Town Halls

Man Bites Off Man's Finger

The health-care debate has turned into a real knuckle-biter: During a protest in Thousand Oaks near Los Angeles, one man bit off another's finger, the Los Angeles Times reports: A 65-year-old protester evidently punched a pro-reform man in the face, and the man retaliated by biting off the anti-reformist's finger. It is, perhaps, the most gruesome town-hall story so far, but is the media distorting the picture? “There is an overwhelming case that the electronic media went out of their way to cover the noise and ignored the calmer (and from television's point of view "boring") encounters between elected representatives and their constituents.” E.J. Dionne Jr. writes in Thursday’s column. “Much as the far left of the antiwar movement commanded wide coverage during the Vietnam years, so now are extremists on the right hogging the media stage—with the media's complicity.”