It's been an insanely busy day here in Washington today. All the news folks have been focused on health care reform, and there are Tea Partiers up at the Capitol chanting, "Kill the Bill!" I'll have video from them tomorrow -- hell of a day for my laptop to up and die on me, isn't it? And I'll be trying to cover the vote from the House floor tonight too.
But all this was a tiny scene compared to what was really happening on the National Mall today: the massive crowd of over 100,000 people who showed up today to demand comprehensive immigration reform.
Let there be no doubt about this: Once health-care reform is accomplished, immigration reform is going to be the next big issue on the national plate. The huge crowd -- one estimate placed it at 500,000 -- sent a powerful signal that they will not be content to let Congress shuffle off this massive responsibility for yet another year, as we're already hearing that many of them want to do.
There was an impressive array of speakers -- I managed to catch snippets from Jesse Jackson and Geraldo Rivera here, and you can go to America's Voice for a fuller lineup (I spent a lot of time observing some of the nutcases who showed up; I'll have that video tomorrow too). You can see for yourself just how massive it was.
Indeed, this crowd was significantly larger than the much-promoted "9/12 March on Washington" last September, even though that event was endlessly promoted for over a month by Fox News (I know, I know; they like to claim they had 1.2 million people there, but the reality was that it was actually about 70,000).
Yet, strangely enough, there was only ONE Fox News crew on hand to cover the immigration march today. I spoke with the reporter for this crew, and he told me Fox News had several other crews on hand today -- but they were all up covering the Tea Partiers and the health-care vote.
And in case you're wondering, there were exactly ZERO stories on Fox News reporting on this march in advance. ZERO. I couldn't find any at CNN or MSNBC either.
But then, when people genuinely care about real issues that affect real lives, instead of imaginary descents into "socialism," they don't have to be ginned up by right-wing propaganda organs.