Yesterday I asked Marc Cooper, the Director of Annenberg Digital News at USC’s Annenberg School For Communication, for his reaction to the John Ziegler handcuffing incident I blogged here yesterday.
Cooper is a liberal who recently compared the attendees at Tax Day’s tea parties to glue sniffers. (He also once called the commenters here bitter, angry, and delusional — so the tea party-goers should not feel uniquely attacked.) He’s not eager to say anything in praise of a conservative like John Ziegler. However, I debated Cooper at the L.A. Times web site last year and I know that, despite his politics (and his absurd view of the tea party-goers), he is more willing than most on the left to concede points that he can’t validly fight.
Cooper’s entire response is set forth below. It contains predictable huffing and puffing about how Ziegler was pulling a Michael Moore-style stunt. But I knew that was coming and I’m not particularly interested in that.
Instead, I want to focus the reader’s attention on what Cooper says about whether USC campus police should have asked Ziegler to leave, assuming that all he was trying to do was ask questions.
The answer, albeit buried within a leftist rant, is a clear no.
Cooper says: “If the only thing Ziegler or anyone else, wanted to do was to stand outside of the Davidson Conference Center on the USC campus and ask people questions as they came and went, he should absolutely have been allowed to do so and I would absolutely defend his right to do so. I see no reason to obstruct him.” He adds that based on the video, “the USC police could have made a more strenuous effort to remove Ziegler without going through the drama of handcuffing him.”
Cooper concludes that “The crux of the issue, to come full circle, is whether or not he was merely standing there trying to do interviews. If that’s all it was, then USC is in the wrong.”
I agree, and I appreciate Marc’s honesty in saying so.
Further, I believe I can tell from the video that, once Ziegler was denied admission, asking questions is all he intended to do.
Cooper’s entire response is below.