Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why Give Him A Voice?

I got home from running some errands this morning to be able to catch most of President Obama's New Hampshire town hall meeting, which was luckily more respectful than the loud noises most other politicians were experiencing with their own town hall meetings. This of course prompted naysayers to claim that it was obvious this was a staged event and not really a town hall, but I digress.

After the meeting was over, the desk jockeys at MSNBC reported that there was a protester outside of the high school the President occupied with a gun strapped to his leg. There he was, probably being scoped out by Secret Service, but since it is legal to carry a licensed firearm in the "Live Free or Die" state, was allowed to peacefully protest while holding a sign that read, "It Is Time to Water the Tree of Liberty" obviously referring to the famous Thomas Jefferson quote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots." With the blood of tyrants and patriots. With a gun strapped to his leg. Something tells me that, of those two choices, he wasn't considering President Obama the "patriot."

Within a few minutes of the initial report of this gun-toting protester, MSNBC's David Shuster had updated news: the man's name was William Kostric. And he was already booked on the 5pm hour of Hardball with Chris Matthews. What. The. Fuck?

My guess is that Matthews was angered by someone stupid enough to bring a gun to a public event with the President and wanted to take him to task. Further, I would have hoped that Matthews would try to figure out where this man came from and research his background. After all, he already had his name. But never let it be said that Matthews fails to disappoint. Mr. Kostric held his own against an irate Matthews until Matthews calmed down. Of the two people on the screen, Matthews was the one that seemed unhinged.

Within an hour after the interview, Joan Walsh wrote a post on her blog at Salon with details of William Kostric. This is why Joan Walsh is a journalist and Chris Matthews is not.

...Kostric insisted his intentions were peaceful, and that he's not affiliated with Birther groups.
But at least one of those statements doesn't seem to be true. A right-wing activist named "William Kostric," who's left a lot of footprints around the Web, is listed as a "team member" of the Arizona chapter of We the People, the far-right group best known for joining a lawsuit challenging Obama's right to be president based on his not being a U.S. citizen. Kostric told MSNBC he recently moved from Arizona to New Hampshire. (Kostric did not reply to Salon's e-mail request for an interview.)
And on his MySpace page (h/t Lavender Newswire), Kostric also lists as one of his heroes Robert Schultz, the anti-tax activist and We the People founder who spent a ton of his own money on ads promoting the Birther movement.
...Kostric's MySpace profile also lists among his heroes Randy Weaver, the white supremacist and right-wing activist who survived the Ruby Ridge confrontation with federal agents, along with Ayn Rand's John Galt, Thomas Jefferson, libertarian/GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul and William Wallace, the Scottish resistance leader portrayed in Mel Gibson's "Braveheart."
The profile also includes, as one of Kostric's "Top 12 friends," the Free State Movement, a group organizing libertarians to move to New Hampshire and expand on the state's "Live Free or Die" credo, and ultimately secede from the union. A "William Kostric" also signed two pledges at PledgeBank, a site that lets people organize around various causes. Kostric's two pledges include: "move to New Hampshire by 12/31/2008 where I will work to bring about a society in which government’s maximum role is protecting life, liberty, and property" -- the credo of Free State Movement members -- and "refuse to accept a national ID card," a cause among many far-right libertarians.
Reading the rest of Walsh's post on what she found on Kostric in an hour, when the Hardball crew had at least twice that amount of time before the interview gives you a much more in depth profile of the person Matthews hastily had on his show. Why give this man a voice on national television?


Annette said...

Because Tweety is an idiot and an asshole and that's why I refuse to watch him anymore. Thanks for posting this.. I saw some of the stuff on Facebook about the interview Tweety did..but hadn't seen anything about Joan Walsh had done.

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vyccan said...

Thanks for sharing the info from Joan Walsh. I drop around regularly now to see what you're saying, and I must add that I very often get a little bit of extra information.

Thank you (and Joe) :)

NowhereMan said...

What exactly does Mathews pay his staff to do?I guess nobody said "lets find out all that we can about this guy before we put him on".
To me, the more troubling question is since New Hampshire has laws that make it legal to carry an unconcealed gun,that means for the sake of argument, you could've had 100 or 1000 armed protesters standing outside the town hall meeting holding up the most vile, racist signs you could imagine and the police couldn't do anything about it!Does that make any sense?what kind of message would we be sending our kids and the rest of the world?What kind of country are we becoming?

Armadillo Hussein Joe said...

Children. We are dealing with emotionally unevolved children in the bodies of adults who carry guns. Remember riding in the backseat on a family vacation when you would make faces or threatening gestures at your sibling until they got upset and cried to mommy and then you would feign surprised innocence that they got upset? The same tactic employed across the board by the whole right-wing misinformation apparatus. Tweety is a useful idiot to these people for precisely his behavior in this instance.

If someone behaved precisely the way he William Kostric did while W was president, we wouldn't know his name because he'd already have been "disappeared" by the Secret Service. Except that he wouldn't have been able to get as established as he did. The area around W's appearance would have been swept clear for a half-mile radius and any dissenting voices would have been herded into "free-speech" pens well away from Bush's delicate ears.

Instead, we're treated to the sickening spectacle of this guy walking around free after openly threatening the president with death. Was a time when even implying such a thing was a federal crime resulting in jailtime. Now, and you can deduct your own reasons why (hint: it has to do with skin color, class affiliation and ideology), the people and institutions charged with enforcing this nation's laws do so selectively. They call it free speech.

We're well and truly fucked.