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ABC: Anti-ObamaCare Protest 'Turned Very Ugly' with 'Racial and Homophobic Slurs'

Though by their own count "thousands" of anti-ObamaCare protesters gathered outside the Capitol building on Saturday, ABC decided to smear the entire cause by stressing the despicable actions of a handful or even fewer as anchor David Muir announced in setting up the first story on Saturday's World News: "Protesters against the plan gathered on the streets of the capital where late today we learned words shouted turned very ugly, reports of racial and homophobic slurs, one protester actually spitting on a Congressman."

Following the lead story on President Barack Obama's pep talk to House Democrats, and before Jonathan Karl's count on where the vote stands (he put it at 212 yes versus 214 no), Muir went to:

Late word from Washington tonight about just how ugly the crowds gathered outside the Longworth office building have become. We learned that as Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri was leaving his office someone in the crowd spit on him. There are also reports of racial and homophobic slurs, one targeting Congressman John Lewis, the famous civil rights champion, and the other involving Congressman Barney Frank. You can listen in for yourself.

ABC played video of a small crowd shouting "Kill the bill! Kill the bill!" as Frank walked by. Reporter David Kerley recounted how "somebody spit on Congressman Cleaver and yelled the 'N' word at Congressman Lewis" and "that situation with Barney Frank, a homophobic term yelled at him."

The Politico, however, reported how others "admonished" the single shout from the bigoted hater with a lack of decorum, who could have even been a plant to embarrass the conservatives:

Frank, who is gay, was leaving the Longworth House Office Building when a man yelled a charged homophobic slur at the Massachusetts lawmaker. Other protesters quickly admonished the shouter, with one woman yelling back, "We don't need that."

Saturday's NBC Nightly News limited coverage of the conservative rally to a sentence that didn't mention the unpleasantness. The CBS Evening News was bumped, in all time zones, for college basketball.

Friday night: "ABC Highlights Congresswoman Upset ObamaCare Opponents Dare Pressure Her via TV Ad."

Tuesday night: "CBS Charged Anti-ObamaCare Protesters Acted in 'Ugly' Manner, But Politico Found Them 'Polite' and 'Boring.'"

From the Saturday, March 20 World News on ABC:

DAVID MUIR: Now we turn to late word from Washington tonight about just how ugly the crowds gathered outside the Longworth office building have become. We learned that as Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri was leaving his office someone in the crowd spit on him. There are also reports of racial and homophobic slurs, one targeting Congressman John Lewis, the famous civil rights champion, and the other involving Congressman Barney Frank. You can listen in for yourself.

CROWD, SHOUTING AT FRANK: Kill the bill! Kill the bill! Kill the bill!

MUIR: Of course, it is hard to decipher what they're saying, so want to bring in David Kerley, who's been on Capitol Hill all day today, and David, we understand Congressman Cleaver was actually contacted by the authorities after they nabbed someone.

DAVID KERLY: Yeah, absolutely. Here are the details, David. In fact, Cleaver, Emanuel Cleaver was together with John Lewis - they were walking over to the Capitol when somebody spit on Congressman Cleaver and yelled the 'N' word at Congressman Lewis. Cleaver was taken to police headquarters. He did ID the man, but he is not going to press charges. He's not speaking about it. Lewis is not going to speak about it. They don't want to take any more details away from the vote that's coming up tomorrow.

And that situation with Barney Frank, a homophobic term yelled at him and he is not responding to our calls so far tonight about that. Really kind of a disappointing end to what was a day for the protesters to come here and try and support the Republicans in their efforts to defeat this health care reform bill.

Thousands of the Republican faithful filled the steps of the Capitol....