At the “Romneyville” camp before a protest march to the convention on Monday afternoon, I overheard a Channel 10 news reporter coaching one of the “Black Bloc” members to push on camera that the group is not violent: “You are there to protect rights, right?” The Romneyville encampment was in one of the most distraught parts of Tampa, a place where the perpetually homeless congregate, some by choice, some because of mental illness and addiction. I witnessed the camp participants’ opinions being given respectable weight by the media — today, one need only hold a sign expressing hatred of Republicans to receive star treatment.
It was quite a thing: an AP reporter treated with all seriousness the ramblings of a member of the “Rainbow Family,” an elderly man in need of hygiene assistance reciting “poetry” on stage, in “the tradition of the Beats.” Recall the AP routinely treats the opinions of Tea Party members — people studying history and the Constitution, law-abiding citizens who are actively and persuasively engaged in the political process — with a brush-off more fitting for this fellow.
The Republican agenda is one of hate – that’s the only message here. It’s the “narrative,” repeated over and over.