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‘The GOP Gives License To Beat Up Press’

From the Greensboro (NC) News-Record:


Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, speaks during a rally in Elon, N.C., Oct. 16, 2008.

Report from Palin rally

By Mark Binker

October 16, 2008

There are certain things that get me really concerned when I hear them from someone I’m working with. Joe Killian added a new one to my list:

Joe was working with me on a package for tomorrow’s newspaper covering Gov. Sarah Palin’s visit to Elon and Greensboro.

“Dude,” he says when I called to check on him. “Some guy just kicked me in the back of the leg.”

The last thing I ever want to hear is that one of my people got hurt on assignment…

What I don’t expect is for some troglodyte at a campaign rally to decide that the proper way to express his frustration with Democrats, Barack Obama or the “left-wing liberal media” is to commit assault on a colleague.

Here’s the back-story:

As you probably know, the crowds at McCain-Palin events have gotten, um, saucy as of late…

Covering Sen. John McCain’s appearance in Wilmington Monday, you could definitely sense some of that vibe.

Cut to today, Palin in town. In general, I walked in sensing the crowd had a more positive vibe than the McCain rally.

That changed when I heard a ruckus behind me. A couple folks there for the rally called campaign staff over, complaining about people several rows back chanting “Obama” when the rest of the crowd cheered at Palin’s applause lines. Obnoxious? Yes. But I dig me some First Amendment.

The campaign staff dutifully fetched a couple of police officers who dutifully threw the handful of individuals out. I watched just to make sure ruckus didn’t develop into something more. That apparently gave other McCain-Palin supporters license to yell at me.

“Hey! Hey you! The story’s up there,” yelled one point at the stage. “You don’t need to worry about that. The story is up there.”

The presence of a barricade, the more pressing need of gathering a story and, well, that whole First Amendment thing just led me to ignore them. They can pop off if they like.

Joe was near a second group of protestors who got tossed. And he got some push back for investigating as well. After the rally wound down, he went to find some Obama folks and see if he could talk to who got put out.

That’s when at least one guy from the crowd decided he needed to interject his opinion into the conversation. As Joe tells it:

I sidled up to one of the Obama supporters and asked why they were there, what they were trying to accomplish.

As he was telling me a large, bearded man in full McCain-Palin campaign regalia got in his face to yell at him.

“Hey, hey, ” I said. “I’m trying to interview him. Just a minute, okay? “

The man began to say something about how of course I was interviewing the Obama people when suddenly, from behind us, the sound of a pro-Obama rap song came blaring out of the windows of a dorm building. We all turned our heads to see Obama signs in the windows.

This was met with curses, screams and chants of “U.S.A” by McCain-Palin folks who crowded under the windows trying to drown it out and yell at the person playing the stereo.

It was a moment of levity in an otherwise very tense situation and so I let out a gentle chuckle and shook my head.

“Oh, you think that ‘s funny?! ” the large bearded man said. His face was turning red. “Yeah, that ‘s real funny…” he said.

And then he kicked the back of leg, buckling my right knee and sending me sprawling onto the ground.

There was no cop or security officer around to report this lugnut to, and Joe resisted the temptation to smack the guy back, which I commend. But let me say this: the guy who attacked Joe is a criminal, no better that the lunk-head who steals your car stereo or snatches a purse.

Do I hold the McCain campaign responsible? Not entirely. No one on their staff said, “Hey, after the event, go smack around a reporter.”

Although, I will say that complaints about “the media,” “mainstream media,” “Eastern media elite,” etc… have become a pervasive in Republican talking points, increasingly so as we get closer to the election. I’ve heard the complaints from folks like U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and certainly both Palin and McCain have used those phrases in their speeches. Then, there are the opening lines of Hank Williams Jr.’s campaign theme song for McCain-Palin: “The leftwing liberal media have always been a real close-knit family, but most of the American people, don’t believe them anyway you see.”

Fair enough. We’re big boys and girls who put ourselves out there and part of the job is tacking flak from both sides. Certainly I have heard complaints from Democrats about “the media” and have been accused of being too conservative. But I have never had the sense that a Democrat was going to get physical in that kind of way. Even though McCain and Palin have taken a kinder gentler tone in their speeches, there was still a real undercurrent of anger at the rallies I covered this week.

After today I’m wondering – and this is just wondering at this point – whether Republicans aren’t in some respect giving their supporters license for this sort of crap. If the story you peddle is that your guys are the good guys and all those who stand against them are the bad guys, and the “liberal media” is in that second column, might there be a message there – even if it is one that is misconstrued and carried to a stupid extreme in some cases?

Full disclosure: I’m not real happy with the McCain campaign today. After the Elon event Palin did a fundraiser and I was told the local pool would be able to cover that. It’s a major reason I took the pool assignment. I was told mid-way through my day that the fundraiser would be closed. And I just found out that the campaign tossed a one-on-one to an out-of-town competitor rather than to the paper that staffed their pool today.

