A political rally involving thousands who marched in protest against the shutdown Sunday drew widespread coverage, though some of the focus wasn't on protesters who cam from across the country, or on high-profile tea party speakers like Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin.
Instead, many outlets noted the presence of Confederate flags as well as the words of one speaker, Larry Klayman, the founder of conservative advocacy group Freedom Watch, who told the crowd:
I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Koran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.
That CNN would make this one of the pieces surrounding their coverage might seem tiresome. Another story about some guy at a rally saying something stupid. Or waving a Confederate flag. "Seriously, this is news?" might be the rhetorical question. "Some guy gets up at a rally, and says a bunch of idiotic things and CNN runs with it like it is a big deal?"
There's something to be said about the media's obsession – particularly cable news – with hyperbole, melodrama and sensationalism. And while many can argue that Confederate flags and rants about President Obama being a Muslim only hurt the cause of tea party conservatives, those same conservatives will claim that the media – what they'll invariably claim is the liberal media – only wants to make tea partiers look bad because the media is "in the tank" for Obama.
Both are familiar lines of argument.
So perhaps the media should focus on the real story.
Then, when the democrats agreed to adopt this plan, the GOP suddenly (and at that point only) decided the plan was unconstitutional and posed a grave threat to the nation. They sued in the Supreme Court but lost.
They ran presidential candidate who opposed the Affordable Care Act even though he had passed a nearly identical law in the State of Massachusetts.
Barack Obama was re-elected with the Affordable Care Act as the centerpiece legislation of his first presidency and a central point of contention in the election.
Deciding that the Affordable Care Act was believed such a serious threat to the nation, conservatives engineered a strategy of threatening a government shutdown to protest the Affordable Care Act. To pull this off conservatives strategized how to engineer the shutdown, and how to handle the spin.
Eighty members of Congress signed a letter to force the shutdown. They said a shutdown wouldn't be a bad thing. They celebrated when it happened. The House Republicans changed a long standing House Rule at the last minute to ensure the shutdown would stay in effect: When challenged about this, the Republicans would not address the issue.
All the while conservatives accused the Democrats and Obama of not negotiating, even though the Democrats tried repeatedly to negotiate, which shouldn't have been necessary since Harry Reid and John Boehner had a deal, that Boehner backed out of.
And despite all of this, the GOP's radical wing will still blame Obama for the shutdown
Then, when a Democrat was in the White House, the GOP decided it was worth risking a default to place demands on spending cuts.
Meanwhile CNN runs a story about some crazy guy at a protest saying something crazy. And look what news consumers are missing out on instead.