August 3, 2004
What We Are Up Against
A Dispatch from Yesterday's Rally in Grand Rapids
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Just wanted to advise one and all what we are up against. Here in the conservative capitol of the upper Midwest, Grand Rapids, on Monday, August 2, 2004, Senator John Kerry attracted upwards of 23,000 - 25,000 people to his rally downtown at Calder Plaza. Thunderstorms were pending, but the sun stayed out until after the rally. It was 87 humid degrees. Senators Levin and Stabenow were on hand, as was our Governor Jennifer Granholm. I think they were amazed at the numbers in the crowd; Levin mentioned that he just got the news that there were over 20,000 people in attendance, and someone else mentioned it, too. From what I could see, and I was about 75 feet from the stage, we were swimming in a huge pool of people. Kerry said the welcoming response was truly overwhelming. Levin also stated that he couldn't think of another political rally, either Republican or Democratic, in Grand Rapids that ever drew a crowd of that size. The crowd went nuts, especially since the bastard in chief was here on Friday and spoke to 4,500 people at the Ford Fieldhouse at Grand Rapids Community College. (Sorry I called him that, but I am SO SICK of Bush and all of the propaganda I can barely contain myself.) The rally was energetic and exciting, Kerry commanded the crowd, and the electricity and momentum was felt by everyone! He spoke on a number of topics, including his plan to reward service with tuition, health care, Iraq, stem cell research. The crowd loved it.
However, when I returned to work, I logged on to the local news outlets' websites, WOOD TV and WZZM TV-13, (www.woodtv.com and www.wzzm13.com), only to find this report (and remember, there were at least 20,000 people there, and only 12 protesters):
Needless to say, I was livid at this crappy reporting. I mean, come on, there were 20,000+ people there in this city of 200,000! That's amazing! But this news article doesn't address it, and instead focuses on 25% of the protesters! Our local political reporter, Rick Albin with WOOD TV, worked in Washington DC for awhile with Vern Ehlers, our Republican Congressman, so I probably needn't say more.
[BuzzFlash Note: A highly placed Republican congressional source wrote BuzzFlash to indicate that Rick Albin actually worked for another Republican Bush Congressional lapdog, Congressman Pete Hoekstra of nearby Holland, MI, not GOP lapdog Congressman Ehlers of Grand Rapids. It's hard to tell the Bush Cartel lapdogs apart these days. But considering the knowledgeable source, we are inserting this correction in the commentary.]
At any rate, I immediately phoned the newsroom to rip them a new one on the lack of accuracy in reporting, and the sweet l'il gal I talked to said, "I know, I know, we were waiting for the numbers."
So dig this, folks, the numbers were up, between 23,000 - 25,000 at a Kerry rally here in conservative West Michigan! I proceeded to address the negative content, and the gal told me that she would advise the political correspondent of my comments. And she also said, in a whisper, "I just heard that between 8,000 and 10,000 were here for Gore four years ago. Yay! Kerry's gonna win!" I told her I understood that she couldn't say that loudly in the newsroom, and she laughed.
Anyway, the report was updated, but they never did address the actual numbers, still mentioned the protesters, and the report didn't focus on the message at the rally.
So, two thoughts as I close this long letter (and I hope you will print it, because I feel the message is important):
1.) The SCLM is vicious, and it is imperative that we are all on their asses whenever we witness inaccuracy in reporting. It's going to be hard to get the word out with the kind of reporting that I witnessed yesterday; and
2.) 25,000 people in attendance at this rally supporting Kerry here in this ultra-conservative, Rethuglican empire chaired by the evil Betsy DeVos. 25,000 is 1/8 of the population of Grand Rapids. All I can say is that it was truly amazing to be part of the momentum. I'm tell you what, folks, I feel a revolution coming on!
One more thing, and this scares me, our Secretary of State, Terri Lynn Land, is also Michigan Campaign Chair for Bush/Cheney '04. Should Michigan be close, and I think that it probably won't be, since Gore took the state in 2000, we have the potential for another Florida.
Bottom line, everyone: get active. Don't allow them to steal this election from us again!
Thanks for your time, Buzz.
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
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