Patterico's Pontifications

4/17/2009

USC Annenberg Journalism School’s Marc Cooper Responds to Handcuffing of John Ziegler

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:32 pm



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.

I was inside the awards ceremony at the time of the incident, so without hedging, I honestly don’t know the precise facts surrounding Ziegler’s actions or his requests or anything else he was doing outside.

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. As far as I know, USC is an open campus and the First Amendment still has sway inside campus boundaries.

You and I both know that under a change of circumstances, trespassing laws begin to apply but I want to be 100% clear that I don’t have enough facts to make that determination.

In direct response to your direct question, if I were in charge of the event and all Ziegler was doing was trying to interview folks as they came and went from the conference I would have bought him a coffee and gave him a donut and wished him good luck in his endeavors. Further, if he was there to actually report on the event and NOT to provoke a partisan confrontation or to stage a provocative scene for a documentary, I would have made sure he was allowed inside the room with the rest of the media. There was virtually no security in the modest banquet room where the event was held and the press that was present was free to come and go as they pleased.

As to Couric, I couldn’t care less what Ziegler or anyone else thinks of her work. I have written publicly of her several times and I don’t believe it’s ever been in a flattering context. This isn’t a matter of ideology. It’s a question of the tension between free exercise of first amendment rights and private property rights. This is hardly the first time that a journalist, or someone with journalistic pretensions (in the case of Ziegler) has run afoul of authorities in some murky legal area of access versus privacy.

One thing is absolutely for sure: from what I saw in the video, the USC police could have made a more strenuous effort to remove Ziegler without going through the drama of handcuffing him. You know as a prosecutor that once given an order to move by police, even if an unjust or unlawful order, you MUST comply or else face arrest and be willing to sort the matter out later in court. [I ask the reader not to assume that I agree. — P] They may have felt they had no choice to cuff him. Maybe they were wrong. But by that point it was either cuff or grab him and walk him off campus.

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. If it was more than that, there’s a shared responsibility.

I should note that the above came after I pressed Cooper on the issue of whether he thought the police had behaved appropriately. In his initial response, Cooper had said:

Talk show pro John Zigeler’s stunt at USC was exactly that, a publicity stunt staged as a scene in a Michael Moore-like documentary he is apparently making. I am confident that if he had previously inquired or applied for credentials or had even asked to be a guest in the audience, he would have been easily able to attend the Cronkite awards. I myself arrived late and walked in without a guest badge or any other sort of I.D. and while I work at USC, the folks at the door had no idea who I was. I also chose to sit at the table I preferred even though there was assigned seating. Before the awards began, students –with no I.D. check– were allowed to sit in seats left unfilled.

That said, I think the video clearly shows that the USC authorities clearly played into Ziegler’s hands and guaranteed that his stunt would be successful. It’s easy for me to say, but there must have been a more reasonable way for the Department of Public Safety to handle the situation other than to handcuff him. On the other hand — for right or for wrong — when Ziegler was asked repeatedly to leave the site because at that point he was an uninvited guest, he repeatedly refused. His demeanor was comic and non-threatening (and why shouldn’t be as he realized the cops were so freely contributing to his film?) but my experience in the world is that, whatever your motivation, when you refuse a police order to move, you usually wind up getting cuffed, or worse.

Both sides could have handled this a whole lot better. That could have started without Ziegler deliberately trying to provoke a scene and could have ended with USC police doing something other than handcuffing a harmless clown.

To which my response was, in essence, that the “for right or for wrong” was really the only part I was interested in. Marc’s response to that was the second block quote above.

I can’t refrain from noting that Marc’s “when the cops tell you to move, you gotta move” attitude wasn’t much in evidence in his May 2007 L.A. Times piece on the May Day MacArthur Park immigration rally melee.

But nobody’s really too surprised by that. As I said, he’s a liberal.

Although I do not agree with everything he says, I thank Marc for his responses.

UPDATE: Turns out Marc already posted a lot of this on his blog, here, along with a lot more verbiage unfavorable to Ziegler’s position from school officials and a campus Republican.

110 Responses to “USC Annenberg Journalism School’s Marc Cooper Responds to Handcuffing of John Ziegler”

  1. On his web site, he posted an official response from USC that refers to a “seven foot” rule that JZ allegedly refused to honor/respect. Per that response, if JZ had agreed to stay at least seven feet from the entrance, he would have been allowed to stay.

    Anyone believe this?

    Show me anywhere/anytime when JZ was anywhere close to any entrance.

    Ed from SFV (f274d1)

  2. Thanks Patrick. We don’t agree on much except for the value of keeping dialogue open among those who differ. There’s too little of that. And while I dissent, naturally, from your characterization of my views, I appreciate your willingness to have the conversation.

    I reciprocated earlier on my own blog where your willingness to concede that Ziegler was indeed subject to a legal request by USC to exit campus is readily acknowledged.

    For the record… I’ve never been a “liberal” and have spent much of my career tweaking them. I come from a more radical tradition (as a youngster) and today consider myself a left-of-center agnostic or, even better, contrarian.

    That ought to give your readers a nice foil.

    Peace.

    Marc Cooper (c47040)

  3. I come from a more radical tradition (as a youngster) and today consider myself a left-of-center agnostic or, even better, contrarian.

    Not to stray too far off topic, but as a self-described contrarian you are surely sickened by the media’s orgy of love for the new President, right?

    And is it me, or do you media folks seem to give each other awards rather regularly? I detect more than a little bit of self-congratulation in your industry which almost surely has an effect on your product, and a mostly negative one at that.

    JVW (bff0a4)

  4. What a contemptible scumbag!

    Let’s look at the double standard!

    The university crap at UNC allowed violent scumbags to run off an invited speaker (Tancredo) and USC has 6 officers detain, lock up and arrest a man asking questions who is not even inside the venue.

    Cooper is a moron. You should know that.

    Honestly. Get congruent with reality and condemn this double standard marxist media bull.

    Curtis (e21caf)

  5. Just like their are Cocktail Conservatives there are Cocktail Liberals ….

    … which means they scrupulously polite and say the right things SO LONG AS their army of brown shirts do their dirty work.

    Not saying Cooper ordered it, or knew anything, but he also won’t lift a finger to defend a Conservative “journo”list.

