The One-Sided "Town Hall"

by Chris Bodenner

Adam Blickstein is right to point out that WaPo's coverage of the Standish "town hall" was woefully one-sided. True, all the speakers and most of attendees were adamantly against a transfer, but that was to be expected from a gathering with a sign out front labeling it "Anti-Gitmo." (Even the organizer admitted that he billed it as a "town hall" because "it’s sort of a buzzword.") Even so, the WaPo reporter failed to note either of the dissenters during the Q&A: a local businessman who said he was "disappointed in the panel" for having "no different viewpoints," and the local reporter, Tim Barnum, who put Hoekstra on the spot regarding the dozens of terrorists currently held in the Colorado. The article also said that nearly 200 people showed up, but it failed to mention that organizers had predicted 600, or that the church was about half empty.  By contrast, Barnum told me, the "Save Standish Max" rally at that same venue in June was so full that people were lined up against the walls.

The gathering yesterday was an important voice in the debate over Standish, but to give national readers the impression it spoke for most of the town is misleading.