Tell it, my brutha

Lex Alexander, who sometimes comments at this address, takes note of this story in the WashPost, about the Secret Service’s creative new approach to obnoxious but nonviolent hecklers at Bush campaign events, which apparently involves removing women by their hair, among other things, and includes this chilling paragraph:

One uniformed Secret Service agent complained to a colleague that “the press is having a field day” with the disruption — and the agents quickly clamped down. Journalists were told that if they sought to approach the demonstrators, they would not be allowed to return to the event site — even though their colleagues were free to come and go. An agent, who did not give his name, told one journalist who was blocked from returning to the speech that this was punishment for approaching the demonstrators and that there was a “different set of rules” for reporters who did not seek out the activists.

Lex wrote to Romenesko about it, and since he doesn’t permalink individual letters, I’m just going to paste it here. I don’t think anyone will mind:


TO: U.S. news media
FROM: One of your own
DATE: 10 September 2003
RE: that story

Folks, this is gut-check time. If we, with our massive presses and our tanker-trucks of ink and our big honkin’ Apache Web servers and our 1,800-foot sticks with directional signals and our high-dollar white-shoe law firms on 24/7 retainer, do not put a stop to this kind of illegal behavior now, what hope have Joe and Jane Citizen who have wandered off to a campaign event in the na�ve belief that officers of the government will not obstruct their efforts to exercise their First Amendment rights? A 30% pretax profit margin carries with it certain obligations, and for our industry, this is about as big as an obligation gets.

I’m just sayin’.

Yeah, Lex, me too.

Posted at 6:08 pm in Uncategorized |

8 responses to “Tell it, my brutha”

  1. deb said on September 10, 2004 at 9:23 pm

    my god. i HATE THESE PEOPLE.

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  2. Bob said on September 10, 2004 at 9:27 pm

    I’ve gone beyond hating them, and begun to seriously fear them.

    63 chars

  3. Mary said on September 11, 2004 at 7:48 pm

    Why am I not surprised at this? Digusted, yes. Frightened as well, but surprised, no.

    87 chars

  4. Danny said on September 12, 2004 at 8:41 am

    While everyone is all full of fear and anger, you should keep in mind that this sort of thing goes on at Democratic rallies too. Just last week I saw a photo of a Bush supporter being mugged at a Kerry rally. And if you think the Democrats do not compell the Press, you’re not living in reality.

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  5. Nance said on September 12, 2004 at 1:29 pm

    The Bush supporter, however, was being mugged by a civilian, not by an agent of the government. And what does “compell the press” mean?

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  6. Dog said on September 12, 2004 at 7:28 pm

    If you read the Post story carefully, you may notice it didn’t report the SS pulled hair, but “After Bush campaign bouncers handled the evictions,…” the SS “supervised” the arrest.

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  7. Nance said on September 12, 2004 at 10:43 pm

    You’re right, and I’m wrong — it wasn’t a Secret Service agent. The rest of the behavior — the bullying of the press, etc. — still stands, though.

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  8. Danny said on September 13, 2004 at 10:09 am

    Nance, “compell the Press,” means that the likes of Joe Lockhart and others around the Clinton entourage were known to tell reporters that if they didn’t lay off of a certain line of questioning, they would no longer be welcome. and their ilk want to paint the Republicans as Nazis and it is just is not true.

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