article is about a different town meeting. Rep. Olson did hold a town meeting in Sugar Land on August 22nd, but The Daily News article is dated August 30, so it probably reports on a meeting on August 29th. I found one news report on the August 22nd meeting, and one blog post. Think Progress and Raw Story only refer to "a recent townhall meeting," but the Crooks and Liars post seems to indicate the meeting was on the 29th (the post was put up late on the afternoon of August 30th). Let me close this tedious loop: the YouTube video was put up on August 29th. And it's even better than what "Countdown" broadcast:



So this happened on August 29th, was reported by the local news (which didn't deem this contretemps newsworthy), and hasn't been reported by anyone else since. This is what I got searching the Houston Chronicle through Google. Nothing more than a schedule of meetings; no report on this at all.

Now, granted, a town hall meeting by a freshman GOP representative in a small community south of Houston is not earth-shaking news for which you could expect more reporters than participants. But this kind of reaction, especially in Texas, is interesting. I wouldn't call Lamarque a hot bed of Texas liberalism:

La Marque, also known as Highlands and as Buttermilk Station, is an incorporated residential community on Interstate Highway 45, State Highway 3, and Farm roads 519, 1765, and 2004, some twelve miles northwest of Galveston in northwestern Galveston County. The community was originally known as Highlands, probably for its location near Highland Creek, and was renamed in the 1890s when residents learned of another mainland community of the same name. Madam St. Ambrose, postmistress, chose the new name, which in French means "the mark."
So apparently even in south Texas there isn't universal support for the "deathers" and disruptors of town hall meetings who grabbed all the headlines in August, or a universal belief that government is what's wrong with American healthcare.

Wonder if this will get any more headlines than it already hasn't?

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