On Sunday, Dec. 3, Bikers for Trump hosted a rally in downtown Scottsboro in support of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore.
As expected, the large crowd of attendees were all of the same mindset – that Moore should be our next Senator.
There were, however, exactly two people in attendance that were opposed to Moore winning the seat and exercised their First Amendment right to peacefully voice their opposition.
This protest was expected, as is custom with most political gatherings in the current political climate.
Alabama State Rep. Ed Henry, R-Marshall, was in attendance on Sunday. He chose to address the protesters directly from the podium. That is no issue, either. Civil discourse is a pillar of American democracy.
What is curious, however, is the social media aftermath where Henry tweeted a photo of the protestors with the caption, “I bet the press makes it out like these people mattered.”
Henry argued later in a reply to the tweet that “they [the protestors] didn’t matter to the event, but the press kept their cameras trained on them as if they were a viable presence. Just another fake news story waiting to happen.”
We take issue with Henry’s statement.
As the ‘fake news’ narrative continues to grow every day, politicians often use fake news as a crutch to condemn something they do not agree with, be it factual or not, and to change the conversation or deflect the question at hand.
We find it shameful that Ed Henry would imply that every news entity that attended this rally would be purveyors of fake news.
In fact, the outlets in attendance actually spent more time covering the content of the rally in support of Moore than on the two people holding signs.
But, yes Rep. Henry, they do matter.
These two protestors matter just as much as your words on the stage do, because in our line of work we must remain objective.
These two had every right to protest the event just as much as you had the right to gather for the rally. Any good journalist would cover all sides of this story, not just the agenda being pushed by the event’s organizers.
Rep. Henry’s statement bears the question of whether constituents that don’t share the same beliefs as him matter in his eyes.
Rep. Henry would do well to remember that he was elected to serve all Alabamians, whether he agrees with them or not – not only the ones who voted for him.
Yes, they matter.