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October 31, 2006

George Allen's thugs attack journalist

George Allen's thugs attacked Mike Stark at a press conference at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia, today. Stark was covering the campaign appearance for his blog, Calling All Wingnuts. Allen's handlers set upon Stark after he pressed for details about Allen's arrest record and allegations that he abused his first wife. Watch the video.

Allen's people nearly put Mike's head through a plate glass door. John of AMERICAblog has screenshots of the attack.

Mike Stark, a former Marine, runs the popular blog Calling All Wingnuts. He is a first year law student at the University of Virginia.

I've been informed by private email that Mike has filed a police report and will press charges against his assailants.

Update: Many established media reports are incorrectly describing Mike Stark as a "protester" or a "heckler." Mike is neither of those things. He's a journalist who was covering a media event for his widely read publication. The established media may not realize that they could be next. More likely, they've already figured out what happens to correspondents who ask embarrassing questions. Hence the lapdog journalism we've come to expect.

Be a hack, or get attacked.

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The screenshot URL is 404. Got another source?

Sorry about the broken link. It's fixed now.

The report says that Senator Allen is OK, though, so thank God a Senator of the United States of America didn't have his ears assaulted by unwelcome questions from his constituents.

I think, and Dick Cheney will back me up on this, that if any citizen can just ask questions of our elected representatives without first being pre-screened, strip searched, and divested of any suspicious fluids, then haven't the terrorists already won?

Yes, like George was in danger from his own brownshirts.

I hope Stark is very careful in checking his mailbox tomorrow...

Sad to see this nasty campaign just got nastier. You would think control of the entire U.S. Senate hangs in the balance! (Oh, wait.)

Doesn't it seem that the more important something is in this country (be it an election, an domestic crisis, a natural disaster, etc.) the less mature we are in dealing with it?

Why do we abandon the high road (and our good senses) when the chips are down? Any thoughts?

When George Allen was asked later about the incident he said, "Things like that happen." Just like dragging your sister up stairs, tackling your brother so hard that it breaks his collar bone, and throwing another brother through a sliding glass door. Things like those happen all the time. Hell, when I was growing up we had ambulances coming and going to our house on a regular basis. Didn't everyone? Things like that happen every day.

What a douchebag, surrounded by douchebags. By now I feel confident in saying that if you vote for MacacAllen you're a douchebag too.

I go to UVA law school, unfortunately I don't know the guy. By this point in his torts class, Mike should well understand the elements of battery. Fucking with a law student is not a good idea.

If Mike starts a fund for his legal expenses, I'll be happy to contribute. Please keep us tuned.

Um... Jesus...

Also, yeah, what Nancy in NYC said.

George Allen's thugs attacked Mike Stark at a press conference at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia, today. Stark was covering the campaign appearance for his blog, Calling All Wingnuts. Allen's handlers set upon Stark after he pressed for details about Allen's arrest record and allegations that he abused his first wife.

That's not an accurate description. The video shows Stark physically trying to push his way past one of Allen's men to get closer to Allen. When you push people, you're inviting them to push back. And Stark's question, "Did you spit on your first wife?" was not a serious journalistic inquiry. It was heckling, plain and simple. Allen wisely, and understandably, decided to avoid playing Stark's game.

Consider: If Bill Clinton had been on his way to deliver a speech in a hotel back in 1997, and a right-winger with a microphone tried to push his way past security, shouting, "How many of Monica's dresses did you ejaculate on?" — well, what do you think would have, or should have, happened? Do you think Clinton would have waved away his bodyguards and stopped for an impromptu interview?

That said, while Allen's men had every right to shield him from a heckler like Stark, they should not have resorted to violence. It was unnecessary and inappropriate, and it generated negative PR for Allen. But to make it sound like they descended upon a journalist who just happened to ask the wrong question misrepresents what happened.

No thread is complete without an appearance from the Clenis. Thanks, GB.

The video shows Stark physically trying to push his way past one of Allen's men to get closer to Allen.

That's not true. I watched the video 5 times and at the point the filming started, all you see is a big fat guy in a suit standing in the center of the door starting to push Mike Stark back. There's nothing showing that Mike Stark tried to push past him, or that he even got that far. If you notice where Mike Stark is standing when the video starts, he's a good 3-4 feet from the doorway, so it's highly unlikely he was trying to push past a big fat guy standing right in the center of the doorway.

Awoken this morning by radio alarm with local yokel 'news' guy parroting dem talking points about 'stalking stark' incident. Then the first article I found was AP/bob lewis breathlessly reporting about serious-sounding 'chokehold' occurrence. Uh-oh! Citizen-journalist. Vet!! Ex-Marine!!! It certainly sounded important. Upon closer look, however, including at the video:

Apparent known stalker menacingly charges public servant engaged in campaign of ideas, screaming and knocking into several bystanders. When this 'trained killer' refuses to cease his attempted assault, he escalates the physical violence with those justifiably trying to remove him. Finally subdued and shown the door, he mutters 'punk'.

