It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a bright sunny day in down town Vancouver, Washington and Obama was still president. In the spring, a young lefty journalists thoughts turn toward bias and journalistic integrity gets thrown out the window. There’s a reason they’re called “Authorised Journalists” after all.
I gave my report about the events of yesterdays rally here and late last night I found another version online. In this version, courtesy of the local lefty rag, we hear a tale of bitter, hateful people, clinging to guns and religion. A rampaging mob, washing through Vancouver without mercy. Wait a second, were we even at the same event?
Let’s take a look at this bizarro world version of the Pork Protest, shall we?
Anger at Barack Obama. Anger at high taxes and bailout spending. Anger at trillions of dollars in debt.
At George W. Bush. At European socialism. At illegal aliens and dope smugglers. At corrupt politicians and Wall Street executives. At “people who lied to get mortgages.” At Muslims.
Quiet frankly, if your aren’t angry by now with the way that Barack Hussein Obama has been running this country into the ground, how the economy is dying with each “newbie” misstep, and with every bowing and scraping and buddy handshake, you’re either on the dole, or you haven’t been paying attention.
Here we have our first mischaracterisation, he starts off his opinion, excuse me, news story by stating we were angry. No one I talked to at the rally seemed all that angry to me. Sure they were upset at the way the new president is handling things, but I wouldn’t consider them angry per se, concerned is more like it. He further states we’re angry at Muslims and Wall Street executives. I was there and the correct way to report this would have been Wall Street executives and corrupt politicians who lied to enrich themselves and Muslim Terrorists. Are we still denying Barney Frank’s involvement in the financial crisis Mr. Reporter? And Muslim Terrorists are not all Muslims, unless the reporter is trying to insinuate that all Muslims are terrorists. Seriously though, who wants their leader bowing at the waist to a foreign power? The founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves.
Several hundred angry people flooded the plaza outside the Clark County Public Service Center on Saturday, catching an anti-tax wave that’s been building as the Obama Administration and a Democratic Congress pour public money into an economy in recession and ailing corporations deemed too big to fail.
“We’re here today because we were sold a bill of goods,” organizer Laine Johson told the crowd of several hundred flag-waving, sign-carrying protesters. “People told us we’d have change.”
Johnson said the point of the protest was Obama’s unprecedented economic stimulus spending. But he got roars from the crowd when he added that politicians are “attempting to change the foundation of our country. So let me remind you of that foundation: Our country is built on a foundation of following God,” he said.
“God is our leader.”
Firstly it’s “Laine Johnson” not “Laine Johson”
Several hundred is a conservative, sic, estimate of the number of people at the rally. Sure the rally was anti-tax, I don’t know anyone who likes paying taxes, although I suspect there might be one or two. It’s not just the Obama administration either. It’s been building for a while, even through the Bush administration and earlier. People are sick and tired of having an increasing amount of their money taken and used in a manner that the don’t agree with. And the insinuation that were were all religious fanatics is disingenuous. I happen to know there was at least one conservative Atheist in attendance and he didn’t seem to be offended by the religious talk. Which I might add was only a very small part of the speeches at the rally. The speeches were very inclusive in not demonizing any one group, and in welcoming all to the anti tax movement. Besides, our coins still say “In God We Trust” and this nation was founded as a Christian nation, regardless of what Obama may like the rest of the world to think.
He urged the crowd to get ready for the Congressional elections of 2010 and the presidential election of 2012. “This is not a rally to blow off steam,” Johnson said. “This is a rally to make a real change.”
Real economic stimulus is tax cuts, said John Russell, a Washougal city councilman. “We believe a government that spends recklessly is more dangerous than a temporary recession,” he said.
Also appearing before the crowd were several huge papier-mache pig heads and a distinguished-looking gentleman in a tricorn hat, pantaloons and boots. He said he was Thomas Jefferson; when pressed for another name, he refused to give one.
Before reciting the Declaration of Independence from memory, the very excited Mr. Jefferson howled into the megaphone that the United States is the greatest nation in the world “not by action, chance or coincidence but by destiny!”
“USA! USA!” the crowd chanted.
What the hell is “Papier-mache”?
I’m not really sure what’s wrong with trying to get people involved in the political process, but whatever. Perhaps it’s because the Authorised Journalist realises they’re going to be working toward getting conservatives elected and not liberals. Nah, that couldn’t be it…that would mean the journalist was biased, and we all know that they’re impartial observers.
Tax cuts do lead to better economic prosperity jackass. If you tax the people to death, no one can afford to buy anything, and businesses are forced to increase their prices to pay for them as well. Tax and Spend is a failed economic model and only the uniformed, socialists and liberals seem to have not gotten the message.
Correction, there were a total of TWO paper-mache pig heads, worn by TWO peaceful rally attendees. I guess Scott Hewitt can’t count. I suppose this also brings into question his estimate of the number of people who attended the event as well, let alone his assertion of what went on there. It’s like he and I were at two different rallies.
“Howled into the megaphone…” Really? Are you serious? Did Thomas Jefferson turn into a dog on stage? I know reciting the entire Declaration of Independence from memory is an amazing feat, but turning into a dog too? Damn, what were you smoking Scott? Seriously though, the destiny of which Thomas Jefferson spoke of is something the founding fathers believed in. Something that Mr. Hewitt seems to have forgotten. And “USA USA” isn’t so bad a thing to chant at a patriotic rally is it? Maybe we should have been chanting “USSR! USSR! USSR!” instead?
After the speeches, protesters marched to Esther Short Park, holding aloft long strings of signs displaying what Johnson said is the astronomical size of the stimulus package: a 1.3 followed by 11 zeroes — or $1.3 trillion. (That’s how much President Obama speculated, in an interview with CNBC, the stimulus might ultimately cost.)
