Clinton Supporter Has Message for Press

By Jennifer Parker

Jan 24, 2008 5:33pm

ABC News’ Kate Snow and Eloise Harper Report: At an event in Anderson, South Carolina Thursday, a voter put the media on notice.  Big time.

"I just got off a plane," Kathy Adams began, saying she had been watching media coverage of the South Carolina primary contest on television during her business travels to Minnesota.

"I have a message for the press!  South Carolina is not what you are portraying it to be.  I want to say this and I want it heard all over this country.  This is not the South you are trying to portray.  We don’t care about people’s color or their gender. We care about finding a leader!"

"If you would just please tell them," Adams implored, scanning the room for cameras. "This election is not about them, it’s about us, OK, please stop baiting these people and let them talk about what we care about. The war education, senior care, all of the issues the senator brought up and all of her opponents as well this is about us. Please make it about us."

"Amen!" Senator Hillary Clinton said loudly when Adams was all done with her rant.

"Everywhere I go, I say this election is not about those of us who are running it is about all of you," Clinton said.  She did not directly address the racial component of Adams’ comment.

Adams is a white woman.  She is a lawyer who works as a business consultant in Anderson and travels nationally and internationally.  While she was in Minnesota she said she watched CNN and local CBS and ABC affiliates.  She listened to NPR and read USA Today and local Minnesota newspapers.

"I was horrified by what I saw this week on the news coverage," she said after the event.

"I felt like saying ‘Folks, this is the new South. We don’t do that stuff anymore.’ Gender, race, it’s not important.  And the coverage made me feel like- what do they think we live… down on a plantation?"

For the record, the crowd listening to Senator Clinton was predominantly white.  In a room packed with about 700 people, there were no more than twenty African American voters.  Most of them were seated on the riser behind the Senator.

In Anderson County, according to census figures, seventeen percent of the population is black.  The state’s population overall is 34 percent African American.

While calling into the Michael Baisden syndicated radio program, Hillary Clinton discussed the Adams’  point.

"The media that covers politics has got to understand that it’s not about them either," said Clinton. "We keep getting diverted and detoured."

Clinton said she agreed with Adams that the candidates should talk about things like expanding health coverage, getting US troops out of Iraq, and making college more affordable.

ABC News’ Teddy Davis contributed reporting.

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