There were a lot of responses to this thread, but some folks asked me direct questions so I'll do my best to respond to them.
They knew where he was and they were looking for him.
The insults and the hyperbole do not help to paint the appearance of objectivity for you.... and unfortunately, they bump into Mr Grumpy roid rage.
You're wrong. It's neither here nor there though, so...The paparazzi are not interested in congressmen and neither are journalists unless something is going down politically or there is some kind of personal scam going on in the life of an adult in the higher echelons of American political society....
Yeah, you sure are. This could very well cost this senator his seat. A journalist has a lot of motivation to say who he is and to post the blog on his site. A student has a lot of interest in telling his professor about it and coming forward to explain themselves. It's entirely possible (and in fact likely) that this was a set-up staged by political groups who wanted to make the senator look bad (and did so effectively).otherwise what journalist will gain anything by pretending to be school kids and expecting to interview a congressmen and find out something "never told before" or anything they don't already know? Am i missing something here?
They did provoke the reaction. That's not an attempt to excuse Etheridge for taking the bait, but they most certainly did provoke him.Unless they provoked that reaction and edited the footage, i see nothing fishy here.
They used an inflammatory question that was clearly loaded. They ambushed him on a sidewalk after a fund-raiser, not at the Capital. They had cameras rolling. They refused to identify themselves which while not legally required to do so, it's a fair question and is something that a legitimate student or reporter should have done. Declining to identify themselves - whether by design or by coincidence - served to exacerbate the situation.
Yes. There's a lot here that looks fishy. I think anyone saying otherwise is either too partisan to admit they see the tree, or too naive for their opinion to carry much weight.
This absolutely reeks of a set-up, and the longer we go without knowing who the two camera men were, the more it looks that way.
I strongly disagree, and before you jump at the idea that I'm on Etheridge's side you should probably look at some of my other posts in this thread. I"m very much not on Etheridge's side. I am however, a thinking person that can see this situation for what it is.Even if they where journalists in disguise, they where well mannered and did nothing to get the treatment they received.
Etheridge reacted badly, but it certainly does appear he was set up, and saying "please" does not make a person polite. The questions were loaded, hostile, and aggressive. So were the reactions of the students to his question of their identity.
Just because someone says please does not make them polite. It just makes them insidious.
I strongly disagree. Common sense is a big part of real life. I can find no reason why legitimate students would refuse to identify themselves. I find no reason why legitimate journalists would not identify themselves. I find no reason why they would take such great lengths to try to remain anonymous while still going out of their way to make sure the video hit the Internet - unless they were looking for this result all along.This is all mere speculation with no bases in real life.
The reason it is hypocritical is because they approached a public figure, with cameras, asking questions and using microphones as though they were journalists. They had three cameras present, so the intent was obviously not to have an intimate, private conversation. This became more evident when they refused to identify themselves.
Just as a public figure such as Etheridge forfeits his right to privacy when walking down a street, so does someone who chooses to engage a public figure in a public setting - yet the two camera men seem to think they're entitled to their own privacy and anonymity while taking those very things from someone else.
That's the very definition of hypocrisy.
No. First of all, we're all using pseudonyms here. We're not public figures, or we'd prefer not to be acknowledged. We're all posting with an intent to maintain privacy, while respecting that right for one another as we engage.I have strong opinions on many things, which is why I come here to discuss them. I don't want my personal opinions to be forever linked to my name, which is why I use a pseudonym. Is that hypocritical?
There is a reasonable expectation of mutual privacy in this forum.
If I approach the President of the United States with a camera in my hand and start asking him questions on a city sidewalk however, I can safely expect that "Alastor - and please don't show my picture" is not going to cut it with anyone.
This environment has a certain set of rules, expectations and understanding that simply do not transfer to a face-to-face, real life questioning of a major political figure.
Any attempt to use the rules of this environment to explain or justify the rules of publicly engaging a public figure in a public place with cameras rolling (presenting an obvious intent to make the conversation public as well) should not be expected to remain private for any party involved.
That's just plain stupid.
"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
What we do need is an influx of decency and respect.
People need to be taught how to speak, how to write, how to listen, manners..
This applies to the "lawmaker" as well.
And this is a reflection on our culture, and on our education system - which is in dire need of reform..