It got a brief mention on some of the cable channels, but the only major TV network that carried live coverage of this healthcare reform rally in D.C. yesterday was Fox – and then, only to ridicule it:
The reason? AHIP, the health insurance lobbying organization, was meeting in (where else?) the Ritz-Carlton. A coalition of groups led by unions including SEIU, AFSCME, UFCW and Health Care for American Now declared the meeting site a “corporate crime scene” and attempted to make a citizens’ arrest:
In a reverse twist on the old protestors’ tactic of getting arrested to make a point, union leaders and other backers of President Obama’s healthcare plan issued “citizen’s arrest” warrants for health insurance executives Tuesday – accusing them of exploiting consumers.
The “warrants,” delivered to police during a demonstration outside an insurance industry meeting at a Washington hotel, were an attempt to dramatize protestors’ call for insurance reform – and to build public support for the Democrats’ healthcare legislation.
The demonstration, which drew several thousand protestors from as far away as Illinois and California, was organized by groups that for more than a year have pushed Congress to create a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers as part of national healthcare overhaul.
While that policy objective, known as the public option, is not part of the healthcare legislation pending in Congress, the groups are nonetheless mounting a multi-million dollar campaign to promote the bill. The effort will continue in coming weeks, with more demonstrations, paid advertising and other events, including a hearing to take place Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Boy, there was a time when you couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing someone about Tea Party rallies. I guess the only way you can get on TV these days is to be on the side of the insurance companies.