Sunday, August 13, 2006

I Hate FOX News

I know that probably isn't a mind-blowing revelation for any of you but just wanted to get it out up front before I talk about the Birmingham Peace Project's press conference, anti-war rally and peace vigil held yesterday in Birmingham.

First, a little background on what brought this event about.

Recently,Gov. Bob Riley, who visited Iraq in March, said,
"I've never talked to a person in the military yet who didn't say we ought to stay and we ought to win the war."

Apparently, he had not searched very hard for a soldier or veteran opposed to the war and Birmingham Peace Project decided to help him out. According to the peace group's press release, the,
"Birmingham Peace Project is unable to remain silent before this blatantly ill-informed assertion."

The group invited Gov. Riley, to meet Iraq veteran and creator of the one-man show "The Eyes of Babylon," former U.S. Marine Jeff Key, along with former Navy recruiter Susan Mims, Veteran for Peace leader David Waters and others who will afford him the opportunity to meet military personnel who, for many reasons, condemn the Iraq War. They also extended an invitation to democratic nominee Lt. Governor Baxley and Libertarian Party nominee Loretta Nall (me) to attend.

As you can just about guess I was the only candidate with the courage to show up. I knew when I got there and saw that the only news station covering it was FOX 6 that any coverage gained would be terrible. And it was.

Photo courtesy of Glynn Wilson Locust Fork News

The conference started and the guests were introduced. One by one they stepped in front of the camera and gave their statements. I had asked upon receiveing the invitation if I should be prepared to speak and was told to prepare something short and if time permitted yes. The organizer approached me during the conference and asked me if I would like to say anything. I told her that I would if there was time and she told me to get ready. However, the next person called was the keynote speaker Mr. Key, and the last one on the list. The main person who had gotten the invitation extened to me walked over and asked why I wasn't speaking and I told her I didn't know. After Mr. Key was finished they began to wrap up the conference and someone in the audience spoke up and said,
"There is a gubernatorial candidate here and I'd really like to hear what she has to say, because she at least had the decency to show up."

What an odd situation. To be asked to attend a press conference that was both anti-war and pro-gay rights. To be the only candidate with the courage to show up and not because I wanted to speak necessairily, but because I am opposed to the US occupation of Iraq and because I believe in EQUAL RIGHTS for all US citizens and I do not mind being PUBLIC about it. To be asked to speak and then to be skipped over as if I weren't standing there.

I wondered if it was an honest oversight. It also crossed my mind that maybe this was divine providence affording me the opportunity to escape any coverage by FOX 6 . But, I ain't afraid of FOX, although more times than not I skip them when sending out a news release. I would simply prefer that they not cover me at all. Being the sport that I am I shrugged it all off and stepped in front of the camera. .

"I am Loretta Nall, the Libertarian party candidate for Governor. As a Libertarian I believe that only defense is legitimate and since the Iraq war is not a defensive war it is both illegal and immoral. If elected Governor of Alabama I will immediately call for the withdrawal of Alabama National Guard troops and I will be a vocal advocate for the immediate withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq. You should be wary of candidates who support the war or fail to call for immediate withdrawal of our troops. Remember that they do not have children fighting there."

This was greeted with enthusiastic applause.

After the press conference was over we all moved to the fountain at Five Points South to hold a vigil.

I had not come dressed to stand in the blistering Alabama heat for any extended period of time and I only lasted about 45 minutes. My host for the evening approached one of the organizers to say goodbye and he said, "Oh I see, you only came for the photo op."

I turned and began walking to the car before I gave Fox News some really juicy coverage of a gubernatorial candidate and an anti-war protester engaged in a knock-down, drag-out, brawl in front of the fountain at Five Points South. If this is how the anti-war protesters treat the political candidates that do support them then no wonder they are having little success in finding support.

When the FOX 6 nine o'clock news came on they did not mention the press conference or the vigil. They did not mention it until the middle of the ten o'clock broadcast which means I had to sit through an hour and a half of their manure before getting to see a 30 second piece which did not mention the news conference, provied no footage of the speakers nor any background on the event. What it showed was a bunch of hippes in front of the fountain at Five Points with hand-lettered signs while stating "There was an anti-war protest today in Five Points. All of the gubernatorial candidates were invited to attend." End.

My host for the evening was so angry she placed a call to the weekend editor and said, "I am a dye-hard Democrat and we did have a candidate show up today but she was Libertarian. Why didn't you mention that she showed? Your camera crew has lots of footage of her and others at the press conference. Why was none of it used? Why didn't you mention the reasons for the press conference? Why did you only show hippies in front of a fountain?" She had some other choice words as well.

The day wasn't a total loss. I did get to meet Glynn Wilson of Locust Fork News another Alabama blogger and political junkie. However I missed meeting my hero of the evening news Tim Lennox by a hair. He walked right by me and my attention was elsewhere. By the time someone pointed out to me that he was in attendance he was already walking away. I figured since the press conference had not yet started that he would be back. So, instead of being a redneck and hollering "Hey Tim" from a block away I decided to wait. He didn't come back, which is a shame because I really wanted to meet him. However, he didn't miss much.


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Hi Loretta. Just happened across your website when seeing who I might want to vote for. I just wanted to beseech you to rethink your anti-war postion in general. Don't get me wrong, I think war is a tragedy; but given our options- I would much rather go over to the Middle East and do our best to stop the fanatics before they innocently murder us and our children. (Do you have children?) These radical Islamic-facists want to kill us simply because we are American. No other reason. And please don't think I say these things as as innocent bystander. I am an Alabamian and a Operation Iraqi Freedom combat veteran. This war IS about liberating the fine country of Iraq, and I can assure you that the majority of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines all agree that our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan IS legitimate. Forgive me if I have to post this as 'Anonymous', as I do not have an account.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with your stance against the war and fox news. I am USC-Univ. of South Carolina , Columbia, oriningally from delaware/new england- student and am tired of the preachers on campus spewing about a god who hates gays and lesbians. like fox news does abt how great pres bush is.(bullshit) I am tired of having my views so openly bashed with out an equal chance to defend them. the war is not in our defense, but in our conquest of another country. we are killing innocent people who have nothing to do with terrorism in the hopes of justifying finaly our occupance. I hate fox news for their patisian views being portrayed fasley as "fair and balanced." its a lie, they are all frauds and Rupert Murdoch has a clear distain for true journalism. The populace is openly being pumped with propoganda and they don't know it which is what makes the situation so dangerous. i hope people look at the facts that fox uses for their stories, because they will find there are very little. I hope people start questioning why they are being shown what they are shown, what it means. I hope people will stop blindly following what they are told and question everything. i also hope people will start to try and distinguish between opinion and fact, fox certainly doesn't.
I don't have an account, people call me wilson, I don't have an account but unlike others i'm not scared to defend what i'm saying.

Anonymous said...

fox news has a habit of treating any views against their own in a cartoonish manner. which suggests they can not or do not listen. They simply cannot contemplate higher levels of consciousness, than "Us First", "ya'll last." I wish the non-Republicans would do a better job of pointing out their hypocrisy, than complaining about their lack of fairness.

Anonymous said...

stay in iraq indefinitely and there will be genocide plus occupation
withdraw immediately, and there will be genocide plus authoritarian leadership (square 1)
we need a plan before we can have a timetable

here is a formula for withdrawal

# iraqis trained = # US troops home

letting iraqis know that this is the plan = a swelling and self sufficient iraqi military + a timetable for an autonomous iraq

too simple?