I think Kerry was wrong and mean-spirited when he maligned our brave troops, stating that servicemembers don't "make the most of it" (education), don't "study hard, ...do... homework and ...make an effort to be smart". But these demeaning words would seem to apply to Stark.

Stark's website gives some clues about his depth of committment to and definition of free speech. There he advises one to "study the terrain carefully before you join the battle", the final step being the 'showdown". We see in the video Stark studying the terrain as he careened through innocents in his attempt to assault Allen. This (one-man) mob rule is what goes for intellectual discourse for liberals.

It seems that Stark's only other claim to fame is waving a poster with lurid words on it in front of a live-television camera during family hour. Another example of liberals' engagement in the realm of ideas. Were those filthy words a an 'illuminative quote" from one of Webb's porno works? Will Webb have the guts to apologize for these apparent criminal acts of his agent provocateur?

think Kerry was wrong and mean-spirited when he maligned our brave troops, stating that servicemembers don't "make the most of it" (education), don't "study hard, ...do... homework and ...make an effort to be smart".

I love people like you. Are you a brave troop or servicemember? Have you ever been? Kerry is was right in saying that if you don't stay in school the only options you might have without an edjucation are to join the military, where you will likely end up in Iraq. He never said the people in the US military were stupid. My brother dropped out of high school, wasn't able to get a job, and guess where he ended up? Yep, the military and in Iraq, so Kerry must be right to some degree. If you weren't able to figure that much out by reading what Kerry said then maybe you too need to go back to school and get an edjucation, and stop worrying about understanding men who speak at a level above your intellectual capacity.


Stark's website gives some clues about his depth of committment to and definition of free speech. There he advises one to "study the terrain carefully before you join the battle", the final step being the 'showdown". We see in the video Stark studying the terrain as he careened through innocents in his attempt to assault Allen. This (one-man) mob rule is what goes for intellectual discourse for liberals.

Do you really think anyone is going to believe that totally fictional account of that video? Assault on Allen? You rabid Republicans are hilarious, especially when you try to twist reality to your own warped viewpoint.

Were those filthy words a an 'illuminative quote" from one of Webb's porno works?

I suppose that "filthiness" bullshit appology should also apply to both Cheney's, the one writing lesbian romance novels and the other dropping F-bombs around congress? I suppose you are happy with a guy who calls people monkies, put his brother through sliding glass doors, and drags his sister by the hair upstairs, spits on his ex-wife, among other class act things George Allen has done. Give me Webb anyday.

Allen's thugs assaulted an innocent person. That's the kind of campaign he runs. Deal with it. I've been to a lot of campaign events and media scrums and there's often shouting and jostling for position. I've never seen campaign supporters lay a hand on disruptive press or spectators. Assault. Intolerance. Intimidation. That's how Allen operates.

Allen's thugs assaulted an innocent person. That's the kind of campaign he runs. Deal with it. I've been to a lot of campaign events and media scrums and there's often shouting and jostling for position. I've never seen campaign supporters lay a hand on disruptive press or spectators. Assault. Intolerance. Intimidation. That's how Allen operates.

I guess if Allens wins that campaign, they need to change the state motto from "Lovers" to "Virginia is for Gang Bangers!"

This finally came up on the national radar. Note, they called Mike a "heckler". But inside the story, the call him a blogger. I suppose blogger isn't as sexy to the reading public.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/02/virginia.senate.ap/index.html

Lindsay, you and Stark are idiots, and here's the proof.

http://www.allenhq.com/2006/11/01/when-starks-attack-2/

So I watched that video riiight, and I have to say it wasn't too flattering on his part. He was definitely shoving his way past the bodyguard, not sure how that fat guy was, to get to George Allen. Another case where it doesn't help to show only part of the video.

Wow. This is clearly someone pushing through people to get at the Senator.

Shame on everyone who rushed to judgement, showed a most misleading film segment or used "brownshirt" remarks etc.

This man looked and acted like a bush-league John Hinckley--he was not mistreated unfairly at all, based on his actions. Its simply wrong to say that he was.

Kudos to the Allen security team. Their actions with respect to this stalker/kook were appropriate and just.

Clear cut assault. So obvious that you have to be hallucinating to have some doubts about it. Do they put their hands on Stark and drag him? Obviously.

Stark was ejected from the Omni? Did the staff of the Omni order him removed? Does the Allen security team have the authority to eject him? How does that work? Do hotels normally follow a policy of deferring to a politicians security detail? Are the security detail members actual members of some police force? From whence does their authority come?

This is usually negotiated between the hotel and the VIP.

I doubt very highly if the hotel or the local constabulary has a problem with anything that the security detail did. Based on the visual evidence of acting as an aggressive stalker, Stark should be in prison right now.

Are the security detail members actual members of some police force? From whence does their authority come?

Who knows, the fat guy might be a campaign worker, he might be secret service. If the fat guy was secret service, his authority is federal and they do assign secret service to protect sitting Senators. And no it's not assault if they thought Stark was a threat to G.A. and were trying to protect, which he could have been since he was obviously tryingto slide past the security guy.
I don't think Starks assault charges will stick, though he can file them.

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