    As evidence — want to bet no serious people of interest get suspended or fired???

    All the Cocktail Elite LOVE THEM their brown shirts to do what they refuse to do hands on.

    HeavenSent (637168)

  6. Marc,

    I suspect your serious “contrarian” views limit themselves to thumbing your nose at right wing “extremists” while “holding harmless” your lefty equivalents.

    Mr Durant meet Mr Cooper. Mr Cooper, Mr Durant.

    Serious indeed, cocktail anyone?

    HeavenSent (637168)

  7. It’s a question of the tension between free exercise of first amendment rights and private property rights.

    USC is private property?

    Phil Smith (4e586c)

  8. As a private university, the campus of the USC hollow horses is indeed private property.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  9. Sounds to me like Ziegler was trespassing, and he got run off private property by the henchmen of the owners.

    If that’s the case, then he ain’t got no complaint.

    Dave Surls (d02232)

  10. “Cooper is a liberal who recently compared the attendees at Tax Day’s tea parties to glue sniffers.”

    Yeah, I read his article a couple of days ago. Typical commie hogwash. His opinions are of zero value.

    Dave Surls (d02232)

  11. I come from a more radical tradition (as a youngster) and today consider myself a left-of-center agnostic or, even better, contrarian

    OK, but then the tea party attendees were completely different from a contrarian and radical tradition, yes? Goodness, the lack of introspection with this one is strong indeed.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  12. Maybe if Mark Cooper was the one being arrested for just asking questions he would think twice.

    Until then he’s a follower and whether or not he’s a liberal is not important. Although I admit that if he dislikes that term then please use it.

    This country is all screwed up now. You’ll need your guns to protect your family and yourself from the police now. There are too many morons with authority positions who are willing to carry out the work of the communists which have infiltrated our media and all levels of government.

    The Tea Party’s have happened. That should be a warning to the opressive elitists like Congress and their mindless minions that if they don’t back off and recognize simple rights then there will be bigger problems to come. Acorn has the potential to spark the conflict now that it has been legitemized and officially funded by our government and with taxpayer funds.

    Haire Brain (310603)

  13. I’ve never been a “liberal”

    Well, it’s official. He’s only a “Duck”!

    AD (65649f)

  14. Contrarian“? Well, at least I got a laugh out of all this.

    Full-throated, unreserved and unconditional support of free speech should be the absolute requirement for anybody who works in the media. This is not to be “appreciated,” but expected.

    rrpjr (b4a24c)

  15. I love how “brave” our “progressive” friends are—so long as they are saying things with which their fellows agree. Of course, their opponents are not brave. They are “glue sniffers” and crazies.

    I’m sorry, but the response is akin to the famous:

    “…I support the troops, but…”

    Weak cheese, as the saying goes.

    Still: Truth to Power! To the ramparts, brave contrarians! Just don’t let your subscriptions to Mother Jones lapse.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  16. I’ve never been a “liberal” and have spent much of my career tweaking them.
    Comment by Marc Cooper

    Yea, uh-huh, you’re a progressive! [rolls eyes]

    And all of this tumult and discord coming against the backdrop of not just a journalism award but, more importantly, portions of the world of journalism — certainly the print part of it — facing a very, very uncertain future. With uncertain being another euphemism, sort of the way that progressive is. But in this case, a substitute for words like “bleak” or “depressed.”

    Mark (411533)

  17. Come to think of it, you know what would be “brave”?

    Having Mr. Cooper write a formal letter of apology to Ziegler. Not approving of what he believes or says, mind you, but defending the principle of free speech.

    Sort of like:

    “Whether or not I agree with Mr. Ziegler is not the point; the point is that he should have the right to ask questions without being dragged off by university police. Such actions, regardless of what I think of the beliefs of Mr. Ziegler, have a chilling impact on free speech and can be used to defend deeply authoritarian actions.”

    Because free speech should be the issue, not the person who wields it.

    That would be brave. But I’m not holding my breath.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  18. “You’ll need your guns to protect your family and yourself from the police now.” I think HB@12 must be a moby.

    gp (72be5d)

  19. There’s one good thing about the Left being in power: it’s exceedingly more difficult for them to disguise their double standards.

    A man of principle would defend Ziegler’s right to speak in this context, without qualification.

    Along these same lines, I would assume a principled Marc Cooper, the author of the book “Pinochet and Me”, would be uncomfortable with our President chumming it up with yet another Latin strongman/dictator. The Left’s double standards are a gift that keeps on giving….

    beer 'n pretzels (932ce1)

  20. I’m a tea bagger.

    Marc Cooper is a ball-sucking whore.

    Daryl Herbert (b65640)

  21. I’m pro-gun, pro-2nd amendment, and have enjoyed shooting with a variety of weapons: revolvers, semi-auto handguns, rifles including 30-06, AR-15, various calibres of muzzleloaders, and shotguns. Guns are wonderful for sport and for self-defense against crime.

    The notion (see HB@12) that Americans have to be ready to engage firefights with police or federal LE in the lawful performance of their duties is absolute, utter crackpottery. Anybody who would advocate such nuttiness at a site like Patterico HAS to be a liberal moby trying to plant embarrassing comments to the detriment of the site.

    I don’t know whether such comments should be banned and/or deleted, but it would be nice to see some of the regulars around here join me in condemning those sentiments. Input from Jack Dunphy would be especially welcome.

    gp (72be5d)

  22. The notion (see HB@12) that Americans have to be ready to engage firefights with police or federal LE in the lawful performance of their duties is absolute, utter crackpottery. Anybody who would advocate such nuttiness at a site like Patterico HAS to be a liberal moby trying to plant embarrassing comments to the detriment of the site.

    Is there anything action taken by the government – Federal, State, Local even if “lawful” – that will make you change your mind about this? If so, where do you draw the line in the sand? Please remember that actions taken by despotic governments are considered “lawful” by their own standards of jurisprudence.

    I can appreciate if you don’t want to answer this, as it will tag you by DHS as a “right-wing extremist” who may engage in violence.

