Never has the face of America's mainstream news media been more turned from the truth than in its reporting and analysis of the events of the Tea Party protests in Washington during the weekend the health care bill was narrowly passed.
In a politically provocative action, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi marched through the center of the protesters holding a large ceremonial gavel, surrounded primarily by members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Members of that caucus later charged they were assailed with racial invectives and even spat on by the protesters as they walked to the Capitol.
Several news cameras were following the parade of Democrats. Yet, not one of those cameras recorded any invectives being shouted, nor does video footage confirm a man spit on Congressman Emanuel Cleaver as Cleaver has insisted. What we do see is a protester with hands cupped around his mouth shouting kill the bill while Cleaver was shouting something back at him.
Which raises the question of just who was behaving badly.
What the news cameras did show was Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. recording the protesters as he walked past them. You see him panning the crowd with the camera. Surely Jackson would quickly share his video with the media if his camera had caught any such invectives being shouted.
Police and other security around the congressional parade heard nothing. And not one of the thousands of Tea Party protesters was arrested.
At a Tea Party rally in Nevada this weekend, conservative Andrew Breitbart (Breitbart.com) offered a substantial reward to anyone who has recorded proof of racial slurs being hurled at the congressmen or any other insults, racial or otherwise, as Democrats have charged; which the media, from the New York Times; to the Washington Post; to NBC and CNN, have reported as gospel.
So far, no one has come forward to collect the reward. And that includes Congressman John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement in the 1960's, who was one of the Congressional Black Caucus members declaring he was the target of racial slurs.
Something the racial slur brouhaha has accomplished is to distract attention away from the health care bill itself - which those same members of congress helped saddle on the backs of every American - except of course themselves, since senators, congressmen and their staffs are exempt.
The anger of the country is not grounded in racial divide. It is an anger being stoked by fear of economic loss - loss of personal freedoms - of frustration that the voice of the people is being ignored.
A dispatch from the McClatchy news service described those in Pelosi's Parade as running a "racial gauntlet" - and this verbiage was carried in many newspapers around the world. What is lacking in that verbiage are facts. And it is such a disingenuous slap at the right of Americans to speak out against that with which they disagree.