As a member of the media, I get frustrated when angry individuals refer to anything they disagree with as “fake news.” It’s irresponsible and destroys faith in all media, even the credible reports. But when notable outlets such as Salon and Huffington Post posted stories with the headlines shown below and left out major details and context for those stories, it smelled of actual fake news.
Charles Cook of National Review reacted the same:
A rare occurrence of actual fake news. Rubio was “invited” to fake town hall; didn’t go; was accused of ducking it. https://t.co/9V0Ow7aPKi
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) February 25, 2017
These liberal media outlets, the same ones that refused to give decent coverage to candidates like Rubio during the primaries of the last presidential election, fail to mention that it was a group of liberal activists who created this “town hall” with the purpose of just complaining. CNN accurately reported the rest of the story:
“The protesters — some of whom failed to show up for meetings they scheduled with our staff — continue to fundraise off of it even though we informed them days ago Senator Rubio will not be there,” Rubio spokesman Matt Wolking said. “We have been fully accessible and responsive to constituents, and our staff has already met with dozens of these liberal activists at our offices across Florida. As their manual reveals, their goal is to stage a hostile atmosphere, record themselves booing no matter what is said, and refuse to give up the microphone. That is not a true or constructive dialogue.”
When initially invited to this town hall, Rubio’s staffers reported that he would be away in Europe, meeting with foreign leaders regarding Russia. Rubio returned Wednesday, the day of the proposed town hall, and spent the afternoon at a local hospital discussing the opioid crisis. Local activists were angry that he would not make time for the town hall.
This town hall was never meant to be productive. It was organized by a progressive group, Indivisible, which advocates for the use of increased government to “solve problems” (in support of Obamacare, for example). To Ronald Reagan, this idea is terrifying.
I don’t think Marco Rubio should be crucified for not wanting to go to an event meant to heckle him.