If you were looking for a fair and unbiased reaction to Patrick Murphy’s speech at the Democrat Convention that genuinely reflected the pulse of the community at large, where would you go? Would you head to a local bar? Perhaps a community center? Would you talk to people in the street?
If you were a writer for Calkins Media’s Bucks County Courier-Times, you would head straight for a partisan “Patrick Murphy Watch Party and Phone Bank” organized through Barack Obama’s official web site at the home of a “Proud, Loud, and Excited Volunteer” for the Obama campaign. Then you’d obscure the fact that your quotes were gathered at a partisan event for volunteers. Of course, that doesn’t warrant a mention. Everyone assumes what they read in the Courier-Times is biased in favor of Murphy anyway, right?
The Courier-Times never mentions the nature of the gathering where they sought reaction to Li’l Pat’s speech. In fact, that information seems to be intentionally suppressed. The Courier-Times identifies this Obama volunteer and organizer who blogs on Obama’s official site with the group “Bensalem4Obama” as below. Writer Gary Weckselblatt seems so excited to relate all the glowing praise for Murphy that he even makes a grammatical error.
Rob Framo of Bensalem, who watch (sic) Murphy’s speech on C-SPAN with seven friends and family members, agreed.
Seven friends and family members?
Here’s what Framo told the crowd before an Obama appearance in Bucks County last April. Use of multiple exclamation marks definitely not mine.
My name is Robert Framo and I am a Proud, Loud, and Excited Volunteer for Senator Barack Obama right here in Bucks County!!!! I am humbled and honored by this opportunity to speak to you all today.
Unsurprisingly, the “seven friends and family members” gathered at the “Patrick Murphy Watch Party and Phone Bank” had only fantastic things to say about Li’l Pat’s 4 minutes in the spotlight during their break from the “Phone Bank.”
“Patrick’s been fighting for veterans,” said Framo, whose father served in the Air Force. “He partnered with Obama to get Walter Reed cleaned up.”
Robin Staff of Springtown, a dance producer, hasn’t taken part in politics for 35 years. But Obama has “given her hope again” and she said Murphy was “great … fantastic.”
“He’s with Obama on all the issues … he’s a green man, he’s there for the vets, education and a family man.”
Of course, probably by design, we have no way to know if all the quotes in Weckselblatt’s article came from the “Watch Party and Phone Bank” filled with partisan supporters. It’s hard to imagine he went door to door looking for the other side of the story after seemingly finding his primary source via the Obama campaign’s official site, though.
UPDATE: After being directed by a reader to the YouTube video of Li’l Pat’s Big Night Out, it seems the article is not only biased but inaccurate.
Murphy, wearing a dark blue suit with light blue shirt and red and white tie, often motioned his hands and used a strong, authoritative voice to maintain the crowd’s attention.
Strong? Authoritative? Sounds “shaky and unsure with a serious case of dry mouth” to me, but you be the judge. At least Weckselblatt got the outfit and frantic arm waving right.
…his words got the crowd excited just minutes after it had pretty much dozed off listening to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Maybe the crowd at the “Patrick Murphy Watch Party and Phone Bank,” but the reaction of the crowd in the hall seems tepid at best. Hardly Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer territory. Again, judge for yourself.