- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Andrew Breitbart claimed recently that the president is responsible for the violence at town-hall meetings (“I am Kenneth Gladney,” Nation, Aug. 10). Quoting a White House official out of context, Mr. Breitbart said that “union thugs were directed by the White House to go to the protests and ‘punch back twice as hard.’ ”

I googled the matter and found that Jim Messina used the phrase while speaking to Senate Democrats — not to any union groups. Moreover, this White House staffer was speaking metaphorically about how the White House planned to respond to attacks against Senate Democrats.

It was wrong that members of the Service Employees International Union viciously attacked Kenneth Gladney. I have read how the Missouri and National SEIU have counseled their members after this unfortunate incident. I sense that it was not pro-reform “astro-turfing.”

You need to produce health care reporting and commentary that have value and utility to your readers. We need to forget about the polls, the protests and the politics. The media should focus on making the facts about health care — and efforts to change the system — as clear as possible. Otherwise, those who want and need the status quo will bully and damage our republic.


Davis, Calif.



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