    Horatio (55069c)

  23. Crackpottery asshattery and mendoucheous behavior has been the norm in the past couple weeks …

    JD (61e494)

  24. I talked to Marc Cooper a few weeks ago for a story about the Union-Tribune’s sale. He was a nice guy and very helpful, and the feeling seemed to be mutual. He’d probably be utterly shocked to find me cavorting with you bitter, angry and delusional, glue-sniffing right-wingers. 😉

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  25. The notion (see HB@12) that Americans have to be ready to engage firefights with police or federal LE in the lawful performance of their duties is absolute, utter crackpottery

    That goes without saying in today’s era.

    However, in the future, should the US, or certainly various portions of it, become increasingly like Mexico — with its extreme levels of dysfunction, fostered by a self-destructive citizenry (“We always vote for those on the left, for their wonderful, beautiful, heart-warming, anything-goes liberalism!! For their lovely, benevolent socialism!”) and corruption galore strangling various levels of law enforcement and the judiciary — the crackpots of today could be the soothsayers of tomorrow.

    Mark (411533)

  26. For the record… I’ve never been a “liberal” and have spent much of my career tweaking them.

    I deeply resent the appropriation of the term “liberal” by political leftists who are no more liberal than Napoleon was. Mr. Cooper, by multiple incidents in his career, has shown himself to be an intolerant and rather crude leftist. Poor old Annenberg, if he knows anything today, must be aware of the second law of philanthropy. Your donation will be appropriate by the left and used for purposes you never imagined.

    My youngest daughter is being indoctrinated in leftist thought at the U of Arizona but at least it is a state school with tuition about half that of USC.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  27. This was clearly the wrong week to try to give up sniffing glue.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  28. daleyrocks,
    This was clearly the wrong week to try to give up sniffing glue.

    One of my favorite lines from Airplane!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  29. You glue-sniffers are dumb. Do like I do and eat paste. You won’t get the munchies that way.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  30. “Whether or not I agree with Mr. Ziegler is not the point; the point is that he should have the right to ask questions without being dragged off by university police.

    This may seem like hair-splitting to some, but Ziegler didn’t had the right to be there. USC is private property. I do think USC should have welcomed Ziegler because it was unwise and jarring to USC Annenberg’s mission to so maltreat a journalist. Yes, Ziegler is a a journalist, an advocacy journalist, just like Marc Cooper is an advocacy journalist.

    And now I’ve probably pissed off both of them by likening them to the other. But I really think they have more in common than either would like to admit.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  31. Most of them are Mobys. A very few are far-right-wing nuts who somehow got the idea that they would be welcome here. It’s getting harder to tell which are which because we keep telling the Mobys where they messed up and they’re learning.

    Marc should be appreciated for his willingness to engage honestly. Point out where you think he’s wrong or inconsistent, but knock off the ad hom attacks. The host has expressed his respect, while disagreeing with the points and conclusions. Some of the more vitriolic commenters should take note of that and follow suit.

    I agree that the campus police played into Zeigler’s hands, especially by cuffing him. I’ve never heard of the guy before, but it didn’t look like he was disrupting anything or harassing anyone and should have been left alone. They just didn’t like the message. They’re likely much more tolerant when the message is from a leftist. I don’t agree that “sort the matter out later in court” is a reasonable answer. Just because it’s private property doesn’t mean they should be able to eject someone without cause (and everything I’ve seen points to Ziegler behaving lawfully). If they tried to remove someone for asking people’s opinion of gay marriage or the war, or because of their race, it might be clearer to Marc how wrong this was. Also, the idea that he was “hawking” his video fails the smell-test since he was reportedly giving them away. No different than handing out pamphlets.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  32. I suspect Ziegler believes getting sued or suing confers propriety on what FoxNews once called his “unfettered nastiness.”

    Are media scolds journalists? Has Bernie Goldberg switched careers? I honestly can’t say.

    But Ziegler was there to pass out his work product, to proclaim Couric’s signature Palin interview “advocacy” and to simulate a fact-finding enterprise. Journalism, lamentably, can be cabaret.

    USC should have left him the hell alone.

    steve (509564)

  33. I don’t feel Marc Cooper gets the benefit of the doubt in whether he is being honest or not. If one makes the judgement against thousands of people he HAS NEVER MET as to their motives for attending a tea party and labels them with the BROADEST of brushes as “glue sniffers”, or that commenters here are “bitter, angry and delusional” then his soundness of judgment is in serious question. But then I’m always suspicious of those who must couch, frame and obfuscate behind their own pride and agenda and are simply unable or unwilling to answer directly and succinctly a question if it might cost them something. Arrogance is never becoming, and often prevents honesty.

    And Mr. Cooper, I have never sniffed glue in my entire life. (I did however sneak some white paste in the 1st grade when the teacher was not looking. And it was good!)

    Dana (d08a3a)

  34. The lies are so crude. I went to Cooper’s blog. They are posting nonsense about how Ziegler had to keep 7 feet away from the doors when it is obvious that he is 100 feet away. If that had been a hospital, they would have had a better “private property” issue. The fact that Ziegler was handcuffed the same week that Tancredo was attacked by radical leftists makes a nice symmetry.

    Also, Obama is following through on Bill Ayres outreach to Chavez. What a great week for America !

    I spent an hour last evening waiting for Cindy to come home from work and listening to Lee Greenwood. It seems to be the time for that.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  35. Sounds to me like Ziegler was trespassing, and he got run off private property by the henchmen of the owners.

    If that’s the case, then he ain’t got no complaint.

    Even if you assume for the sake of argument that USC can ask him to leave for any reason (or no reason), that doesn’t make it appropriate for them to do so.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  36. I’m a tea bagger.

    Marc Cooper is a ball-sucking whore.

    Daryl Herbert:

    You’re a long-time and respected commenter here, and Marc Cooper called you and people like you glue-sniffers. He has called the commentariat here delusional. I understand being upset and wanting to respond in kind.

    However, it doesn’t help to do so. So I’d ask that people refrain from this sort of comment. Don’t descend to his level.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  37. Yes, the ad hominem attacks belong on the leftist blogs where they are the principle means of communication with those who disagree.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  38. Yes, the ad hominem attacks belong on the leftist blogs where they are the principle means of communication with those who disagree.

