Group plans ‘media protest’

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saturday, an Andalusia couple, disenfranchised with “mainstream media” will host a demonstration on the Court Square in honor of nation protest day.

Dr. Ron Hei and wife Carol, organizers of the event, said they have chosen to take the day “to stage an event in Andalusia to show our solidarity with the national patriotic resurgence of ordinary Americans.”

According to Hei, similar events are scheduled in more than 85 other cities across the nation.

“Incredibly, I really don’t find anyone to protest ‘against’ here in Andalusia, so we decided to organize a ‘media appreciation’ demonstration where citizens can express our support and admiration for our local media’s unbiased and honest coverage,” Hei said. “It’s a ‘positive’ protest, if you will.”

Hei said his positive media opinion, however, does not hold true for national media coverage.

“We live in the deep South, where God, country, and family still matter,” he said. “Our local media outlets reflect these values and provide fair and balanced coverage. So we will march, but we will carry signs and placards letting our local radio station, TV station and our local newspaper know how much we appreciate them.

“But over this past year I found myself becoming more and more alienated and disenfranchised by the so-called mainstream media,” said Hei, a self-proclaimed NBC fanatic. “Long before it became a topic of frequent conversation, Carol and I had increasing frequent discussions about the topics we watched on stations like NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN.

“I never missed the NBC 5:30 p.m. news,” he said. “As the bias became more and more apparent, I was appalled. (Soon) it became painfully obvious that the media we rely on, would not be a ‘watchdog,’ it would be a ‘lapdog.’”

That was something that the Heis said they couldn’t stand by and condone. So when they heard of a small organization called “Can You Hear Us Now?” the couple decided to follow suit and organize an event in Andalusia.

“When I joined the movement’s e-mail list, I received an e-mail requesting that I organize a local event on Oct. 17, the day of the national demonstration,” he said. “After reflecting on it, it occurred to me that the local media in Andalusia was not participating in the mass misinformation and bias of the national media. Accordingly, rather than ‘protest’ something, I offered to organize a small rally at the square to thank the local media for their efforts.”

Hei said he expects a good turnout at the event, which is set from noon until 2 p.m. Saturday.

For more information on the day’s events, call Hei at 334-239-2156 or e-mail