While being totally overlooked by mainstream media giants and television outlets, they can’t seem to get enough of Joe Walsh now! Sensing a possible upset brewing in the 8th Congressional District, they finally decided to send reporters to his “Retire Melissa Bean” victory party Tuesday evening. These were the same media outlets whose editors had endorsed Melissa Bean, writing Joe Walsh off as an also-ran. Polls, other the WeAskAmerica were showing Bean winning in a landslide, only to be totally wrong. What they lacked was someone on the ground reporting from the trenches, getting the vibrations coming from voters all over the District. As someone who covered many of his town hall meetings and debates, I can tell you that the momentum was building each and every day, yet the mainstream media focused and reported only on the negatives of his financial past.
|Joe Walsh and his wife Helene at his “Retire Melissa Bean” election results party|
Even today, in the Daily Herald (which endorsed Bean), reporter Kimberly Pohl, continued to misrepresent the facts when she wrote about the tea party faithful “They stood in line outside the Grayslake High School gymnasium for Bean and Walsh’s only face-to-face debate, to make sure they got the seats and shut Bean’s supporters out of the event”. I question whether or not this reporter was even at the event by this statement. Being the second person in line and visiting with others in line from both parties, I can tell you this kind of reporting is why no one believes what they read in the press anymore. While it is true that the Walsh campaign sent out an email encouraging his supporters to show up early, I’m sure that Bean’s camp did likewise. In addition, anyone who actaully WAS THERE would have seen that the auditorium was only about 2/3 full at 6:30, the planned start of the League of Women Voters forum. Many around me in front row seats, commented on that surprising fact as well. The forum itself didn’t start on time to allow more time for people from BOTH parties to arrive and take their seats.
Reporter Pohl also goes on to state that the event was ‘hijacked‘ by the Pledge of Allegiance request, taking it away from the ‘high school kids and the League of Women Voters moderator (Kathy Tate-Bradish) who organized it…..” Just more inaccurate reporting by the mainstream media. The LWV touted the forum as something for history students to get a better understanding of the political process but the number of students in the audience was very limited and in the nose bleed section of the auditorium. Everyone knew that this WAS an event that would be highly attended by VOTERS interested in what Bean had to say since she was basically unavailable throughout the campaign when it came to meeting her constituents face-to-face.
Today’s Chicago Tribune ran a story, including an interview with Walsh after the election, in which they fielded opinions from several University political scientists, trying to decipher how Walsh was able to pull off this expected upset. Again, nothing but speculation, as they never sent anyone to the 8th District to talk to the people and get a feel for what was happening.
We can’t help but think that even with all the grass root support, that overcame a huge difference in available campaign funds, some amount of credit needs to go to moderator, Kathy Tate-Bradish. Even with her strong support of Obama and helping with his Organizing For America, she was a catalyst in getting Joe Walsh’s message out on the internet as her refusal to include the Pledge of Allegiance went viral on the world wide web. Tate-Bradish single-handily gave the Walsh campaign all the necessary air time that his funds lacked. It wasn’t until that happened that the Bean campaign put their million dollar campaign war chest into motion, seeing that Walsh was now a national phenomena with small contributions pouring in from veterans and conservatives who were now being labeled ‘phony patriots’ by LWV Executive Director, Jan Czarnik.
There is a whole lot more to this story than what you read in the press and I even wonder if Joe Walsh totally understands how his expected win over incumbent Melissa Bean happened. Once he has time to relax and reflect on the chain of events, I’m sure that he will be sending Democratic supporter, Kathy Tate-Bradish, a thank you letter.
Funny! When we penned the title for this post we had no idea that the musician, Joe Walsh, was involved with the song “Can’t Get Enough!”