But that’s peanuts, mere whining, an issue of protocol. This other thing with Joe reflects something far more troubling. I just hope it’s not a trend.

Oh my goodness. A reporter claims that a “troglodyte” kneed him?

Yes, that is surely the start of a jihad against the poor put upon media.

Still, how soon before we find out that this is yet another made up story?

But gosh those Republicans are such thugs.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 17th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “‘The GOP Gives License To Beat Up Press’”

  1. Icarus says:

    Did I miss the photo of his bruised leg?
    Not that it would prove anything – since evidence like a bruised leg can be easily fabricated.

  2. Big E says:

    “There was no cop or security officer around to report this lugnut to, and Joe resisted the temptation to smack the guy back, which I commend. But let me say this: the guy who attacked Joe is a criminal, no better that the lunk-head who steals your car stereo or snatches a purse.”

    Yes, I’m quite sure that, if this incident actually happened as described, Joe resisted the temptation to “smack the guy back” and get his ass kicked (note this Joe guy appears to be known to conservatives down there due to a post he made on his blog regarding a porn movie being made about Sarah Palin). I’m also sure that no police report was made, no witnesses of the incident were interviewed and if witnesses were found it is a bunch of fellow Obama followers. File this one under the wannabe left wing martyr makes unsubstantiated hate crime allegation heading until someone else substantiates the charge.

    What is it about left wingers and their desire to be martyrs (without actually enduring any real hardship) anyway?

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    Just like we planted Joe the plumber? Get real……the bruise on your knee came from licking toe jam from the toes of your Annointed One!! Maybe if you grew some acorns and became a real man, you would have taken that bully course from the comic book in your back pocket. What a whiny puke!! Why don’t you go tell your mommy?

  4. Odie44 says:

    Straw man media reporting.

    I call BS:

    I find it funny he was talking to a “guy” (with the back of his head? – or most likely, if it happened, was facing him – thats generally how humans converse) who then kicked him “in the back of the leg” Thats some serious flexibility and Bruce Lee kung-foo…

    “Resisted the urge to punch him back” – nicely peppered for a “gotcha” moment – lets face it – if you have ever been in a large crowd and a fight happens – the first guy usually gets away with the first hit, the second gets in trouble. In fact – its akin to “mommy Johnny just hit me, so I hit him back” – so we know why it didn’t “happen.”

    And the remaining article is filled with bogus accusations that was the intent of the article in the first place – act as if Rep’s are dangerous “criminals” and Dem’s are freindly, peace loving people who have never physically harmed or harrassed anyone.

    If you are going to be a tough guy – be a tough guy, please don’t act like one.

  5. joeblough says:

    If the 4th estate persists in blatant treason, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that people will start to get physical about it, to some degree at some point in time.

    Of course the story could be a lie from front to back, and that would certainly be typical of our 5th column press. But I’m willing for the sake of discussion to assume that it is at least in part true.

    And BTW, kicking somebody behind the knee is normally a prank meant to deflate and humiliate, not an attack meant to pain or injure. It’s a school-yard prank. So it is also noteworthy that our whiny reporter recounts it as an attack. It’s so characteristically sissy.

    More likely than not it was some prankster in the crowd behind him that did it — just to show what an ass he thought the reporter was.

    But that said, the left is responsible for vast theft, destruction and mass murder. It is unreasonable (I prefer to think) to expect that Americans, of all people, will watch them take over the country and jettison the American culture and freedoms, tradition and national interest without taking that threat seriously and responding — physically.

    100 million. That’s communism’s death toll.

    100 million.

    The next time somebody asks you whats wrong with socialism just say “100 million”.

    And remember Nazi means national socialist.

    It’s quite likely that things are going to be getting more and more physical with time. That’s how this sort of thing works. It’s the lesson of history.

    Nobody attains or keeps their freedom without a fight,

    And the left has already gotten physical on too many occasions,
    and in too many ways.

    Think Elian Gonzales.

  6. sheehanjihad says:

    if he was a reporter, especially one in the tank for obama, he would be begging to get his eye back. What is clear is that “reporters” are free to create any story, lie through their teeth, engage in character assasination and accuse any dissenting opinion as “racist”, or “neocon” with impunity.

    Perhaps if said reporter got punched repeatedly for lying, and then beaten into a coma for printing the lies, he wouldnt be so anxious to continue to try to take down this country via their socialistic propaganda.

    Yeah, there is going to be hell to pay, and unlike the behind the scenes financiers who have purchased the democrat party and their messiah…..everybody knows exactly who these people are. Thus, easier to locate.

    For all so called MSM “reporters”…ask not, for whom the bell tolls…it tolls for thee.

