Live from DNC: Eyewitness to Mayhem (Day 2)
What to do if you have an unhinged radio host screaming in your face.
August 26, 2008 - 12:39 pm
Normally, a bus into downtown is not a bad choice at all; there is a bus stop within a block of my place, and the Denver-Boulder B bus will put you right at Union Station or the Market Street Station, from which you can pick up the free mall bus. Cost is about $3 — less than gas — and given the cost and effort of finding parking downtown, even on a normal day it is probably about as fast. You might think, after my piece on trains, that I’m against public transportation. I’m not. I’m just against public transportation when it’s stupid.
During the convention, it’s tending toward stupid. Driving in is probably also stupid. Frankly, the whole convention is stupid. I’m tired of it. Go home, Democrats.
Oh, wait, I’m getting a gig out of it. Never mind.
So I got to the Mint at about 4:30PM, to find a dozen mounted police, a half dozen other media people, and no protestors. The reason for the Mint was that the “Recreate ’68″ people promised to recreate the famous levitation of the Pentagon, of song and story, and — well, actually nearly unremembered except by a few 60′s throwbacks. The story was that Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies (not “yuppies”) were trying to levitate the Pentagon as an anti-war protest. It didn’t work, and I don’t know that anyone ever quite explained why levitating the Pentagon would be an anti-war protest particularly, but in those drug addled days it did seem like a cool idea.
(Sigh. I remember when spending $100 on drugs meant you were planning a party, instead of a bottle of Vitorin and some laxatives.)
Still, I thought it would be amusing one way or the other, and certainly if they did manage to levitate the Mint, it would be something I’d be sorry I missed.
I’d been there for a little while, long enough to text out my proposed lede (“What if they held a levitation and nobody came?”) when down the street comes Michelle Malkin along with one of the various bloggers who are here. (Sorry, guy, in the ensuing excitement I never did quite figure out who was who.) I greeted them, we had a pleasant conversation — we don’t agree on some things, but Michelle is very sweet, and rather prettier in person than she seems on TV. Which is rather astounding when you think about it.
Finally about 5:10 the demonstration arrived. There were still more media than demonstrators; in general the demonstrations seem to have about two cops per demonstrator and three media per cop.
All I can say is these street theatre demonstrations were more fun when Abbie and Allen Ginsberg were still alive. A couple of amusing costumes and some “Peace and Love” chanting. Michelle and I went over to see them more closely and get some pictures, and the PJM/Founding Bloggers video guys came along as well.
All was good and we were having a good time, until our male antagonist spotted Michelle. He shouted her name, and ran over with his little mob of lickspittles and sycophants, along with his video guy. You can see the video here.
After they surrounded Michelle and the shouts of “kill Michelle Malkin” started, it looked like it would be desirable to intervene, so I moved between them. Miss Alex didn’t like it. He shouted at me; when that wasn’t fun, he shoulder butted me and screamed at me to keep my hands off him. When we moved away, he blindsided me with what felt like an elbow across the kidneys. If you watch the video, you’ll see that throughout, his camera guy was more or less up in my face. He’s apparently no more competent than his patrón, since he was so in my face all he got was a good chunk of excellent footage of my grey whiskers. At one point I got separated from Michelle — luckily, Jim Hoft was also playing volunteer bodyguard — so I went to a policeman on foot, told him about getting hit, and asked him to do something to protect Michelle, who at this point was surrounded by a screaming mob, being incited by girlyman.
He smirked at me and asked if we needed an ambulance.
We did get Michelle away, and no one was hurt. I’ve got a call in to Hickenlooper’s office, with the question being whether we think it’s good police procedure to watch a mob threaten to kill a 95-pound Asian woman without intervening. I’m still awaiting a response.
I do want to make one thing very clear: the Peace, Love and Levitation guys were not the ones threatening Michelle. In fact, a tall Asian guy who looked a lot like Kitaro was up trying to calm Alex as well.
* * *
This just on on Ask Charlie Anything.
Mike, here in Denver, asks: “Just how much has your opinion of Alex Jones gone down? Does he wear a brown shirt? Was the foam from his mouth difficult to clean up afterwards?”
Well, since I had never heard of Alex before — I doubt he’s very widely known, frankly — it started low and continued lower. Just another black helicopter nut, I guess. He wasn’t wearing a brown shirt, except in spirit. And Michelle did express a wish to shower afterwards.