    Leftist blogs have no principles, Mike K. This would be their principal means of communication 🙂

    Steverino (69d941)

  39. I think that, basically, Mr. Cooper gets it. A lot more than some suits at USC did. First of all, debate in “the marketplace of ideas” and not lawyers’ workspaces is the central philosophy of writers and reporters. And, in that forum, the lefties, such as were to be found at USC that day, had the overwhelming advantage over a lone rightie like Mr. Ziegler. And the handcuffs were a renunciation of everything they claim to stand for.

    nk (fef47a)

  40. Ad hominems are certainly beneath Mike K, as we all know. However, I have to agree with him re the treatment of Tancredo. I dislike the Congressman and his views, but his treatment at UNC was a gross violation of his right to free speech. Mike K and I don’t agree on much, but we can agree on that. I share his condemnation of how Tancredo was treated.

    Ziegler’s case doesn’t seem closely related. It seems to have more to do with the right of the University to regulate press behavior on campus. When it’s your house, you should be able to say who can go where, when. Pool coverage inside an auditorium and a roped-off press section outside is hardly unusual. This allows guests who want to talk to the press to do so, and protects the rights of those who prefer otherwise.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  41. In fact, Daryl, your comment not only descended to Marc’s level (insults) but sank below it noticeably.

    I mean this to be only a mild rebuke because I don’t think it’s your typical demeanor.

    Patterico (bc11c8)

  42. And, I’ll add, it happens to all of us.

    Patterico (bc11c8)

  43. Tim, you almost seemed reasonable there, until I got to your second point. Situational ethics I guess would be the kind term for it.

    With your highly tuned sense of outrage, I’d think you’d notice the difference between how you are treated on a right leaning blog and how a dissenter is treated on a lefty blog like Washington Monthly. For example, your comments are not deleted and any statements that you consider ad hominem are subtle enough that someone like Cathy Seipp needed an explanation from you to get what your outrage was about.

    I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  44. If you want to see what a wack-job Cooper is, read his commentary in the LA Times:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-cooper15-2009apr15,0,3158535.story

    He was on KFI that evening, where the host challenged him about the commentary. Cooper spent the whole time denying the implications of his words in the commentary.

    An honest commentator will freely engage in a discussion and vigorously advocate for the positions he has espoused.

    A cheap shot commentator spends his time claiming not to have said what he did, when called on it.

    Ken in Camarillo (aa2192)

  45. Patterico, clean up needed in “Obama Polarizes” thread.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  46. No public college or university should even attempt to stifle high camp. Farce is mainstay, if not a course of study.

    While Ziegler had every right to trash the Couric interview, his own sit-down with Sarah Palin was laughable. Nothing in that “wasn’t-she-being-unfair” inquest was marginally straightforward.

    Both sessions with Palin should be critiqued in class.

    steve (509564)

  47. Sarah Palin did not handle herself well in the principle interviews being referred to. Some of that was editing but she really did a poor job. Why that would result in an award to Couric is a mystery but the left does a lot of patting each other on the back. The most devastating interview for her was Charlie Gibson because his defenestration of Obama in the debate, about capital gains taxes, gave him much more credibility that Couric. On the other hand, she needs awards more than he does.

    While I think Palin did not do well in interviews, I’m looking forward to meeting her at the NRA convention next month.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  48. That’s my new trademark line to use against everyone who belittled the Tea Party protests, especially people who called us “tea baggers.”

    I won’t use it any more here, because it’s out of character for your blog.

    Daryl Herbert (b65640)

  49. #43

    Not sure I understand your reference to “situational ethics.” I’m taking John Ziegler’s claim to be a reporter seriously and pointing out that ground rules for press behavior imposed by private entities at private events on private property are not uncommon and are not generally viewed as First Amendment violations.

    Again, my experience is that the point of a roped-off section for the press at or near the entrance of an event like this is to allow those people who want to talk to the press to do so, and afford some protection to those who are otherwise inclined.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  50. Having finally watched the whole video, I think the Ziegler looks even worse now. He notified USC that he would be demonstrating the event, and USC provided him a venue to do that. Then he showed up with a camera, claimed he was a journalist because he had one, and whined when he was denied entry. Then he hectors a very polite official with stuff like “What’s different about me holding a microphone and asking questions?” The difference is he contacted them indicating that he was there to demonstrate the event. Starting at 3:49 in this video:

    USC Guy: You indicated that you were here to demonstrate.

    JZ: Actually no, I called off the demonstration. I’m just here to find out what’s going on.

    USC Guy: But, so you’re not the media in a sense–

    JZ: I’ve got a microphone and a camera and website. [QUICK EDIT] So now you’re acknowledging that because of my political position on this, that has something to do with the access to this event.

    Ziegler’s access was limited because he told them he was there to demonstrate. He said he called the demonstration off, but honestly, if someone called you up to inform you they’d be protested your event, then showed up with a camera crew and said they were just there to cover the event, you would 1) consider them incredibly unprofessional and 2) not be inclined to believe them when they told you they weren’t there to make a scene. Why?

    Because they told you they were coming there to make a scene.

    All the stuff about Ziegler having to stand behind the barricades says nothing about how the journalism school (or the building that was housing the event) treats dissenting journalists — it tells you how they treat demonstrators. The fact that he was denied entry, then, isn’t even ironic because in the eyes of USC Ziegler was not there as a journalist. He was there as what he announced himself to be — a demonstrator — and as such wasn’t allowed into the event.

    The only real irony here is that Couric was awarded the “Special Achievement for National Impact on the 2008 Campaign,” which Ziegler not only wouldn’t deny, it’s the basis of his complaint against her.

    SEK (072055)

  51. You aren’t helping yourself here SEK.Just move on. Your prior commentary shows that your personal feelings overshadow your statements regarding fair-mindedness.

    Eric Blair (c0224a)

  52. Your prior commentary shows that your personal feelings overshadow your statements regarding fair-mindedness.

    I admit I find the man odious, but that doesn’t have bearing on my argument here. He petitioned to be allowed to demonstrate, was accommodated, then showed up on the day of the event claiming to be a reporter. My feelings about the man don’t change the words he himself said.

    SEK (072055)

  53. But your prior words, with all due respect, demonstrate that your thoughts on this subject are not…dispassionate. And that’s fine for people who admit that. But you have long implied that your opinions are not colored by emotionality.

    Please remember that when you snark at others for what you do yourself.

    Eric Blair (c0224a)

  54. I can’t refrain from noting that Marc’s “when the cops tell you to move, you gotta move” attitude wasn’t much in evidence in his May 2007 L.A. Times piece on the May Day MacArthur Park immigration rally melee.

