Commentary: Obama protest from the eyes of a participant

President Obama visited Corona del Mar for a meet-and-greet fundraiser Feb. 16, and the news media reported the event with pictures. Where was the fair and the balanced?

Only one brave reporter, Brian Calle with the Orange County Register, reported what he witnessed. The other press members must have been given a lesson on how to distort the truth.

Hmmm, who is paying their salaries?

As a local patriotic resident of CdM, I began my walk on Coast Highway to meet my girl friends at 7:25 am carrying American flags and our protest signs. The first encounter was an older couple that quickly grabbed my flags while flashing a pro-Obama piece of paper. They proceeded to move down the street. I was able to retrieve the flags with some quick moves and words. Hmmmm, 7:30 a.m., and this was getting interesting.

Arriving at the pre-determined corner, the girls are in place and all was good. People were everywhere; all the corners and sidewalks were crowded. Our police were ever so present and efficient. People held flags, homemade signs. While some were in support of our president, most were not. The line of people reached all the way down East Coast Highway to Morning Canyon Road.

The last time so many people were on East Coast Highway in CdM was in the 1980s when the Olympic torch came through town.

Photographers were everywhere, TV vans with their towers were on all the streets. We moved from corner to corner; some of the protesters came from and were bussed in. OK, I walked, but I live in town.

We crossed the street to the northside and met up with Sinatra and his owner, Nancy Johnson, a true patriot as she looked like Paula Revere on her beautiful horse. Fabulous. My friend motioned me to come be interviewed with KTTV. He was busy with the pro-Obama people. Time passed, and he had no interest in learning why I chose to be there.

After Obama entered Shorecliffs, we walked down the street where we clearly saw about 400 people, not including our police, 85% anti-Obama and 15% pro-Obama. Of the 15%, some were bussed in and maybe received dollars for attending.

The Daily Pilot presented its version, which was so different from what I saw. Who represented the Daily Pilot, a local paper? Yikes, but as karma happens, my subscription renewal arrived the same day and I made the call to cancel.

The lady asked why I chose to cancel. Yep, love this one. "Your paper is no longer fair or balanced," I said. "I was there on the street and you reported not what I witnessed."

She was not expecting that response.

So, the question one might now ask, whatever happened to fair and balanced?

MISSY ANNA SCWEIGER lives in Newport Beach.

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