I would assume that many of our St. Louis readers attended the Organizing for America (OFA) health insurance reform rally last Sunday night (described here and here). But if you didn’t, you absolutely did not read about it the next morning in St. Louis major newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 1500-2000 people rallied for health care reform and the Post-Dispatch had zip to say about it.
So you can imagine my surprise this morning when I open my paper and I find — on the front page no less — a big write-up for the Whole Foods “buycott” planned by Bill Hennessy and his merry band of crazies, otherwise known as St. Louis Tea Party Coalition, (who were politely described by the Post-Dispatch as a “conservative-leaning group that opposes President Barack Obama’s health care reform proposal” — a truly classic piece of understatement). The teapartiers want to counter a boycott proposed by some of the folks who are angered by the anti-health care opinions of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who recently vented in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (see here and here for some earlier ShowMeProgress articles on the Mackey issue).
Why does this matter, you ask? It matters because the teapartiers’ buycott and the OFA rally have in common the fact that they are both examples of political theater, meant to invigorate the troops of course, but, more importantly, meant to affect the narrative surrounding health care reform. Right now, the teapartiers and others of their ilk have had some success hijacking the story — for instance, some polls suggest that support for reform dropped somewhat during the August recess when the teaparty kiddies ran wildest. And part of the reason that a few loud-mouthed thugs have managed to do this has been because a compliant media cooperated to highlight their tantrums while virtually ignoring the aspirations of the majority of U.S. citizens who voted for Barack Obama and his health care reform plans.
So maybe you might want to drop a line or give a call to the Post-Dispatch? Just suggesting ….