The Tasing: Why The New York Times Sucks

Shorter Mike Nizza: Tasered student was an attention whore, talking about sex ought to be punished, and John Kerry is aloof.

He starts off by painting Andrew Meyer as a publicity seeking prankster (NYTimes):

“I am not mad at you guys,” the police report [pdf] quoted him as saying in the ride to jail. “You didn’t do anything wrong, you were just trying to do your job.”

Does that mean that Mr. Meyer felt that he was simply doing his job as well?

Yeah.  Telling the cops who just tasered you “no hard feelings” means you set out to get tasered.  (Emphasis mine):

Friends of his told The Gainesville Sun that despite his reputation as a prankster and his apparent flair for self-promotion, exhibited on his personal Web site,, the dramatic exit from Senator John Kerry’s appearance on campus “was not any sort of publicity stunt.”

But one of the officers said that “his demeanor completely changed once the cameras were not in sight,” shifting in a matter of minutes from the kicking-and-screaming coiner of the new catchphrase “Don’t Tase me, bro” to “laughing and being lighthearted.” Then, they say, he asked them whether the news media would be on hand when he arrived at the police station.

Problem one?  Taking the word of the officers at face value.  Mr Nizza completely ignores the possibility that the cops might want to paint Andrew’s tasering as something he deliberately provoked.  The next problem is, again, equating checking for media coverage with guilt.  Other possibilities include wanting proof of his abuse, and wanting to draw attention to the excessive use of force by cops.  Neither possibility is explored by the New York Times.

Moreover, one of the widely circulated videos of the incident was filmed with his own camera. As he pushed his way toward the microphone to put his questions to Senator Kerry, he handed his camera to Clarissa Jessup, a student he didn’t know, and asked her to record him.

This is just idiotic.  Of course he wanted to record it.  He’s asking very tough questions of a public official.  Who wouldn’t want a record of that?  Yet in context, it is used as yet one more piece of “evidence” that Andrew really wanted a confrontation with the police.

When discussing whether or not what happened to him was legit (emphasis mine):

For an interesting discussion on whether he should’ve been ejected (it may have been his mention of a sexual act, not a secret society, that prompted the heave-ho) and whether what he did amounted to resisting arrest, check out this forum, which requires registration.

How is mentioning a sexual act grounds for ejection from a public forum?  Are we that fucking scared of naughty bits?  (The answer is yes, and that is a whole different discussion).  But kudos to Mr Nizza at tossing that in there.

If nothing else, the episode left Senator Kerry looking aloof, a criticism lobbed at him regularly during the 2004 campaign. As the incident unfolded, he tried to use his microphone to lighten the mood, seemingly unaware of the seriousness of the situation. Later, he said that he had not been aware until afterward that the student had been shocked with a Taser.

As I mentioned before:

 John Kerry did not taser Andrew Meyer.  Stupid cops did.  He tried to stop them:

As two officers take Meyer by the arms, Kerry, D-Mass., can be heard saying, “That’s alright, let me answer his question.”

As Kerry tells the audience he will answer the student’s “very important question,” Meyer yells at the officers to release him, crying out, “Don’t Tase me, bro,” just before he is shocked by the Taser. He is then led from the room, screaming, “What did I do?”

Aloof?  Sure, he could have done more to stop how this student was handled.  But he did try.  I guess the “liberal” New York Times missed that while carting out a 2004 Bush/Rove special.


3 Responses

  1. Stupid liberal jerks always acting so stupid running around like a chicken with its head cut off SCREW THEM ALL

  2. Mad Bluebird,
    Eloquently spewed. I now want to become a conservative. Well argued champ.

  3. That sounded as logical as can be expected for someone who may be in the throes of a taser attack. That or somebody slipped an electric eel in Mad Bluebird bathtub.

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