“I don’t like the direction this country is heading,” said Larry Patella of Vancouver during the walk. “In my opinion we are a Christian nation. I’m a Republican. But Bush did us dirty with his compassionate conservatism.”
What to cut? “Social programs should be cut to the hilt,” Patella said.
His friend Ralph Peabody added that the city of Vancouver should “get out of the economic development business” that’s resulted in a downtown hotel, parking garage and spruced-up Esther Short Park over the past decade.
“The city has no business being in business,” Peabody said. “We should let the free market be free.”
“Marched”, while technically accurate imparts a militaristic theme to the rally. “Ambled, or walked” is more accurate a description. Now I’m not saying that the people he interviewed didn’t say what he says they did, but it wouldn’t be the first time a reporter has gotten a quote wrong, and we all know Scott Hewitt can’t count. Also, are these all of the people he interviewed, or are these just the ones he got to say what he wanted them to? He couples the first quote about “compassionate conservatism” with the one about cutting social programs and economic development business. Roll it all up and spin it the right way, add some irony with the event ending in a walk to the very same park and presto, you’ve successfully tainted what people said into your own opinion instead of just reporting. Fair and balanced? Never heard of it. What’s so wrong with a free market anyway?
Some insisted their beef with Obama isn’t personal.
“It’s not about the color of his skin,” said Pam DeWeese of the Green Meadows neighborhood, who would gladly have voted for black conservatives like Michael Steele or J.C. Watts. “They’re really black. Obama’s just half black,” she said.
DeWeese said she has left the Republican party because it’s not conservative enough. She considers herself a libertarian now.
Others’ anger was pointedly personal. Obama came in for a drubbing for never having served in the military, for “bowing at the waist” to Saudi Arabia, for sharing some kind of secret thumb-shake with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, for warming up to communist Cuba.
“He’s an illegal alien,” insisted Lin Baker of Vancouver, one of several protesters whose signs claimed that Obama’s birth certificate was falsified. “He’s usurped the presidency and he’s using it to protect illegal aliens like himself. I’m very knowledgeable about what this resident of the White House has done.
“I pray to God he’s removed from office.”
Only “welfare recipients, dogs, dead people and politicians” voted for Obama, she said.
“I voted for Bush twice,” said Charlie Bruce of Vancouver. “I was extremely disappointed in him. In his last term of office he lost the faith. His tax cuts are going to end, you know. They should have been made permanent.”
“Some insist”? How about everyone? It isn’t about his ethnicity or political leanings, it’s about 1.3 trillion in new debt which our kids and grand kids will still be paying off for their entire lives. The way Mr. Authorised Journalist tells it, it’s about race, pure and simple.
Since when is bowing and scraping to a foreign ruler strictly a personal issue? I’d think it’d be an issue for everyone in this country to have their leader prostrating himself in deference to a foreign dictator. And what American president in his right mind would even visit Hugo Chavez, who likened President Bush to the Devil, let alone shake hands with him like there were old pals. While the jury is still out on how many dead people voted for Obama, courtesy of ACORN, I’ll allow that the statement about dogs and welfare recipients was a little bit over the line. I know welfare recipients who voted for McCain, and slandering a good dogs character by saying he voted for Obama will get you bitten. Careful there. Also, the tax cuts should have been made permanent, then we wouldn’t be having such a problem with the new administration treating the populaion as their own personal piggy bank.
As far as him being an illegal alien, or at least not a natural born citizen, the jury is still out on that. I do find it interesting that Obama has blocked all efforts to produce his birth certificate so the issue can be put to rest. That’s as far as I’m willing to go on that issue at this point. But seriously, how hard is it to just produce his birth certificate? Whatever.
Nice hit piece Mr. Hewitt, if you only held the last part of the first amendment in as much regard as you do the first. I’m guessing you have as much disdain for the second amendment as well.
If you’d like to express your appreciation of Scott Hewitt’s reporting, he can be reached here:
Scott Hewitt: 360-735-4525 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please show him more professionalism and courtesy than he showed us, even though he doesn’t deserve it.
It was a beautiful, sunny day today with temperatures in the mid to high 60′s. I arrived an hour early so I could find a good parking space. By the time the event started, I’m told 1,500 people were in attendance. My son and his sign got lots of attention from the people at the rally, with many comments being about how cute he and the sign were. After several rousing speeches, including one guy who recited from memory the entire Declaration of Independence, complete with period garb, we marched out in an orderly fashion, select members being handed part of the $1,300,000,000,000,000,000 to carry down to the park.
We marched the five blocks or so to the park and the people with the numbers lined up to complete the amount of debt generated by Obama’s “Porkulous” bill ($1.3B).
After standing around for a bit and talking with each other it was announced that the event was over so my son and I went over and ate some lunch. A couple of blog readers from Portland showed up and we talked for a while.
All in all it was a very good rally, with all political parties given equal time. No one political affiliation was singled out as being evil. It was all very inclusive, which is a good thing.
I didn’t hear much in the way of backtalk from the other side. In fact, I didn’t even see any counter protesters. I did hear one guy grumble something about “He’s only been in office 100 days and you want to impeach him?” I wanted to tell him it’ll take 100 years to undo the damage he’s already done in his first 100 days, but I ignored him and kept walking down to the park.
While we were eating, I heard another rally member tell of a guy who stated to her that “He loved paying taxes!” Her response to him was “Great! Here, you can pay mine!” Apparently he wasn’t too excited at the idea. Funny that.
After lunch, as my legs were hurting pretty bad, a nice older couple gave my son and I a ride back to our vehicle so we could go home. We arrived at home, tired and sore, and a little sunburned, but feeling good inside. Today I stood up for what I believed and it feels great!
Below are some select photos from todays event. You can see all the photos I took today, and a couple of videos at my Flickr stream.