WaPo Skips Over Obama Protesters, But Perry Campaign Story Dominated by Protesters

The Washington Post reported on Obama's bus tour without making much of the protesters (but promoted supporters strangely suggesting he "inherited a very big deficit.") The president's conversation with Tea Party activist Ryan Rhodes only appeared once -- in the Fact Checker column, as the Post's Glenn Kessler suggested it was dubious for Rhodes to claim Vice President Biden compared the Tea Party to terrorists, and awarded Obama a "rare Geppetto" (as opposed to the usual liar's "Pinocchio") for defending Biden.

But in Friday's Post, Krissah Thompson's report on Rick Perry's campaigning in New Hampshire was dominated by protesters and hecklers from the left. The headline was "Perry hits bumps on campaign trail in NH: Candidate faces tough questions from protesters, others."


PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- Newly-minted presidential candidate Rick Perry got a taste Thursday of the rough-and-tumble nature of presidential politics, with protesters dogging him on the campaign trail, demanding to know whether he thinks Social Security is unconstitutional and begging him to follow through on threats of Texas seceding.

Nearly two dozen hecklers greeted the Texas governor with signs saying, “Ricky Go Home” and “Seniors Say NO to Ricky.” As Perry prepared for a meet-and-greet at a cafe downtown, they began chanting, “Hands off Social Security and Medicare.”

“He’s appealing to the tea party,” said Larry Drake, a retired federal worker and Democrat who said he came Thursday to show his opposition to the Republican governor. “It’s like George W. Bush on steroids.”

At least Drake was identified as a Democrat.

Thompson then added the boy "prompted by his mother" to ask about evolution. She left out the mother sneering "Ask him why he doesn't believe in science," but quoted Perry's answer that the evolution theory has some gaps in it. The reporter followed up that Texas faced "intense national scrutiny" (read: liberal media bias) over its teaching of evolutionism. John Tinios, a voter who seemed impressed (but not completely won over) by Perry's personal appeal, was quoted. Then it was back to the hecklers:

On Thursday, Perry’s stop in Portsmouth was marked by meetings with curious businessmen and voters who came out to shout him down as he shook hands and patted toddlers’ heads.

“Did you say Social Security is unconstitutional?” Gail Mitchell, a small-business owner from Barrington, yelled as the governor walked along the sidewalk.

A man shouted, “Please secede,” referring to comments Perry has made about Texas leaving the United States because of what he considered encroachment by the federal government. Perry ignored them with a tight smile.

Thompson did not .

At an event in Dover later in the day, Perry ate lunch with five handpicked Republican activists, including a state legislator. As they chatted, Jamie Contois, who had driven two hours to meet the candidate, interrupted politely to ask about his jobs plan, which she said she opposes.

Contois kept the conversation going for nearly 15 minutes, stepping aside when two young girls approached to shake Perry’s hands, then jumping back into the conversation.

“His jobs plan sounds a lot like trickle-down economics,” Contois said later. “We’ve seen those policies enforced and they’ve led to a massive crash of the economy.”

Thompson never described the protesters and hecklers as "liberal," despite the "trickle-down" lingo. The RedState blog reports what Thompson somehow left out about these protesters in the story. 

Larry Drake is chairman of the Portsmouth City Democratic Committee.

Jaime Contois (pictured at right) --Thompson misspelled her first name -- is New Hampshire state director of Working Families Win,  whose website proclaims it's "working to make sure low and middle income people have quality, affordable, guaranteed health care, living wages and green jobs, workers rights, fair trade and affordable housing."

Gail Mitchell was a Regional Field Office Organizer for Chris Dodd for President in 2008 and is a group organizer for the group Democracy For America (run by Howard Dean's brother Jim)  in the Rockingham/Strafford county area.

ABC News also failed to identify Mitchell's Democrat credentials, but added more flavor as to just how anti-Perry these people were:

What Perry may not have loved, however, is the treatment he received just 24-hours later at a meet-and-greet stop in this picturesque Seacoast town where he encountered about two-dozen protesters who shouted at him, held signs with slogans like “Another Texas idiot for sale,” and followed him into a cafe to yell some more.

The protesters, some of whom were senior citizens and members of the New Hampshire Alliance For Retired American gathered on a sidewalk more than an hour before Perry arrived at the event. (The group alerted reporters to their presence here with a press release the day before.)

As the presidential candidate from Texas walked into a local restaurant, Popovers on the Square, he was forced to shake hands with voters amid shouts of “Hands off Social Security and Medicare!” and “You’re a threat to America” from the anti-Perry forces who gathered just a few feet away from him. It was the first organized protest of this kind since Perry arrived in the Granite State.

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