Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Chilling Effect

I understand concerns about security when the lives of our selfless leaders are at stake, especially when there have been threats booted about. Honestly, I really appreciate how well protected Senator Obama is. It's about par for the course that there are threats against a sitting senator and presidential nominee's life, especially given that no one can determine how serious a threat these idiots posed, but it's disgusting that so much of it was race-based. It just shows that, although America as a whole has come a very long way, much farther and faster than most other nations, we still have farther to go.

However, there is a point at which protectiveness can edge over into attacks on constitutional rights. ABC tells us that one of their reporters was arrested on a public sidewalk outside of the Brown Palace Hotel. At the time of the arrest, "Police on the scene refused to tell ABC lawyers the charges against the producer, Asa Eslocker, who works with the ABC News investigative unit. " Later, the lawyers were told that he was arrested for "trespass, interference, and failure to follow a lawful order. He also said the arrest followed a signed complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel."

I'd love to see who signed the complaint. I'd also love to know why. Oh, and how in the world doing a story on a public sidewalk could be considered trespassing.

That's not all, either:

"The sheriff's officer is seen telling Eslocker the sidewalk is owned by the hotel. Later, he is seen pushing Eslocker off the sidewalk into oncoming traffic, forcing him to the other side of the street.

It was two hours later when Denver police arrived to place Eslocker under arrest, apparently based on a complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel, a central location for Democratic officials.

During the arrest, one of the officers can be heard saying to Eslocker, 'You're lucky I didn't knock the f..k out of you.'"

The report ends by alerting readers that "Eslocker and his ABC News colleagues are spending the week investigating the role of corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors at the convention for a series of Money Trail reports on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson." That makes me really want to know who signed that complaint--and why.

In any case, this is a clear suppression of the freedom of the press as enumerated in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. And it doesn't stop there: political protesters have also had their rights to assembly and free speech suppressed. At times, violently.

This has a chilling effect, in my opinion, on the political process. I believe our founding fathers would be ashamed of us.

I'll be watching to see if similar things to come out of the Republican convention next week. I hope they don't. Once is too often for crap like this to happen.

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