If its Memorial Day story is any indication, Reuters news services can’t seem to tell the difference between a group of patriots celebrating Memorial Day with a motorcycle event and the Texas biker gang shootings that left nine dead.
“One week after a gathering of biker gangs in Texas that resulted in nine deaths and 170 arrests,” Reuters wrote on May 25, “thousands of motorcycle riders roared into the nation’s capital Sunday to honor military veterans, prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.”
The two, though, have absolutely nothing at all to do with one another. The Rolling Thunder patriotic ride is an annual event that has been going on since 1988 and no shootings or gang warfare have ever resulted.
Every year, more than a million motorbike riders and spectators attend the event touted as a “ride for freedom,” making it the largest one-day bike event in the world.
“They’re not here to party and get drunk,” Rolling Thunder spokeswoman Nancy Regg said of the event named after a 1965 bombing campaign against North Vietnam. “No fights. No attitudes,” she added.
Each year, the staging area features speeches by politicians, actors, and activists. This year, actor Robert Patrick and former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson appeared.
No one gets shot. No one gets killed. No fights are recorded. And no gang influence is seen, felt or tolerated.
And yet, not only did Reuters start its story with a first paragraph mentioning the Texas biker shootings in the same breath as Rolling Thunder, it bookends the coverage by another mention at the end of the piece of the gang warfare that occurred in Texas.
Obviously, Reuters is desperate to tie the patriotic annual event to murderous, criminal biker gangs.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter: @warnerthuston. Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org