Monday, October 25, 2010

What You Didn't See on the News...

(* all photos courtesy of Christina Martinez)
Close to forty thousand people showed up to see President Obama at the USC rally I attended last Friday. It was peaceful and orderly- no drama. Today I can find NO COVERAGE by any major network or news outlet. Now had it been twenty people from the Tea Party, it would have been on every TV channel. Just goes to show you how our media works. Only drama sells.
As we stood for hours in lines that stretched on for eight city blocks, I noticed first how positive and happy everyone was. People showed up with their young children, babies in strollers, grandmothers in wheelchairs. There were young college students and silver-haired couples, buses full of school children. Everyone was smiling, excited, chatting with one another about our President, his integrity, how he’s kept his campaign promises and continues to do so. Forty thousand people getting along. Happy.
And no media – no cameras, no film crews, anywhere.
When we finally proceeded inside USC Alumni Park, it was a human sea of bodies pressed tight together, everyone trying to get closer to where the President would soon stand. And yet, not once was there a fight, no shouting matches, nothing. Peaceful. Forty thousand people.
There was a group of young Republicans standing outside the entrance holding signs “We’ll knock the left out with a HARD RIGHT.” No one said anything to them, just walked past. I had no problem with them being there. America is a two party system, but it just bothers me how aggressive and sometimes violent their slogans are ( RELOAD, AIM …). It’s just unnecessary. How about some good ideas on those signs instead? Don’t have any?
For the seven hours I was there, I searched the crowd for signs of news media, and saw nothing but a Fox News truck. They must have been hoping to catch some negative drama. Sorry to disappoint, guys.
The rally was so exciting. The crowd was pumped up, and started spontaneously chanting OBAMA OBAMA….Let me tell you, forty thousand voices in unison is pretty thrilling when you’re standing in the middle of it. Jamie Foxx was the emcee. He was taking videos of us chanting for his twitter feed. Next was a concert of world music, then speeches by our local democratic candidates – Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer. (Jerry Brown quoted Ghandi in his speech. I like that in a candidate.)
And finally…what we’d all been waiting hours for - President Obama. The crowd’s cheers were deafening. It was such a thrilling moment. The President gave an inspiring speech, as he always does. One of the things he said that stuck with me was “I know many of you are thinking back to Inauguration night, the celebration, the party…but I told you then the road ahead was going to be hard. I told you – power concedes nothing without a fight.” I remember him saying that and I remind people when they start to criticize him for not getting everything crossed off his To-Do list after two years. Give the guy a break. Aside from the mess he inherited, he’s had pirates and flu epidemics and oil spills. I mean, he’s not Superman. But the overall message was – don’t get tired. Not now. Don’t give up on our mission. Don’t get discouraged. Stand up, be counted, vote! He definitely reiterated that we don’t want to give the car keys back to the guys who drove our country into a ditch a few years ago.
After the speech, he walked into the crowd and shook hands with people, causing great cheers and excitement. Again- no one rushed the stage, no one pushed or shoved. And then when it was all over, all forty thousand of us exited the campus in an orderly way, and that was that.
I’ve got something to say to the media. When forty thousand people show up to peacefully support a common belief in the President– THAT IS NEWS. Lindsay Lohan behaving like a spoiled teenager is NOT.
Americans - keep in mind how many positive uplifting events are occurring all over the world which you will rarely hear about- and let go the ugly commentary that’s being spewed through the media every day. Don’t listen to the gossip, the fear mongering and especially ignore all those awful deceptive campaign commercials. The world is a much bigger place than the news would have you believe. It’s a place full of wonder, miracles, and people doing good when no one is looking. Like the president, for instance.
Well, at least Japan News NHK showed up, and asked to interview my friend Christina who promptly handed it off to me. Ask her! She said. She’s got lots to say. (Gee, and I’m usually so shy about sharing my opinions…)
Oh well, sorry you missed the party NEWS MEDIA, but we had a great time without you. And guess what- we bloggers are spreading the word, when YOU don’t do your job.
Above all, no matter what your beliefs or political bent- please get out and VOTE on November 2nd!


  1. Sent in my absentee today, Hollye. Glad it was a great day for you. I hardly read or watch the news anymore except for Rachel Maddow and The Daily Show. They are funny and insightful and put politics in perspective to me.

  2. Thank you for your report. I am so tired of the drama. People are good and that should be celebrated. Thank you Hollye!

  3. GREAT! GREAT! GREAT! blog today, Hollye. You are doing such a wonderful job of getting the word out to go vote and be counted. YES!!!
    And thanks for a recap of the very special Obama rally event. Sounds like such a great day! Glad you were there and that you shared it with all of us.
    Hugs to you my dear friend.

  4. Beautifully written and a powerful message. Thanks for being there for all of us!

  5. Not American, but very aware of all the in and outs. You said beautifully exactly what I've been thinking from the outside. It does take time, don't give up, keep moving together by the conscientious thousands in an orderly fashion forward and upward! Go team!
    The Middle Ages

  6. YAY! I'm so glad you went to this and I CANNOT believe the media. You're so right. Drama sells. And it makes the tea party seem ubiquitous when it is just a few stragglers in Texas.

    Good for you! I'm proud your intelligent voice represents America in Japan... especially since they also picked up The Jersey Shore. Noooo!


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