Apparently fearful that their bitter and genuinely mean-spirited candidate might embarrass himself with his own devastating macaca moment, Dino Rossi’s campaign staffers and supporters have resorted to increasingly aggressive tactics to keep opposition cameras out of public events, and thus the real Dino Rossi out of the public eye. And as the Seattle Times reports this morning, this resulted last week in a Democratic Party cameraman being forcibly dragged out of a press conference at the Seattle Police Officers Guild, and physically restrained by off-duty cops.
“We don’t allow them in to collect attack video,” Rossi spokeswoman Jill Strait said.
But we do allow event organizers to attack the videographer, apparently.
Guild members threatened the cameraman with arrest, but no charges were filed and no fine or penalty issued… because, of course, no laws were broken (except, perhaps, by the off-duty officers). This wasn’t a private fundraiser or other such event, it was a press conference, which by its very nature is an inherently public event, and thus the cameraman had every expectation that he would have the same right to record the proceedings as the several other cameramen in attendance.
“We’re sorry that it had to end that way,” Strait said of Thursday’s incident. “But he wouldn’t have to be escorted off the premises if he had just left when he was asked to. I really think he was trying to provoke an incident by refusing to leave.”
Yeah… it “had to end that way;” he was, after all, “provoking an incident” by quietly standing in the back with all the other cameramen, so I suppose he was lucky to walk away with only a bruised sternum. As one die-hard Rossi supporter enthusiastically suggested in the threads over on Postman’s blog, his response would have been “a bullit [sic] between his eyes, no questions asked.” I guess that’s why Republicans pride themselves as the “law and order” party.
As for the Democrats? Well, I guess we’re just all a bunch of pussies…
A Republican Party worker videotapes appearances by Gregoire, so Steele said it’s hypocritical for Rossi to kick out Akers. Strait said it makes no difference to the Rossi campaign if Gregoire allows herself to be taped by the opposition.
FYI, here’s the video of the rough reception the Republican cameraman gets at Gov. Gregoire’s events:
Jesus Christ… they did everything but offer him milk and cookies. Pussies.
It is great to see this story picked up in the news section of the Times, but I can’t help but wonder if their editorial board—champions of sunshine and open government—will see fit to comment on Rossi’s stunning lack of openness when it comes to endorsement time. This is a candidate who has cameramen forcibly ejected from public events, sometimes even from public property, and who routinely brushes off questions about issues on which he is out of step with Washington voters by curtly responding that “I’m not running on that issue.”
Well, he may not be running on issues like reproductive rights, comprehensive sex education or school vouchers, and he may have carefully avoided taking a public position on gas tax repeal and other controversial initiatives, but voters have a right to know where Rossi stands on all these issues, not just those his pollsters and focus groups tell him best work to his political advantage. And our local press have an obligation to inform the public by relentlessly following up on these questions, rather than just allowing Rossi to shrug them off with a quip like they did in 2004.