    But nobody’s really too surprised by that. As I said, he’s a liberal.

    All of this nonsense and idiocy from the left — against the backdrop of the following (and the “Golden State,” along with much of the field of journalism, is very much in love with a “progressive” ideology) — seems somehow quite fitting at this point in time:

    Today’s LA Times:

    Unemployment in California shot to 11.2% in March, the highest level since the state began keeping records. What’s more, the number of people out of work for almost a year rose by 9.4%, and has now doubled in the last 12 months.

    California lost 62,100 jobs in March, state officials reported Friday. In all, 637,400 jobs have disappeared in the last year and a total of 727,700 since the economy peaked in July 2007.

    California’s unemployment rate remains stubbornly above the nationwide rate of 8.5% for March.

    Writer Lawrence Kootinkoff, of West Los Angeles, who has been without a job since 2005, said he still looks for work nearly every day, when he’s not caring for two young children.

    “I wanted a job in news, but everyone I talked to was either laying people off or not hiring,” said the 47-year-old former foreign correspondent. “I was over-qualified. I had too much experience. I was too expensive. If I was 20 years younger, I might have had a better shot.”

    Mark (411533)

  55. And that’s fine for people who admit that. But you have long implied that your opinions are not colored by emotionality. Please remember that when you snark at others for what you do yourself.

    I’m not snarking here: given Ziegler’s admission that he contacted USC to indicate that he’d be demonstrating the event, the fact that USC treated him like a demonstrator instead of a journalist means that the situation isn’t even ironic. Demonstrators are treated differently from members of the media.

    As for whether emotions color my words, I’m human. I try my damnedest not to let them, and admit when they do.

    SEK (072055)

  56. I can’t refrain from noting that Marc’s “when the cops tell you to move, you gotta move” attitude wasn’t much in evidence in his May 2007 L.A. Times piece on the May Day MacArthur Park immigration rally melee.

    Moreover, aren’t campus police at USC merely and in actuality private-sector security-detail employees, working without as much of the full authority of the law given to those employed by the LAPD?

    Mark (411533)

  57. I’m not snarking here: given Ziegler’s admission that he contacted USC to indicate that he’d be demonstrating the event, the fact that USC treated him like a demonstrator instead of a journalist means that the situation isn’t even ironic.

    It is known from watching the video that he was going to conduct a demonstration, and he also said that he was calling it off.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  58. USC is a private college but it also welcomes visitors, so its willingness to use security guards to arbitrarily eject visitors like Ziegler makes me suspicious. Specifically, USC invites visitors to take unsupervised self-guided campus tours and stop #10 on that tour is the Annenberg School for Communication.

    In light of the Ziegler incident, I encourage the Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication to rethink the welcome and mission statement he borrowed from the School’s contributor and namesake, Ambassador Walter Annenberg, noted conservative and creator of TV Guide magazine:

    Ambassador Annenberg concluded his mission statement by saying “… to be of service to all people is the enduring mission of this school.” Above all other considerations, USC Annenberg employs communication, journalism and public relations to serve and inform the public.

    Anon (b0f193)

  59. I guess I’m not willing to be that charitable to Gibson, seeing as how he bowdlerized her answer about extending NATO expansion to Russia, among just a few issues, right off the top of my head.
    He was good on the capital gains question on Obama, but there really wasn’t any follow through. The award to Couric really belongs in the Janet Cooke/Stephen Glass territory, for the
    terrible distortions therein. It was a deceitful facade, as with much associated with this campaign,

    narciso (996c34)

  60. The more you defend your prior statements here, the deeper you descend into the hole you dug for yourself. Your continuous parsing of certain words and phrases is positively Clintonian in nature – bad move on your part; best to quit while far behind.

    I don’t know whether such comments should be banned and/or deleted, but it would be nice to see some of the regulars around here join me in condemning those sentiments.

    Are you new here? We’ve been defenestratng a veritable cornucopia of Moby’s and Trolls over the past few weeks, let alone since the beginning of the election.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  61. It is known from watching the video that he was going to conduct a demonstration, and he also said that he was calling it off.

    It’s not at all clear that USC knew that he had called it off. It sounds like he informed that Jeffrey fellow that he had called it off just then. I’d be interested in knowing whether he’d informed them beforehand (and if he did, how long beforehand) that he’d canceled the demonstration.

    SEK (072055)

  62. The dean says he arrived as a journalist, not as a demonstrator. See my latest post.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  63. Again, folks, this business of a “private institution” is far thornier than you might think—because, in part, of the strings that come attached to Federal and State support. It gives new meaning to the phrase, “shades of gray.”

    I love the idea of a private institution being private (and letting the tuition paying emptor caveat)…but just try to have smoking in the dormitories, for example. Or in any classroom. Or in meeting places on campus.

    But “The Vagina Monologues” is a fine thing on most campuses…while a lecture by Pat Buchanan? Not so much. And think of the way that those would “demonstrate” against both of those performances would be treated by the University security types. Again, academia claims to be all fair minded and dispassionate, but it is simply isn’t so.

    I just use that as one example. I should add that I very much believe that private institutions should be private, and do what they like…but it isn’t actually that way.

    But more importantly is the rather clear cut difference in the way “disrupting influences” are treated depending on the partisan affiliations of the speaker and the disrupting influences.

    It’s true that I am very, very cynical on this issue, but it comes from a few decades in colleges and universities. And I don’t care for intellectual hypocrisy.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  64. It’s not at all clear that USC knew that he had called it off. It sounds like he informed that Jeffrey fellow that he had called it off just then.

    This is splitting hairs. USC accepts federal money and has a number of other obligations relative to being an “educational institution.” I was never going to give them any money anyway, because of how I was treated by a Dean many years ago when I was a starving student but they really are being disingenuous about the whole affair.

    Tim, maybe that will answer your question, as well. Nice to see how well you hold grudge.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  65. Patrick, I think this is one of those instances where we may have to agree to disagree. You think the important fact is what he arrived as, whereas I think the important facts are what he said he planned to do and how USC prepared for that. The sentences before the one you quote in the next post read:

    In the days before his appearance on our campus, Mr. Ziegler publicly stated an intention to “demonstrate” against the presentation of a journalism award to Katie Couric. USC was happy to accommodate Ziegler and provided him with a designated area where he could register his protest, be seen by attendees at the event, as well as students, and pass out whatever materials he wished.

