More Town Hall fun

The Fairfax Times now has a report on the NoVA Town Hall with Attorney General McDonnell, in addition to one in the Observer.

Neither report includes any part of the Q&A session about the Marshall/Newman amendment. Both reporters simply echo the bland, all-too-familiar talking points issued by the AG and other pro-amendment leaders.

A better, and more interesting report would have included questions from the audience that forced the AG to say things that were off script. For example, he admitted on the record that the proposed amendment is in fact an extension beyond what is already in Virginia law. Since this is one of the favorite talking points of the Marshall/Newman crowd (repeated yet again today in a Virginia Pilot op-ed by poor Victoria Cobb), it would be nice for a journalist to have picked up on the fact that McDonnell himself admitted it isn’t true.

We need to insist that our local journalists get it right. When our Attorney General, the “people’s lawyer,” makes a statement about an addition to our Bill of Rights designed to convince voters that it’s harmless, and then is publicly forced to admit that his statement was false, that’s news. The voters have a right to expect this to be reported.

Tell the editors and readers of the Fairfax Times and the Observer that a key piece of information was missing from their articles on this event:

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6 Responses to More Town Hall fun

  1. The only account of that evening that has AG McDonnell saying anything like that is from your site. I don’t see it anywhere else. I am starting to really doubt he ever said it or it was taken out of context. I believe the liberal media would have jumped all over something like that if AG McDonnell had actually said it. The fact that two different sources did not say anything about it really harms your credibility.

    And I posted about Victoria Cobb’s editorial. Really dead on!

  2. David says:

    Suddenly, the self-described conservative has complete faith in the accuracy of the mainstream media. Interesting.

    That’s our job, more or less, to get the story out that the mainstream media missed or ignored. I can almost understand why they ignored it, too. The much juicier story was all the anger leveled at McDonnell from the right, over the immigration issue.

  3. Jonathan says:

    And Victoria Cobb suddenly finds it useful to rely on the courts. The quote below is from hrconservative’s blog where it appears that he manually keyed in the editorial. Thanks hr ;-(]. I couldn’t find the article on line.

    These reckless arguments, however, have been consistently dismissed in the courts…

    First the courts are activist, then they are reliable, activist, reliable, activist, reliable…

    Victoria sounds ridiculous.

  4. The Virginian Pilot does not allow free access, so I couldn’t link it. Hey, at least I typed it!

    So you can’t dismiss her arguments, just call her ridiculous. Good plan. But no reasons why she is wrong. . . .

  5. Oh, and David, I do have complete faith in the media to show their bias on this and other issues. As Victoria Cobb said in her editorial today, in the 16 states that have recently passed amendments, 93 of 107 newspapers opposed the amendments. This is why I am VERY skeptical that AG McDonnell said what you say he said in the context you say he said it. The Newspapers would have jumped all over it.

  6. David says:

    HR – Maybe you didn’t understand the contradiction that Jonathan pointed out.

    Victoria’s argument here seems to be that concerns about the consequences of this amendment are invalid because of supposedly “consistent” court rulings in other states (ignoring the rulings that don’t support her conclusions, but we’ll set that aside for now.) Yet, the purported “urgency” of passing this poorly worded, ambiguous amendment hinges on the notion that some renegade judge might overturn 30 years of unambiguous, unchallenged Virginia law. Talk about a lame “scare tactic”!

    That’s why she sounds ridiculous.

    This completely situational application of reasoning is the same one you use in insisting that the local papers would of course be all over an admission by Bob McDonnell that he was wrong.

    Any time the mainstream media is on your side, you have faith in their accuracy. Any time they oppose you, you say they are showing bias.

    As far as I know, the only reports on this particular meeting were from the Fairfax Times, the Observer, NoVa Town Hall blog, and this blog. If you know of any others, we would certainly be interested in seeing them. Apparently, the whole meeting wasn’t considered all that newsworthy.

    I can’t imagine why you would be skeptical of what I reported here, or what you intended to convey by “the context.” The context was a Q&A session on the amendment. This was my question, verbatim:

    You stated that the amendment “merely raises to the level of constitutional protection what is already in existing law.” How then do you explain the fact that existing law, for example the “Affirmation of Marriage Act,” explicitly states that these restrictions apply to same sex couples, while the proposed amendment does not contain this language, and would therefore apply to all unmarried couples? It seems to me that this is a very significant extension of these restrictions, since there are many, many more unmarried straight couples than there are same sex couples in Virginia. Do you not feel that this is a significant difference?

    What did you expect him to do? Deny it?

    I have to wonder if you are even familiar with the language of the amendment. McDonnell seemed a little shaky on it himself. He repeatedly cited language from statute, as if he thought it was in the amendment.

    The picture that emerged that night was of someone who doesn’t really know what this amendment says or what it will do. McDonnell didn’t even seem to know that Virginia currently recognizes common law marriages entered into in other states.

    You can hardly expect reporters from two small local papers to see this in the context of everything else going on in this meeting and understand that there was something to report. And you don’t live here, so I can’t expect you to understand who was in the room. Most of the local reporters I talk to don’t even have a copy of the amendment language to refer to. So much for your theory of the Big Bad Biased media, but you can only do so much with what the Some Families Foundation gives you.