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Reporter assaulted at Palin rally in North Carolina.

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Fuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:00 AM
Original message
Reporter assaulted at Palin rally in North Carolina.
There are certain things that get me really concerned when I hear them from someone Im working with. Joe Killian (who blogs for the paper here and on his own time here) 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."

Let me just digress for a second. I sometimes supervise people. Much more often, I work in teams with folks. I'm usually the old fart in the group so I feel responsible for them. The last thing I ever want to hear is one of my people gets hurt on assignment. Usually the worry has to do with covering a traffic accident along a highway or a natural disaster like a flood, where conditions are inherently dangerous.

What I don't expect is for some troglodyte at a campaign rally to decide that the propper way to express his frustration with Democrats, Barack Obama or the "left-wing liberal media" is to commit assualt 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. My boss blogs about that here.

Covering Sen. John McCain's apperance 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 ruckous 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 dutifulyl threw the handfull of individuals out. I watched just to make sure ruckous 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 baricade, the more pressing need of gathering a story and, well, that whole first amendment thing just lead 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. Im 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 thats funny?! the large bearded man said. His face was turning red. Yeah, thats 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 steels 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 is 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 flac 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 pedal 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.

http://blog.news-record.com/staff/capblog/archives/2008...
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. Wow! Someone noticed
"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."

Well, thanks a hell of a lot for actually noticing. Everyone disagrees with someone sometime. But the kicks, punches, mob scenes and yes, bullets, tend to come from one side a whole lot more than the other.
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libnnc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. Joe was the editor of the UNCG newspaper when I was an
Edited on Fri Oct-17-08 09:19 AM by libnnc
undergrad

Bookmarking to read this later....

Joe is an excellent writer.

edit to add That asshole freeptard picked the WRONG reporter to kick. I really, really hope Joe and/or the News and Record press charges.
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RedLetterRev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. Well, I'm glad you were there to keep an eye on them
and I commend your nerve. I won't set foot near those nutjobs, myself. I don't live terribly far from Elon, but to be quite honest, I wouldn't cross the street to pee on them if they were on fire. To watch McPhalin stir up the very worst dregs of society, then stand back and admire their handiwork speaks to the quality of their own character -- nil. I don't believe for an instant they're ignorant of their effects -- quite the contrary, they're accomplishing exactly what they're setting out to do. They're reaching exactly for racism, xenophobia, homophobia, bigotries of all sorts and everything abhorrent in humanity and they're getting it.

If that's the vision they have for America, then it's the clearest vision of hell and I want no part of it. It's disgusting; it's trashiness at its fullest definition, and no decent human being would sink that low. QED, no decent one did, but a whole gathering of trashy ones did -- with a moose-shooting queen of trash leading the charge.
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Fuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. Was NOT me. Found this link and shared.
Want to be clear.
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libnnc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
4. kicking...
can we keep a detailed record of these kinds of assaults and intimidation?

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ColoradoMagician Donating Member (228 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
5. You people are better than me, I would have maimed the guy
Sometimes violence deserves return violence. It's called self-defense. The cops use it, the military uses it and we should be empowered to use self defense against these assholes.

I have a rule: Don't fuck with me and I won't fuck with you. If you do fuck with me, I will never stop fucking with you, ever.
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lynnertic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. How cool, that's Palin's exact philosophy!!
I have a rule: Don't fuck with me and I won't fuck with you. If you do fuck with me, I will never stop fucking with you, ever.