    On the day of the award ceremony, Mr. Ziegler arrived on campus with two cameramen, not as a demonstrator, but as a journalist . . .

    If he wanted to wear his journalist hat, he shouldn’t have told them he would be demonstrating. At the very least, if he decided not to go the demonstration route and wanted to interact with the attendees in a professional journalistic capacity, he should’ve behaved in a professional journalistic way and contacted USC. Because he didn’t, he shouldn’t act surprised that USC treated him like a demonstrator instead of a journalist.

    SEK (072055)

  66. This is splitting hairs.

    If they’re hairs, they’re important ones: even journalists from clearly partisan outfits are treated differently at demonstrations. As the example to end all examples, how about I just point to the career of Hunter S. Thompson?

    Or do you think demonstrators deserve the same access as journalists if they say they’re not demonstrators anymore because they’ve “got a microphone and a camera and website”?

    SEK (072055)

  67. How is it that one individual peacefully assembling and armed with nothing more than a camera and his mouth was perceived as such a threat? If the champions of free speech no longer make their homes in universities, where do they dwell?

    Dana (d08a3a)

  68. Yes, SEK, claiming you are there to investigate and report does get different treatment than demonstrators.

    Anon (b0f193)

  69. I beat you to that condemnation, Anon.

    SEK (072055)

  70. Great minds?

    Anon (b0f193)

  71. SEK – the condition allegedly set forth by Annenberg/USC was that JZ maintain at least a seven foot distance from the entrance. There is no proof profferred by anyone that JZ failed to comply with this.

    Therefore, Annenberg/USC violated its own protocols.

    Tell us all again how JZ was in the wrong, and how his actions required the initial confrontation by the USC henchmen. Explain to us all, if you would be so kind, as to why the supervising henchman never explained to JZ that he was allowed to behave as a journalist would, so long as a seven foot barrier was maintained. Instead, JZ was ordered off USC property altogether so long as he insisted on, heaven forfend, utilizing a video camera.

    Ed from SFV (f274d1)

  72. Tell us all again how JZ was in the wrong, and how his actions required the initial confrontation by the USC henchmen. Explain to us all, if you would be so kind, as to why the supervising henchman never explained to JZ that he was allowed to behave as a journalist would, so long as a seven foot barrier was maintained. Instead, JZ was ordered off USC property altogether so long as he insisted on, heaven forfend, utilizing a video camera.

    I did exactly that in the post linked to Patrick’s most recent post:

    [I]f you announce your intent to demonstrate an event, everyone will consider you a demonstrator no matter what you call yourself because once you air that announcement any action you take will be interpreted as a protestation. The “I’m not protesting, Officer, I’m just standing here minding my business” routine never works because one you are a protester, standing there minding your business becomes an act of civil disobedience.

    SEK (072055)

  73. So, SEK, we are now to read minds and intent, as opposed to actual crossing of lines, breaking of statutes? Nice.

    JZ presented himself at the credential/greeting table and retreated back to the sidewalk position. According to all reports, he was courteous to the folks who refused him admission to the event. He was most certainly minding his own business well beyond the magic seven foot buffer.

    I will be sure to read your defense of LAPD if and when they act proactively to maintain lawful order. Perhaps you could point me to your posts defending the actions of that organization at the MacArthur Park mess a while back? Were not the supervisors who ordered the clearing of the park acting on intel that disruptions were about to occur?

    Ed from SFV (f274d1)

  74. “Even if you assume for the sake of argument that USC can ask him to leave for any reason (or no reason), that doesn’t make it appropriate for them to do so.”

    I beg to differ. IF It’s private property, he has no right to be there, and it’s totally appropriate for them to ask him to leave for any reason whatsoever.

    It’s their call.

    Dave Surls (97b910)

  75. So, Dave…why can’t they have smoking in their buildings? I mean, it’s private property.

    Also, seems to me that the sidewalk isn’t as private as the inside of the building…especially given the comments above that anyone can tour campus on their own.

    I’m just sayin’.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  76. Dave Surls,

    You and I have different meanings of the word appropriate.

    Yours seems to connote having the right to do something. In other words, ANYTHING you have the right to do is “appropriate.”

    Sure, “it’s their call.” That’s not the point.

    As another example, imagine the most vile thing someone could say about your mother. Now, you’re on my blog. I could condition your continued participation here on your saying that vile thing as the first sentence of every comment you post.

    Do I have the right to do that? Sure. Is it my call? Sure.

    Is it *appropriate*?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  77. “Is it *appropriate*?”

    It is if you say it is. It’s your blog.

    But, I ain’t going to do it.

    😉

    Dave Surls (97b910)

  78. “So, Dave…why can’t they have smoking in their buildings? I mean, it’s private property.”

    Because there’s a law against it.

    Dave Surls (97b910)

  79. Patterico has said that he does care about the legalities. But the minimalest of due process is following the rules you, yourself, have set.

    nk (0214d0)

  80. So…the law supercedes private property. I wonder what other kinds of laws supercede private property…particularly those relating to free association and speech.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  81. I’m not sure that “supersedes” is the right word, but rights or claims to rights can clash and the conflict has to be resolved in a reasonable way. It fell to USC to come up with a resolution and I think they took a reasonable course — establishing ground rules that gave reporters access to the event but allowed visitors to choose whether or not to subject themselves to media interviews.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  82. __________________________________

    P.S. Do they teach budding TV interviewers at Annenberg never to stick microphones in people’s faces?

    People in the profession of journalism, or who teach about it, deserve a bit of a break at the moment. After all, the current and future outlook of the industry they’re associated with — certainly the print portion of it, which many of them still rely upon or get a lot of their cues from — probably is making at least a few of them rather skittish and crabby right around now.

    boston.com, April 17, 2009:

    Advertising revenue was projected to drop 20 to 30 percent at most US newspapers for the first three months of 2009. Yesterday, in a sign the business environment may be even weaker, Gannett Co. reported advertising revenue tumbled 34 percent at its newspaper chain. Some analysts said there could be a similarly nasty surprise at the [New York] Times Co., largely because of slumping ad sales at the [Boston] Globe.

