A group of protesters from the Katy area took to the streets in front of the KTRK-13 television studios yesterday to protest the airing of President Barack Obama’s prime time special on his health care reform proposal by the station and its parent network, ABC.
The group, the Katy Tea Party Patriots, carried signs protesting both the network’s decision to air the program, as well as government-run universal health care.
The protest took place outside Channel 13’s studios while the station’s 6 p.m. newscast was taking place.
Protesters said ABC was showing its pro-Obama bias because they chose to air only the President’s proposal without any dissenting views. They also noted ABC also rejected applications for paid advertising opposing the administration’s plan.
About 100 people, many holding signs, took part in the protest.
Tim Graney, one of the Tea Party Patriots’ leaders, said many passing motorists showed their support, while a few did not.
“There was lots of thumbs up and honking from some passing motorists, and there was also the occasional flipping of the bird by some of those driving by,” Graney said. “The protesters have been very respectful, but the same can’t be said for those who disagreed with us.”
Graney said at one point West University Place Police told the protesters they would have to move to the other side of the street because their permit was only valid in Houston. The street running alongside the television station marks the boundary between the two cities.
“We had actually gathered on both sides of the street until we were politely informed by West University Police we could only be in ‘Houston,’ which meant we had to be only on the one side of the street. All protesters quickly and quietly moved to the one side of the street that was in Houston, which is where the group had the permit for,” Graney said.
Channel 13 made only a brief mention of the protest on its newscast and website.
The protest was the second for the fledgling organization. Earlier this month, the Katy Tea Party Patriots joined with several other organizations to protest Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during her appearance at the Wortham Center.