Sell Us Marcelas: Fifth-Grade Protester Has Entire Family of Liberal Activists

Brent Baker recounted how CBS Evening News spotlighted fifth-grade protester Marcelas Owens on Tuesday night. David Shuster interviewed him on MSNBC on Tuesday morning. What neither network shared with the viewer is how Marcelas has become a constant talking point for his home-state Democrat Sen. Patty Murray, and how he is a spokesman for a liberal lobby, the Washington Community Action Network.

On February 26, Les Blumenthal of The Olympian reported Murray shared the Marcelas talking point at the White House health care summit:

"Sen. Patty Murray has told the story of Marcelas Owens dozens of times before, but Thursday she may never have had a bigger audience as she talked of the 10-year-old Seattle boy whose mother died after she lost her health insurance coverage."

...Marcelas, in a statement released by the Washington Community Action Network, thanked Murray for sharing his story with the president.

"I lost my mom because she didn’t have health care," Marcelas said. "Every day it’s hard not having her around. I don’t want any other kid to go through what I have gone through."

Senator Murray’s campaign website had a fuller version of the statement:

Marcelas Owens, whose entire family have been longtime members of the Washington Community Action Network, issued the following statement today thanking Senator Murray for her leadership:

"I want to thank Senator Murray for sharing my story with President Obama and other people in Congress. I lost my mom because she didn't have health care. Every day it's hard not having her around. I don't want any other kid to have to go through what I went through. That's why I don't understand why some politicians are saying that Congress should stop working to pass the health care reform bill. Every day we wait, more kids like me will lose someone they love. Thank you for fighting for me, Senator Murray."

Clearly, a ten-year-old boy who lost his mother is a heart-tugging anecdote. But, aside from the desirability of using grade-schoolers in political debates, more knowledge about how organized this Marcelas campaign is displays that CBS and MSNBC are receptive recyclers of liberal Democrat video-press-release ideas.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis