CNN’s Crowley dismisses fact that right wing groups are sending protesters to Town Hall meetings

CNN’s Candy Crowley has been covering DC and Capitol Hill for years. But, she’s off-base and way out-of-touch on what’s going on at the Town Hall meetings this summer. In a report today on the protests, she said, “Republicans are also encountering angry voters but Democrats seem to be getting the worst of it and they accuse Republican operatives of sending protesters to their Town Hall meetings, but even if there is any truth to that charge…..the reality is that poll after poll shows that americans are divided about obama style health care reform.” Watch her and note the tone:
See, to Candy, this is the usual back and forth of politics. Republicans count on that kind of lazy reporting. That way, the GOP-supported thuggery looks like part of the give and take of politics instead of the extreme behavior that it is. And, Crowley is enabling it.

I’d strongly suggest Candy or her producer watch Rachel’s piece from last night. Or, if she doesn’t want to watch a competitor, Candy could read Greg Sargent’s piece, Anti-Reform Group Takes Credit For Helping Gin Up Town Hall Rallies, because Candy would see that the right wing groups are taking credit for the protests:

Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, the operation that’s running a national campaign against a public health care option, is now publicly taking credit for helping gin up the sometimes-rowdy outbursts targeting House Dems at town hall meetings around the country, raising questions about their spontaneity.

CPR is the group headed by controversial former hospitals exec Rick Scott that’s spending millions on ads attacking reform in all sorts of lurid ways, a campaign that’s being handled by the same P.R. mavens behind the Swift Boat Vets.

In response to my questions, a spokesman for the group confirmed that it has undertaken a concerted effort to get people out to the town hall meetings to protest reform. The spokesperson, Brian Burgess, confirmed that CPR is emailing out “town hall alert” flyers, and schedules of town hall meetings, to its mailing list.

These efforts — combined with CPR’s effort to enlist Tea Party-ers, as reported yesterday by TPM — provide a glimpse into the ways anti-reform groups are trying to create a sense of public momentum in their favor.

So, it’s not just Democrats making accusations, per Candy Crowley. It’s the right wingers taking credit.

A little more actual reporting and a little less typical, lazy DC reporting would serve the viewers of CNN well.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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