Wednesday, July 29, 2009

AP Vastly Understates Obama Protest Turnout in Bristol, Virginia

Why does this not surprise me? While making fun of the good people of Southwest Virginia, Brantley Hargrove repeats AP's lazy or intentionally inaccurate reporting of the protest at the Bristol, Virginia Kroger. Numerous callers to John Quaintance's radio show this afternoon reported in excess of 1400 protesters while AP reports "more than 200."

One organizer reported that they had over 800 new people sign up, on site, to be a part of the movement that had never signed up before. (It was unclear to me whether this was the Tea Party movement or another movement that was orchestrated to protest Obamacare.) Another caller reported that there were "more than 200" protesters on site by 1:00 EDT, several hours before King Barry began wooing the overpaid union bagboys at Kroger. I understand it is not uncommon for the Associated Press to write the story before the story, but calling this a Laphamization is probably being a bit charitable in light of the media's consistent under-reporting of Obama protesters and Tea Partiers.

Most of the Quaintance show was devoted to the many callers who were present at the protest and were outraged when one or more Secret Service agents allegedly "leveled" their guns, "swept" and pointed them in the direction of the crowd. Apparently, the "hicks" have a real problem when the folks in charge of protecting members of a gun-hating administration (that would prefer it if only the "well-trained" military and police were armed) do not exercise basic gun safety rules. Maybe they were too busy eating cupcakes to pay attention when that subject came up in training class.

UPDATE: Here is video that purports to include the sniper. Considering that the sniper was well behind Obama in the motorcade, judge for yourself whether this was necessary.

More on the Secret Service. Carol also has more on the gun incident, including photos.

UPDATE 2: Michael Pollard has more on the gun pointing and the crowd count:

Oh, and having Secret Service point guns out of vehicles at the crowds as
his motorcade passes by doesn't help his image any. That's right, yesterday at his healthcare promotional stop at the Kroger in Bristol Virginia, reported by thirty-something different people who saw for themselves - rifles pointed out of vehicle windows as they moved down the street. And reported on a local radio call-in show by several of them. On the topic of that meeting, there were some 1500 people that showed up. National news only reported 250 people, because that was all that had tickets for the employees-only meeting inside the store.

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At 11:38 PM, Blogger East TN Conservative said...

Being that I was there there was a large amount of people. We arrived at 1:00 there where 100 or so people walking all around that part of bristol, by the time Obama's motorcade came through there where about 1400.
Yes we did have a M4 pointed at us. The VA State police where not pleased either to have a gun pointed at their backs. I have never been at a motorcade where the one suv filled with some special op or something had all the windows down showing the arsenal either.
The car with the M4 was 17 card back from Obama's Limo way to far back to have prevented anything.

At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent reporting!

I reposted your article over on facebook.

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Tennessee Walts said...

My wife was there with her sign and anti-Obama attitude also. I'm warning you Obama you better stay away from her.
The AP article article tried to diminish the protesters as "more than 200".
The AP article I read ended with a sentence that said over 2700 people showed up for a free health clinic in southwestern virgnia recently.
I guess this unrelated tidbit was to show how greedy and heartless the protesters were.

Of course,
Free beer and cigarettes would get 10,000 people

Free Bristol race tickets would get 25,000 people

Free sex would get 100,000 people


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