My first presumption, in seeing a clip like this, is that there has been selective editing. I make that presumption because selective editing happens often. From the clip we can’t tell what was going on just before the woman in the wheelchair is shown speaking. Did the clip show her every word, or did she already have the microphone for some time and refuse to pose a question? (This might have been the case, since a man at the back of the room yells out something like “Ask a question!”)
Another reason I’d hesitate to make a blanket condemnation of the audience is what occurs with the commentators (neither of whom I know, since I don’t watch television). The newscaster opens the segment with no pretense of objectivity, and he and his later guest can’t do any better than to say that the people in the audience, stupidly, are siding with rapacious insurance companies.
The viewer is left to conclude that those hundreds of people are, all of them, dolts who don’t realize that they are protecting their own persecutors. But the newscaster and the other man don’t make the slightest attempt to offer the more likely explanation: that, however dissatisfied the members of the audience may be at times with their health insurance, they think that, on the whole, their health care is good and that the President’s plan will make them much worse off. This is the logical and fair explanation for their heatedness about the issue. Why can’t the talking heads acknowledge that?
I’ll answer my own question: It’s because they are unremittingly biased. The conservatives they decry may be taking a NIMBY position, but they themselves are oblivious to the ideological stand that have assumed as liberal ideologues.
Now back to the woman. Was she rudely treated by members of the audience? Likely so. By the whole audience? Surely not. Did some members of the audience have a legitimate gripe about her (“Ask a question!”)? Maybe so. The fact is that, given that some of the tape was left on the cutting room floor (to use the old phrasing), we’re not going to know, not having been in that room.