Obama adviser David Axelrod started out as a journalist for The Chicago Tribune. He knows all about spinning a story to make the biggest noise. He also knows sometimes he has to let the lyin’ roar.
That’s the case with Axelrod’s latest claim that heckling is a “GOP sport,” as ABC’s Emily Friedman referred to it. Axelrod “condemned the protesters who showed up at two of Mitt Romney’s campaign events in Ohio.” Obama’s campaign strategist got a first-hand lesson in heckling in Boston recently when pro-Romney folks harshed his mellow at a campaign event in seemingly friendly and liberal Taxachusetts.
But that’s far from a trend and Axelrod’s truth stretching is epic. “I strongly condemn heckling along Mitt’s route. Shouting folks down is their tactic, not ours. Let voters hear BOTH candidates and decide.”
Only a man who worked for the Clinton White House could abuse the truth that badly with a straight face. Even Saddam Hussein’s own PR guy “Baghdad Bob” sometimes had the hint of a smile.
That the party of Occupy Wall Street fanatics, gay glitter bombers, street protesters and more has nothing to do with heckling is ludicrous. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Code Pinkers appearing at a congressional hearing with painted hands to make a national scene or anti-capitalists at a Bank of America event, the word “heckle” is owned and operated by the left. In political terms, that means Democrats.
But Axelrod is trying to seize a moment and claim that a Daily Caller reporter asking a question out of turn at a White House press conference last week is part of a conservative movement toward heckling. I’d laugh, but that would be called "heckling" as well.
So let’s remember that heckling is part and parcel to the Alinsky-esque tactics of the left. Let’s recall how Occupy Wall Street protesters treat police.
At Occupy San Diego, one especially shrill lefty leaning lady made sure the police knew how nutty she could be. She and a man who claimed to be from the “f---ing press” complained, harassed and intimated police who wouldn’t let them go forward. At one point,the female screamed at the police: "Get a new f***ing job" and "You're a f***ing joke."
Back in March, lefty protesters interrupted a CEO speech. “Brian T. Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America, had barely begun his speech to analysts and investors on Thursday morning at the Citi Financial Services conference at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York when hecklers interrupted. Their chant: ‘Bust up Bank of America before it busts up America,’” wrote The New York Times. They did the same to JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon when he went to Capitol Hill.
They heckle so much, they even heckle their side. You know, like the president.
So much so that it’s been a repeated problem. The Washington Post reported on pro-gay agenda hecklers taunting pro-gay Obama. “A few weeks after that, about a half-dozen GetEqual hecklers riled Obama by repeatedly interrupting a speech he was delivering at a Los Angeles fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).”
Obama even responded: “’Don’t know exactly why you’ve got to holler, because we already hear you, all right?’ Obama said, trying to quiet the shouts from the crowd. CNN was airing the remarks live. Obama showed a rare public flash of anger when a woman could be heard yelling, ‘It’s time for equality for all Americans.’ In a sarcastic tone, he said to the demonstrator, ‘I’m sorry, do you want to come up here?’”
The Post reported another incident occurred at Netroots Nation. “By contrast, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer addressed Netroots Nation and got mostly heckles and boos from an audience that thought he was evading questions on issues such as jobs, gay rights and Social Security - and that the White House is ignoring its base,” the paper reported.
But here’s why this is news – Axelrod and the left are scared. They saw that Romney fought hard against opponents in the primary. And they hear things like his wife said during an Ohio visit. Ann Romney responded to heckling, commenting: “We got some distracters out there, but… we can be just as loud about how much we love this country.”
That’s not a threat, it’s a promise to fight back. That if Obama can’t cage his lefty animals, the GOP will respond in kind. You’d think Axelrod would like it.
Why not? Isn’t that the Chicago way?
Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.