  7. Exeter says:

    joeblough – you’re so right, but it may be a stretch to connect America’s liberals with the worst crimes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao (BTW: 12m + 54m + 80m = 156m). If that were so, the ‘violence’ our media darlings are encountering would be justifiably worse.

    For the sake of argument, let’s say Mark “girly-man” Binker’s story is true. Now add to this a few more truths: the media destroyed Joe McCarthy, Barry Goldwater, General LeMay, General Westmoreland, Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon, Dan Quayle, Pat Buchanan, Al Haig, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush; the media tried to destroy Ronald Reagan, Jesse Helms, Clarence Thomas, Phyllis Schlafly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and General Petraeus. But of course they protected Joe Stalin, Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, Chairman Mao, Ho Chi Minh, George McGovern, Daniel Ortega, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

    For fifty years they have been provoking, insulting, slandering and persecuting conservatives, while shielding liberals from exposure – and now they’re going after Sarah Palin with that same-old, arrogant impunity. They belly-ache because they’re getting their feelings hurt at Republican rallies, but they should consider themselves lucky we let them leave with all their limbs attached.

  8. U NO HOO says:

    Video at 11?

    Yaaaawwwwwnnnnnn!!

    PS: I can’t believe print reporters don’t carry Flip videos, they are the size of a cigarette pack, record for an hour, and cost under $200. Completely digital, no tape or memory media to forget or damage.

    No commercial interest in Flip, just a happy user.

  9. joeblough says:

    Exeter – I’m not sure just how much of a stretch it is.

    I once heard Jonah Goldberg assert that the styles of the German Nazi’s and the Chinese Maoists are simply not in America’s “cultural DNA”. And I think he was right. Different cultures, different histories, different traditions, different styles of tyranny.

    So it’s likely that America would probably give birth to its own style of oppression and misery.

    On the other hand, if you had told me twenty years ago that someone with Obama’s background and outlook would become a presidential front runner, I would have laughed at the idea. And here he is. This is a guy who couldn’t pass a background check to be his own bodyguard!

    So I wouldn’t relax too much.

    Completely beyond that, I have NEVER met a leftist who expressed even the slightest confusion or regret over having supported and condoned the people who did participate in the communist tidal wave of destruction and slaughter that blackened the 20th century, and continues unabated in N Korea and Tibet today. NOT ONE! And I know a lot of leftists. Old ones too, who have no excuses based on youth or ignorance.

    And one only has to listen occasionally to hear the shocking stream of ill will, malice, indeed hatred that spews from leftist mouths given the faintest stimulation.

    So I wouldn’t give the American left too much credit for their humanitarianism or gentleness.

    The absence of truly brutal violence may be more a sign of physical cowardice than a gentle temperment. But given the advantage … ?

    The problem that good people have, is that it is very very difficult for them to recognize and accept true evil in others. Evil is baffling to the mind of a good man. In fact, the minds of the good reflexively recoil from evil. Almost any other explanation is proposed and usually accepted first.

    It cannot be denied that the mass of humanity, at least in America, is actually quite mixed, and hanging somewhere between altogether good and altogether bad.

    But it is important to remember that most Germans were kind, decent people and never active Nazis as such. Most Russians were never fully communists. Most Chinese were never really Maoists. It’s always a “tiny minority of extremists”.

    That’s all it takes to create real mass misery.

    And yes. I regard the Durantes and the rest that countenance and make excuses for the enemies of America in particular and humanity in general as being very nearly if not just as guilty as the bastards they cheer for.

  10. DW says:

    Joeblough and Exeter,

    On a somewhat smaller scale, but no less horrific: has anyone ever done a decent study on the number of Americans murdered, raped, tortured, brutalized, or all of the above -by people that would never have been out on the streets were it not for the liberal insistence on giving violent criminals more rights than the average law-abiding citizen?
    Or, for that matter, on how many such crimes are committed by people who grew up in that liberal ideal -the home without a father?

  11. JohnMG says:

    What a pussy!! If there was any truth to this at all, or this guy has any seeds at all he would have come up swinging. Instead he screamed “Mooooooommmmmmyyyyyyyyyyy!! Waaaaa! Democrats are tough on national security?? No, democrats are tough on defenseless victims. “Watch out!! I’ll sic my trial lawyer on you” Pussys!! What a feeble lot.

  12. Exeter says:

    joeblough – I think we got our wires slightly crossed. What I meant was, the hostility the MSM is meeting at GOP rallies is probably due more to their fifty-years-long abuse of conservatives than their apologias for murderous socialist regimes. I make no excuses for Walter Duranty or his modern-day dopplegangers – and like you, I’m not reluctant to call them Evil.

    DW – that would be an interesting study, but one that would never interest the media to actually conduct it. To do so, they would first have to acknowledge that their social panacea is WRONG, and discerning right from wrong is not in their collective skill-set.

  13. joeblough says:

    Exeter – Understood. Thanks for the clarification.


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