CBS Notices 'Voices of Protest' Against 'What They Call Government-Run Health Care'

Monday's CBS Evening News, unlike the ABC and NBC evening newscasts, found time for a story on protesters, against liberal Democratic health plans, who confronted members of Congress at forums over the weekend, though reporter Wyatt Andrews felt the need to insert “scare” quotes as he referred to “demonstrators against what they called 'government-run health care'” and “what they call 'Obama-care.'”  

Anchor Katie Couric set up the story: “The debate over health care reform is not limited to the halls of Congress. Voices are being heard all over the country -- voices of protest. And they're growing louder.” Andrews showed how “angry protestors in Philadelphia shouted down both the HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, and Senator Arlen Specter” before he asserted “the crowds are partly the result of conservative Web sites asking for turnout at town halls.” Andrews, however, acknowledged “the turnouts also reflect real fear over the increased taxes and government controls that are part of the health bills being considered in Congress.”

Andrews concluded with the Democrats' plight: “Avoiding this kind of uproar is partly why Democrats wanted to pass health reform before the August recess. Democrats are now out there without a final bill to defend, but facing opponents trying to kill what they call 'Obama-care' with a show of August heat.”

The story on the Monday, August 3 CBS Evening News:
KATIE COURIC: The debate over health care reform is not limited to the halls of Congress. Voices are being heard all over the country -- voices of protest. And they're growing louder. Here's Wyatt Andrews.

WYATT ANDREWS, OVER BRIEF CLIPS OF CROWDS SHOUTING OVER THE NAMED SPEAKERS: It's happening almost everywhere Democrats are trying to defend health care reform. Angry protestors in Philadelphia shouted down both the HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, and Senator Arlen Specter. On Saturday in Texas, demonstrators against what they called “government-run health care” surrounded, and then followed, Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett out to his car. [crowd: “Just say no.”]

The crowds are partly the result of conservative Web sites asking for turnout at town halls -- including three tonight in Virginia, Mississippi and South Carolina. Hundreds of events by both Democrats and Republicans are being targeted in every state. But the turnouts also reflect  real fear over the increased taxes [man shouting “stop spending our money!”] and government controls that are part of the health bills being considered in Congress.

MIKE PAPPAS, FREEDOM WORKS: They know that that means somebody's taxes are eventually be used to pay for this -- and they're worried that that's their taxes.

ANDREWS: Political analysts say Democrats face a very tough August because beyond the shout-downs, anti-reform forces have also mounted phone campaigns.

MARC AMBINDER, CBS NEWS POLITICAL ANALYSR: It's all the calls that are flooding in to the district offices of members of Congress and I bet that a lot of these calls will be negative.

ANDREWS: Avoiding this kind of uproar is partly why Democrats wanted to pass health reform before the August recess. Democrats are now out there without a final bill to defend, but facing opponents trying to kill what they call “Obama-care” with a show of August heat. Katie?
CBSNews.com online version of the story.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center