    “This quarter might wind up being worse than expected,” said media analyst Edward J. Atorino, managing director at the Benchmark Co. brokerage firm in New York. “But it would be hard to be worse than expected because the expectations are very low.”

    Analysts projected the Times Co. will lose 4 cents a share in the first quarter, compared with a break-even quarter a year ago. The company’s shares closed at $5.92 yesterday, down nearly 70 percent from a year ago.

    Financial strains on the Times Co. have been mounting. The company finished 2008 with a $57.8 million net loss and $1.1 billion in debt, and it has spent the past several months scrambling to regain its financial footing by raising cash and refinancing debt.

    The company…has suspended its quarterly dividend, an important source of income for members of the extended Sulzberger family, which owns a controlling stake in the Times Co. And it has begun accepting front-page display ads in its flagship paper, The New York Times, and in the Globe, something it had long resisted.

    Because the Times Co. is less diversified than some competitors, it depends more on the fortunes of its newspapers. Its revenue-generating moves have been applauded on Wall Street, but few think they go far enough to put the company back on a growth path without further cost-cutting at its papers.

    The latest retrenchment was disclosed yesterday when The New York Times said it planned to drop several weekly sections, including Escapes, published on Fridays, and some Sunday regional sections.

    Mark (411533)

  83. Tim, I’m not trying to snark, but when you write:

    “..I’m not sure that “supersedes” is the right word, but rights or claims to rights can clash and the conflict has to be resolved in a reasonable way…”

    I keep thinking about what Inigo Montoya said to Fezzini in “A Princess Bride.”

    You were claiming private property rights, then allowing that laws can overrule them, then fell back on “reasonable” which is somewhat antithetical to matters political.

    All I am saying is that there is a differential regarding how people are treated on college and university campuses. And it seems directly related to partisan affiliation or partisan interests.

    It should be about the principle, not the politics. And it isn’t.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  84. I’m certain there are programs at USC which receive government attention and or money. They should be removed if they are not going to allow free speach on their premises.

    Haire Brain (310603)

  85. Eric, I’m certainly open to hearing your reasons for believing that USC’s response in this case is motivated by political partisanship.

    I don’t believe that you’ve characterized my argument fairly. At no point did I claim that property rights are absolute. I have argued that institutions do have a right to establish policies and ground rules for the media in relation to events held on property belonging to the institution. These policies can be challenged on grounds of fairness or reasonableness, etc., but institutions do have a right and responsibility to establish such policies.

    You seem to suppose that I am adopting this position for partisan reasons myself. Actually, it’s a view I’ve held for a long time and it developed very directly from my professional experience, rather than the evolution of my personal political views (which are, yes, moderately left of center). I’ve worked in the world of corporate PR for close to 30 years and have had to wrestle with these questions for a long time.

    Do we limit attendance at the annual meeting to press and shareholders only? Do we need to set up a credentialing process for the press? Should we designate a seating section for the press at the meeting? Should we or should we not allow press to ask questions during shareholder Q&A? Should we limit their question time to a press conference following the end of the meeting? What does corporate legal say about all of this?

    These are the kinds of policy decisions any institution has to make. I presume that USC has similar challenges all the time. I’m sympathetic to their need to establish ground rules and stick to them. These are things I’ve had to deal with in my workaday life for years. I’ve come to see reasonableness as a very good yardstick indeed for such situations.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  86. I think you have repeatedly dismissed issues of partisanship on campus, citing “private property” rules. And I think you are incurious regarding differential application of rules.

    Have you watched “Indoctrinate U”? Or have you gone to the FIRE website?

    You really should.

    You have spent a long time in business. I have spent decades in academia. I wish to high heaven that universities were run like a business.

    They aren’t.

    But hey, don’t take my word for it. Check out the places I suggest.

    Then think about how USC treats “dissidents.”

    But again, be careful about “private property” issues as they apply to educational institutions that accept Federal and State money.

    You make a comment at the end of your post, “establish ground rules and stick to them.” The last bit is most important.

    And as always, try the “D for R” substitution. Imagine the rules in the hands of your very worst enemies. That is how good law arises, and how laws and rights are not abused.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  87. Thanks for your advice, Eric.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  88. I am sure that the “moderately left of center” folks will be able to show us a history of siding with private propert rights, let’s say for example, in defense of private property owners being allowed to conduct their business in such a manner as they see fit, ie. Whether or not to allow smoking in a bar.

    JD (6ef835)

  89. Tim, the right of USC to set ground rules is not being challenged here. What is being challenged is the impartiality of their application, or the lack of it.

    Unless, of course, USC meant this as an example of what can happen to those whose political views are unpopular. In that sense, it’s very instructive to the embryonic journalists under its tutelage. All are equal, but conservatives are less equal than others.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  90. Bradley, Ziegler was offered pool feed and was directed to the designated media area where he could have interviewed attendees at the event willing to talk to him. He was very uncooperative and may or may not have gotten more than he bargained for as a result. I’ve seen a lot of assertions here that the University was motivated by political considerations, but little real evidence. In any event, this case seems to pale next to what happened to Tom Tancredo at UNC.

    I disagree very strongly with Tancredo’s views on immigration and other matters, but I’m appalled at the treatment he received. What happened to him is a blatant case of mob action trampling on free speech and the fact that it happened should disturb liberals and conservatives equally. This is a really significant case and probably deserves more attention than l’affaire Ziegler, don’t you think?

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  91. “… I’ve seen a lot of assertions here that the University was motivated by political considerations, but little real evidence….”

    Riiigggghhhht.

    Here is a place to start, based on a two second search.

    http://thefire.org/index.php/case/709.html

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  92. Thanks for the link, Eric. This seems to concern censorship over “raunchy” language in a play, a move the University later disavowed, apparently. Frankly, I’m struggling to see the connection with the Ziegler affair.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  93. Tim McGarry,

    It isn’t a perfect analogy because one involves a demonstration and the other ostensibly involves a reporter, but … if this wasn’t partisan, how do you explain the difference in the response by USC and its security toward Ziegler and their treatment of the Ann Coulter demonstration?

    Anon (b0f193)

  94. #93

    Luke, is that you?

