Assoc. Press Downplays Townhall Anger

-By Warner Todd Huston

In an August 17 piece on former DNC Chair Howard Dean’s appearance on a morning news show, the Associated Press did its best to downplay the high passions and anger showed by thousands of average citizens at townhall meetings across the country.

Dean was heard insisting that Obama not back down from including the “public option” in any healthcare bill, saying that such a feature is “indispensable” to its success at reforming our healthcare system. After the opening paragraphs, the AP characterized the possible removal of the public option by emphasizing Republicans and downplaying the outrage seen by citizens themselves.

Dean appeared on morning news shows Monday amid increasing indications the Obama White House is retreating from the public option in the face of vocal opposition from Republicans and some vocal participants at a town-hall-style meetings around the country.

“Some vocal participants at town-hall style meetings,” AP? Anyone watching the news accounts of the townhall meetings over the last three weeks will see far more than merely “some vocal participants” displaying their disagreement with Obamacare policies. The outrage being seen at these meetings has been the hottest news item around for weeks. There is far more than “some” vocal participants.

Yet, the AP made a specific effort to make this a “Republican” issue, as if Congressional Republicans are the main reason that the public option might be off the table and not the outrage exhibited by average citizens at may townhall meetings.

Apparently the AP needs to be reminded that the GOP has little power in Congress and that being in the minority has little ability to create “pressure” that might cause Democrats to bend.

This seems to be a case of the AP trying to shift the focus from voter anger over Obamacare to a mere political contest between the GOP and the Democrats thereby defusing the passions against Obama’s healthcare policies felt by millions of Americans.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,,,,, Human Events Magazine,, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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