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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

VIDEO: Giuliani staff uses police to arrest independent journalist

If only YouTube had existed in 2000...

In October of 2000 I was a reporter with an independent newspaper. And - through legitimate channels mind ya - I had been given an invitation to attend a rally for George W. Bush during the presidential debate at Wake Forest University. I was hoping to get a chance to ask Bush a few questions: nothing rude mind ya, but I was gonna try to make the most of the opportunity.

Bush staff found out that some "non-corporate" journalists were there and sent Winston-Salem police to track us down. One of them demanded to see my driver's license and I asked why. About then a Bush staffer with a bullhorn came over and told me that I should do what she says "because whenever someone in a uniform tells you something you're supposed to obey."

This guy demanded to see my invitation. He snatched it out of my hands and said that I wasn't going to be attending this function. When I demanded to know why he threatened me with physical violence.

The cops escorted another reporter and myself to "the protest area" (this was the first time I'd ever heard of this little Bush concept) and told us if we tried to return to our vehicles through the fair grounds that we would be arrested.

A few years later I heard - and I've not found any reason to doubt this - that we were rounded up and sent packing on Bush's orders, after he heard that there were non-corporate media present and he told his staff to "haul those assholes out of here".

That night I saw the true side of the George W. Bush mindset. I'm not bitter about it now though: I'm just thankful that God showed me what a loser Bush really is, before I ever had a chance to vote for him (never have).

Almost the exact same thing happened last night to journalist Matt Lepacek following the Republican debate in New Hampshire, except Lepacek actually got ask Rudolph Guiliani some questions. Or tried to anyway. Giuliani's staff had police arrest Lepacek. Here's the video:

Y'know, the only thing that kept me from standing up to those goons that night any more than I did was the fact that my best friend was coming in from way out of town to spend a few days at my apartment, and if I was in jail then I couldn't be there when he arrived. If that hadn't already been on my schedule, I think years later that it would be with a lot of pride that I could look back at being arrested on orders from Bush.

I hope that Matt Lepacek will feel proud about what he did tonight too: he stood his ground against an evil man. And he didn't back down.

That's something that nobody will ever be able to take away from him.


Vox Populi said...

I too would be extremely proud to be arrested for confronting any one of these a-holes with the truth. Bodies are piling up and they hope to frighten us or take out those who WONT be frightened.
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Anonymous said...

So, you can condemn Shirley Phelps-Roper for her rabid homophobia on one hand, yet YOU continue to use "drag queen" as a slur against a presidential candidate you don't like? Does not compute...

Seriously Chris...I'd expect that from James Dobson or Pete La Barbera, not from an intelligent person like yourself. You don't like Rudy, fine, make valid points about his political failings. Calling him a "drag queen" because he crossdressed a few times is pretty silly, and more what I would expect from the Phelps clan, not you.