Although Mr. Frommer, the founder of Frommer’s Travel Guides (which is an online content partner of The New York Times), has used his blog to express strong opinions in the past, his post on Wednesday — expressing horror at the spectacle of about a dozen gun-toting protesters on Arizona’s streets during a visit by President Obama — stuck out from other recent entries like “Current Room Rates in Orlando at Non-Disney Properties Are Almost Too Good to Be True” and “Southwest Airlines Announces a Four-Month Airfare Sale — and It’s a Dilly.”
In his post on Arizona, Mr. Frommer explained that news coverage of the president’s visit — a trip that was intended, in part, to promote the state’s tourism industry — had convinced him to avoid going there:
“I am not yet certain whether I would advocate a travel boycott by others of the state of Arizona; I want to learn more about Arizona’s gun laws and how they compare with those of other states. But I am shocked beyond measure by reports that earlier this week, nearly a dozen persons, including one with an assault rifle strapped about his shoulders and others with pistols in their hands or holsters, were openly congregating outside a hall at which President Obama was speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“For myself, without yet suggesting that others follow me in an open boycott, I will not personally travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons onto the sidewalks and as a means of political protest. I not only believe such practices are a threat to the future of our democracy, but I am firmly convinced that they would also endanger my own personal safety there. And therefore I will cancel any plans to vacation or otherwise visit in Arizona until I learn more. And I will begin thinking about whether tourists should safeguard themselves by avoiding stays in Arizona…
“I would feel as I do regardless of the political identity of the speaker whom these thugs attempted to intimidate. The continued tolerance of extremists carrying guns is a frightening development which strikes at the heart of the political process and endangers the ability to carry out a reasoned debate. Is there any responsible citizen of the United States who believes that people should carry guns to a public debate or speech? If Ronald Reagan were delivering a political talk in Phoenix, Arizona, would they have felt it was proper for protestors with guns to mill about outside the hall from which he would leave?”
Most media types are still too cowardly to identify this event as stage-managed, filmed and offered as “news coverage” by long-standing militia nutballs. The history of these clowns is tied directly to previous convictions of members of the Viper Militia as a public danger. Yet, Talking Heads from the world of TV news-as-entertainment never questioned a damned thing.
Even now, as a travel writer confronts these fearmongers – most broadcast journalists still describe the event as news coverage rather than a staged political farce. No different from teabaggers or “questions” from concerned Republicans at town hall discussions.