So what makes you different, again?
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notalemming Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Turn the other cheek and get a nine iron up the ass.
Yeah, that's really smart. :eyes:
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lynnertic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. It.is.Palin's.exact.philosophy - and.how.is.he.different?
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notalemming Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. How is who different? Coloradomagician?...he happens to agree on that particular point
so he's correct. I marvel at how many people around here are willing to bend over and get fucked in the ass over and over and over and over and over and over...
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. not me...
and I don't give a shit if some judgmental poster wants to consider me to be the same as them. I could care less... no normal human being lives to the "turn the cheek" BS.
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Fuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. You hitting on me?
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. Hitting someone != hitting someone back (nt)
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notalemming Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. I imagine some of us might not know C
:D
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #16
28. It. Is. Not.
Edited on Fri Oct-17-08 04:24 PM by loudsue
She wants to fuck with people who are minding their own business.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. We come very close to agreement
"I will never stop fucking with you, never." is not how I see it. You fuck with me I will eventually quick fucking with you, but it won't be until after I have caused you much, and hopefully lasting pain.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. FIRST I turn the other cheek THEN I grab the baseball bat (wooden dowel).
Edited on Fri Oct-17-08 12:37 PM by TahitiNut
Long ago, I was taught (military) personal defense. The (Marine) coach made it very clear: "Track is the best training for personal defense." After an attempt to avoid personal injury fails, it becomes necessary to ELIMINATE the threat. When someone is hell-bent to cause you personal harm, and evasion and avoidance fail, the only choice one has is to put him/her out of commission. Disabled. If unavoidable ... dead. Kneecap, instep, sternum, throat, bridge of the nose. No pulled punches, no hesitancy. I would feel almost no regret whatsoever if someone assaulting me became permanently disabled after my attempt to avoid a confrontation failed.

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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. +1
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
30. Eternal vengeance is a bit much, isn't it?
Violence is not something to condone, but as you say, is sometimes necessary. But there needs to be a line drawn between defense and retaliation.

I had a lot of very bad fights in school, the sort of school where teachers will just look the other way if their "favorite" is involved, so long as he's winning - and I was never the favorite. I got in a lot of trouble for self-defense and retaliation. As a result, I had to take a two-part strategy.

Someone hits me, I take the hit and ask them if they're done. They try again, and I just look at htem. Usually they back down - Bullies and cowards don't know how to deal with someone with both patience and a high pain threshold.

On the other hand, at those times when I felt that they weren't going to back down, I defended myself with every ounce of kill and vigor I could, with the express goal of hurting them so badly that even if I lost the fight, they - and the inevitable crowd of onlookers - would think twice about trying to go that far.

It's not something for me to be proud of - I really did hurt a few other kids, and it's surprising that I never got to visit the county home or something.

Being kicked by some blowhard dipshit? That's a "get back up and look at them like they're an idiot" situation. it's hard to push back the urge to retaliate, but it's something we all need to work on through our lives.
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
6. It's Fox or nothing..
although I read Fox went a little 'elite' to these folks as well. Just goes to show how education and access to information is truly a National Security Threat.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
7. Just so other DUers know,
Elon is a Quaker college, er university now. Yes, the nonviolent, conscientious objector Quakers.

Whoever invited the M/P campaign to campus is squirrelly to say the least. I was surprised they had it in Elon and not say in Burlington or Gastonia, or Charlotte even.

Thanks for your report. I'm sure that must have been upsetting. I really hope they will not escalate.


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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
8. Do You Have the HBO Series On John Adams?
Republicans are trying to whip their crowds into a frenzy the way the crowds that tarred and feathered a tax collector were. I think it's something they're doing purposely.
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LonelyLRLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
29. Yes, it is intentional, and the McKKKain campaign must think we're stupid.
I know for sure their followers are stupid racists. I have some of them in my own family, and they make no bones about using the "n" word about Obama.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
9. Maybe it's time for reporters to start traveling with a security force
To protect their Constutionally given right to excercise a free press. How many freepers do you think would get in the face of an interviewer with an armed guard at his side. Hey they want to play by big kid rules then so can we.
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Avemedea Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
10. The Conservatives are falling apart
This is just another sign of the decay that has finally set in with the freakin' Conservatives.

They're losing it, and BADLY.

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notalemming Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
14. I would have rearranged the bastard's face.
In a couple of directions.

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Dogtown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Braggarts never really do anything but brag
Edited on Fri Oct-17-08 01:23 PM by Dogtown
We are seriously not impressed by cyber tough-guys.
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notalemming Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. No brag, just fact.
:D
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knowledgeispwr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
17. Kicking and Recommending
People need to see/hear the effects of the tone of McCain-Palin events.
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
25. I believe every word of it.



And what's more, I'm not surprised.





The RW Radio Hatemongers expect this sort
of thing from all their devoted listeners.






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machI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-18-08 04:32 AM
Response to Original message
31. Kick
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