Sometimes....news media personalities do something that they did not intend to bring up. Usually, this turns into a bigger mess than the original problem was.
This week, Al Sharpton from MSNBC ran off to Chicago. Al's plan? He was going to have a townhall meeting to discuss Chicago problems, and how they all lead to a necessary process of more gun-control. Al had this idea that it'd help with his show....give him plenty of video and audio for future use, and help turn up the heat in Chicago for more gun-control.
It was probably a good idea on paper.
So the townhall meeting starts. Most folks commented that this was the first real meeting of community members in thirty years. Some remembered the last episodes in the mid-80's.
Based on what journalists wrote of the townhall meeting....there were a couple occasions when Al tried to moderate things, and get gun-control mentioned and back into focus.
The crowd? They set their sights upon the leadership of Chicago....the mayor and city council. By the end of this townhall meeting....everybody was fairly focused. It was the dynamics that you would have witnessed in 2010 with the Tea Party. Folks were fired up to fire political figures in the next election.
It's hard to say if Al really knew what kind of mess he was going to create. His staff probably thought that Al could moderate enough, and things would flow toward more gun-control topics. That never happened....throughout the entire townhall meeting.
The worry now? The Tea Party folks never stepped back after the original thrills. Four years later....they are still fairly focused on their subjects. I suspect this group of Chicago folks are feeling the same empowerment. Tossing the old guys out from city hall? Well....in Chicago....mass voting usually kept things in check. Maybe some folks will ask more questions and vote independently this next time around.
The bigger issue? Al Sharpton's townhall theme might not be used again by MSNBC. It was bad enough for the Tea Party to exist....but to invent the "Chicago Fire Party" out of thin air?