While Broadcast Media Buys 'Severe Weather' Excuse for Moving Obama Speech, Townhall, Politico Are Skeptical
If you have tickets for the Democratic National Convention and wanted to see President Barack Obama deliver his acceptance speech this Thursday at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium, you’ll be greatly disappointed. Despite the official excuse of severe weather -- forecasters put the chance of storms at 20-30 percent -- the change in venue really seems to be because Obama campaign officials fear they can't fill the 74,000-seat stadium.
Reporting that, of course, is unfathomable for the lapdog broadcast media, but some print and online reporters are skeptical.
Kate Hicks of Townhall.com wrote on September 4 “only 20,000 adoring fans can fit at the Time Warner Arena -- but at the very least, officials figure they can get that many people to show up.”
Guy Benson, also of Townhall wrote on September 5 “Democrats insist this call was based purely on the threat of severe weather, but they've tipped their hand about attendance concerns over the last few days. It looks like 22,000 cheering Obama acolytes will have to suffice.”
Townhall happens to be a conservative, news out but it's not just conservative journalists who are skeptical about the Democrats' official excuse. As Politico.com's Josh Gerstein and Byron Tau reported today:
Given that evening thunderstorms aren’t unusual for North Carolina in late summer, the decision raised questions about why Obama’s advisers were so determined to stage the convention’s closing night outdoors.
“What did organizers think the chance of rain would be on a September evening in Charlotte when they decided to put the Obama event at the stadium in the first place? Zero?” Charlotte Observer Editorial Page Editor Taylor Batten wrote on the paper’s blog.
“[I]t’s a simple question. … if you had a #Panthers game, Concert or Soccer match with a 20% chance of storms would you cancel 24 hrs prior?” WCNC-TV meteorologist Brad Panovich wrote on Twitter. “Severe threat is almost zero Thursday night & chance of rain is 20%.”
Until Wednesday morning, convention officials had insisted that Obama’s speech at Bank of America Stadium would go forward “rain or shine.” But meteorologists said the forecast was actually improving when convention officials pulled the plug and shifted the event to the Time Warner Cable Arena, which holds only about 15,000 people in its convention layout.
“My only beef is it’s not like this threat has changed much in the past week. If anything, the weather situation has gotten marginally better the closer we have gotten to tomorrow night,” Panovich told POLITICO, who added he didn’t object to the decision to nix the event in the interest of safety.
As Media Research Center President Brent Bozell told Ginni Thomas of The Daily Caller back on August 7,"there is a narrative that is evolving out there which is if the story helps Barack Obama re-election, it's news. If it doesn't, it's not news, you've seen story after story after story that has been completely spiked, on purpose, by the media."