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In an below the fold article in today's Detroit Free Press / Detroit News titled Conyers rises to take on  Bush  John Conyers is portrayed as a marginal yet secure Representative.
 From the very start of the article, he is essentially called a tool of the far left.

At age 76, U.S. Rep. John Conyers -- long a hero to civil rights activists -- has grabbed a new torch: darling of the antiwar, anti-Bush far left.

Conyers, arguably President George W. Bush's harshest congressional critic on Iraq policy, openly proclaims that his goal is nothing short of impeaching the president

Although the article begins reasonably well, bringing attention to the Downing Street memos, the Sept. 24th rally and voting irregularities in Ohio, the balance of the article portrays him as somewhat of a bumbling publicity hound influenced by "left-wing activists around the world on Internet blogs."

more to follow

First he's portrayed as "curiosty"

Conyers is familiar with the political fringe: It's been his comfort zone over four decades in Congress. The second most senior member of the House, however, Conyers is a stark contrast to its most senior, Democrat John Dingell, whose district abuts Conyers' district. Dingell has forged bipartisan compromises and demands respect and gets it.

Republicans regard Conyers as more of a curiosity who has legendary problems with his staff and an awful attendance record, and is the sponsor of odd resolutions -- like National Tap Dance Day. (In 1989, it failed.)

The article then continues in this vein, a mention of a Conyers initiative, follwed by a description of Staff problems, dud proposals etc.  Nearer the end of the article it describes Conyers as somewhat of a publicity hound

In the moment, usually

One thing about Conyers that's not debatable: He has a great sense of the moment.

Last week, he was front and center days after Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He offered an amendment to exempt hurricane victims from a new law that makes it harder to escape debts by declaring bankruptcy.

Four days after the 1968 death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Conyers sponsored the first bill calling for a holiday for the slain civil rights activist.

After more discounting of his record and management skills, the article goes on to decribe him as as darling of the far left who love him.

They see the role of at-large representative to the nation's dispossessed as heroic.

Of course, according to the article, these "at large" activities come at the cost of a lack of service to his constituents.  (Of course 84% of the vote is mentioned, but no quotes from his district).

All in all, I came away with the view that the author wanted to get a splashy headline and felt she had to write something about Conyers but felt she really needed to do a "balanced" piece. Any press is good press.  There were nice pics in the print version and it brings up Downing Street, and some challenges to Bushco, hovever, instead of investigating the substance of what he currently trying to do, the author chose to discount his activities as playing to the fringe far left internet blog activists.  (All bad code terms for tinfoil hat wearing nut cases, us.)


Originally posted to BTower on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 07:28 AM PDT.

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