Objectivity doesn’t exist. Admit it.

by Jason Preston on August 10, 2009

This past Saturday, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times both covered the recent instances of violence at town hall meetings held by Democrats discussing health care reform (both on A1). The differences were striking:

From the Wall Street Journal:

Democrats have accused Republicans of manufacturing the opposition by organizing groups to attend the events and encouraging disruptive behavior. Republican organizers say the unrest reflects genuine anger about the proposed health-care changes.

Many lawmakers are now opting for smaller, more intimate meetings to hear from their constituents on issues such as health care, instead of town-hall meetings that have left them open to heckling and other distractions, health care reporter Janet Adamy discusses.

“Democrats may think that attacking or ignoring this growing chorus of Americans is a smart strategy, but they are obviously forgetting that these concerned citizens are voters as well,” said Paul Lindsay, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP’s campaign arm.

Rick Scott, who leads Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, a group that has helped publicize the local meetings, said: “The polls reveal the real picture of what is happening across the country — people are genuinely concerned, some are genuinely angry, and they are expressing themselves.”

From the New York Times:

Democrats have said the protesters are being organized by conservative lobbying groups like FreedomWorks. Republicans respond that the protests are an organic response to the Obama administration’s health care restructuring proposals.

There is no dispute, however, that most of the shouting and mocking is from opponents of those plans. Many of those opponents have been encouraged to attend by conservative commentators and Web sites.

“Become a part of the mob!” said a banner posted Friday on the Web site of the talk show host Sean Hannity. “Attend an Obama Care Townhall near you!” The exhortations do not advocate violence, but some urge opponents to be disruptive.

“Pack the hall,” said a strategy memo circulated by the Web site Tea Party Patriots that instructed, “Yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early.”

“Get him off his prepared script and agenda,” the memo continued. “Stand up and shout and sit right back down.”

Hmmmm…