At least one correction has been posted to a story claiming U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman left a town hall meeting early refusing to meet with all the constituents who gathered there to voice concerns about the repeal of Obamacare.
While there are several errors in that premises reported by numerous media outlets, the correction addresses only one matter — the time of his departure.
The Denver Post originally reported on Jan. 14 that Coffman stayed 30 minutes longer than was planned, but three days later posted a correction stating he left “early.”
This was brought to our attention yesterday by a reader, who also suggested we amend our original complaint about how the event was covered, but only slightly will we acquiesce.
We based an earlier post on what the Denver Post reported timewise, so we will amend and correct that post.
The target of our complaint was the 9News account that Coffman left the 90-minute meeting six minutes early.
But our complaint was, and is, this. This story, and dozens of others based upon it, suggested that Coffman fled a town hall meeting early because he couldn’t stand the push-back from his constituents.
It was not a town hall, Coffman scheduled a one-on-one meeting with constituents, because so many showed up, he used the time to meet with smaller groups, about five at a time, for nearly and hour and-a-half.
According to Neil Garcia, Coffman left six minutes early, but we’ll come back to that.
Here’s what Coffman had to say about the activists and their politically produced dog-and-pony show that took over his event.
“Yesterday was unfortunate because partisan activists showed up only to disrupt the event I was holding at Aurora Central Library. I have been doing five minute one-on-one constituent meetings for the last five years although I do allow small groups, if they share the same issue concerns. This gives an opportunity for everyone to be heard and not just the loudest voices in the room.”
“Through some of the most contentious elections in the history of this state, these meetings have generally been a civil and straightforward exchange with the good people I represent. Yesterday, activists angry about the election results and angry about the impending repeal of Obamacare came with the goal of making a show. That’s their right. But the great majority of Americans want the Obamacare mess cleaned up. My resolve isn’t the least bit shaken by these antics – the American people want Obamacare repealed and replaced.”
So it wasn’t a town hall meeting, it was overrun with activists, and Coffman left the 90-minute meeting six minutes early after meeting with as many constituents as possible.
The Post correction does not change the crux of the narrative that he bailed on constituents. And another complaint we made, and will make again, is that Nelson Garcia, who got this narrative rolling with his inaccurate account, continues to carry the water for Democratic activists.
The education reporter, who for some reason was covering this political event, was clueless to the partisan event unfolding before him.
One slight correction might have been made, but the media still got this entire story wrong.