    I read the Anne Coulter material and watched the video. What seems most significant to me is that free speech seemed victorious that night — Anne gave her speech without disruption and her antagonists had their peaceful (if dull and dispirited) demonstration. I don’t know USC geography well (I’m a UCSB alum), but I get the sense that you’re right, that the group shifted off the designated demonstration area.

    Does it matter much? Was Coulter’s speech over by the time this video was shot? With the evening’s objectives met, was a tactical decision made to leave well enough alone and not try to roll the crowd back? If so, it was probably a wise decision, although that crowd didn’t look like it was going to storm any ramparts anytime soon.

    In Ziegler’s case, perhaps he just pushed too long and too hard. Maybe the outcome he got is the one he really wanted, despite his denials.

    I’m still inclined to the view that evidence for the claim that USC acted as it toward Ziegler for political reasons falls well short of what’s needed.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  95. If 150 leftists rotest this is an exercise of free speech. If one populist conservative dares to attempt an act of journalism, he must be silenced. So, private property rights do seem to be dependent on the political perspective of the speaker.

    JD (f086e6)

  96. It isn’t a perfect analogy because one involves a demonstration and the other ostensibly involves a reporter

    Irrelevant. The bottom line, Tim, is why one person armed with a mic and his mouth was perceived to be such a threat? So much so that he had to be removed in handcuffs? Whether he called himself a protester, an interested observer or a journalist, what in his actions was considered worthy of having him removed?

    Dana (d08a3a)

  97. Tim McGarry,

    I assume you mean Luke Ford, whose name is on the linked video. No, I’m not Luke.

    As for the context, I agree context matters but it doesn’t appear the Coulter speech was over since there were still patrons arriving to attend her speech. (Note the arrival of the older couple about halfway through the video.) But since we apparently agree context matters, why was it so important for USC to push Ziegler onto the grass when there were no more than a handful of people present, but it wasn’t important at the Coulter event when – by comparison – the venue was teeming with people?

    Anon (b0f193)

  98. Are they coming or going? I can’t tell.

    Dana, Anon — perhaps Ziegler simply pushed the USC personnel on the scene too far. That requires a much smaller leap than attributing it to a political motive.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  99. 1 conservative attempting to commit an act of journalism – quell horror. 150 leftists protesting – good exercise of 1st Amendment. I do find it encouraging to see a leftist standing up for the rights of private property owners, even in a disingenuous manner.

    JD (0ff900)

  100. Tim McGarry,

    Okay, let’s assume the couple was leaving Coulter’s speech and compare that to the Ziegler incident. It’s my understanding Ziegler wanted to question attendees as they arrived and as they left. (BTW, hadn’t the event already started by the time we see Ziegler?) If we accept your analysis of the Coulter event — that USC and its security had little or no reason to be concerned about protecting attendees as they left — then why wouldn’t the same be true in the Ziegler incident?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for protecting patrons at these events. I’d be quite happy if USC limited attendance to invitees at all events, but it doesn’t do that. USC invites people onto its campus, including to the Annenberg School, and if it’s going to do that then it should be consistent.

    Anon (b0f193)

  101. That is just anecdotal evidence people. Do not stand in the way of the 1st Amendment warriors like Tim, that would never selectively enforce private property rights. It is merely a coinkydink that the 150 Leftist were allowed to protest but 1 populist was handcuffed.

    JD (0ff900)

  102. Tim McGarry:

    … perhaps Ziegler simply pushed the USC personnel on the scene too far. That requires a much smaller leap than attributing it to a political motive.

    On the contrary. Believing there was a directive targeted at Ziegler assumes the security personnel acted under orders. The alternative you posit assumes USC’s security personnel can handle demonstrations involving hundreds of people but they don’t have the maturity or training to do their jobs when confronted by one man, one microphone, and two cameramen.

    Anon (b0f193)

  103. Um…Tim. You might read the links provided. You will learn that the security folks interviewed had some interesting ideas about freedom of expression, and who should be silenced.

    Seriously. Read up on academia. It’s very different from business.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  104. Tim, there was nothing that indicated the personnel were ‘pushed’ in any way. Annoyed, perhaps but pushed too far? That is an unreasonable assumption given what we’ve seen but convenient if one needs events to fit into a preset narrative.

    There were two armed officers, one quite a bit larger than Ziegler, who appears somewhat non-athletic. And did I mention the personnel were armed?

    Dana (d08a3a)

  105. Dana, I’m not trying to fit anything into a preset narrative. We’ve had a fair (and fairly lengthy) exchange of views and I’ve been very clear about why I’m not convinced of the thesis that Ziegler’s treatment was politically motivated. I think we’ve reached the point we all have to simply agree to disagree. I’m not going disparage the motives or integrity of other participants in the discussion.

    You have a good night.

    Tim

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  106. Tim – I applaud your support of private property rights and look forward to your ongoing support when the Left continues their encroachment on said rights. Thank you.

    Clearly one guy with a camera was a far greater threat, as we were told by Barcky’s DHS, he was a right wing extremist which is similar if not equivalent to being a terrorist.

    JD (0ff900)

  107. Tim, I’ve read your reasons but you still have not answered how one man armed with a camera and his mouth could have been construed as such a significant threat that armed personnel and handcuffs were necessary. This is a simple question. Nothing on the video links evidenced him becoming aggressive, violent, threatening or our being out of control.

    I was not disparaging you rather attempting to understand how such an obviously intelligent person can miss the obvious. Thank you for the discussion.

    Dana (d08a3a)

  108. Dana, my sense is that University staff acted out of weariness and extreme annoyance, rather than fear. They seem to have reached the point where they no longer saw any possibility that Ziegler would comply and decided the only way to move him was forcibly, after applying restraints. Good policing? Good PR? Very likely not. Evidence of political motivation? Possibly, but I think more evidence is needed to draw that conclusion.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  109. Anecdotal evidence of their response to a Leftist protest must not be evaluated.

    Clearly, 1 person can cause more weariness and extreme annoyance than 150 people could.

    JD (0ff900)

  110. This kind of thing should never be about the “sense” someone has regarding a situation at which they were not present. It is my sense that the university security forces were acting in a fashion that was highly partisan.

    Why is your “sense” better than mine?

    Again, time to look at what happens on college campuses. It’s not the boardroom.

    But as you say, remember your words. You may feel very differently quite soon.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)


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