In the April 21 edition, under a headline that read, “Congressman Murphy a no-show for South Hills town hall,” the Observer-Reporter reported there was a gathering described as a town hall meeting in Bethel Park at which a crowd of 200 mostly left-leaning activists chanted, “Where is Tim Murphy?”
Where was the town hall meeting? The event referred to in the article certainly wasn’t a town hall meeting.
Why would any elected official attend a set-up attack forum such as the one described? How would the invitation to this event read? “Two-hundred low-information, hugely partisan and unreasoning activists cordially invite you to a media event at which they have absolutely nothing positive to offer, but intend to verbally abuse you and put forth a series of loaded questions and then shout down any answer that you might offer that is not consistent with their far-left expectations.”
It could go on the say, “This event will be filmed by a variety of persons and then edited into the most unflattering video possible and handed to biased media outlets with the intention of putting the invited guest in the most unflattering light possible.”
Please don’t try to tell me this is not the intention and the meeting was “civil.” It may not have been as raucous as some, only because the target had the good sense not to be there. The newspaper reported that, at the same meeting organizers called “at all times … respectful,” the crowd called the congressman’s office and left shouted messages, chanted slogans, dressed up in costumes to mock Murphy and ridiculed him for various positions he has taken. That is hardly my definition of “respectful at all times.”
I believe Murphy is completely justified in not making himself a duck in a shooting gallery. I would imagine he might be willing to discuss issues with a representative group with some ground rules. That’s probably not very attractive to leftist activists, however, because they have nothing to discuss and they would be denied the platform of their theater of the absurd and the attendant media coverage which is, after all, what they are after.
They want an opportunity to play to the cameras, make noise, and demonstrate why they lost the last election and will lose many more elections to come.
David M. Ball
Ball is a Peters Township councilman.