Today's font of rightous indignation over the "The" Andrew Meyer affair is Online Journal.com editor Bev Conover, one of the oldest and better progressive/leftist commentary sites on the Web. But what has Conover's panties in a bunch is the growing number of journalists questioning "The" Andrew Meyer's motives in Gainesville Monday (see Simply Ernest below).
Now it's the victim's motives and not the cops' brutality that is being questioned. Even the Times of London got in on that act. Wrote the Times, "Critics have suggested that the entire incident was a planned attempt to win attention for a student who has already posted dozens of videos of himself on his website http://www.andrewmeyer.com/Try clicking the link to http://www.andrewmeyer.com/. It goes to the Web site for a manufacturer of upscale jewelry. What's up with that?
Hey, he's a college student for crissakes! This is utter nonsense and beside the point.
Conover directs part of her rant toward Air America radio host and Countdown with Keith Olbermann contributor Rachel Maddow with:
But free speech rights don't cut it with today's corporate media, in whose class we now have to put Air America's Rachel Maddow. Instead, it's questions about Meyer's background that has become the story.Sorry, but I heard and saw Maddow's piece Tuesday night and, no, she did not express support for the University of Florida campus police. And sorry, it has not been posted at YouTube.com yet. Or anyplace else for that matter, but it will be.
Rachel Maddow, on Tuesday night's Countdown on MSNBC, also showed her hand by questioning whether Meyer's behavior was a stunt to gain attention, while expressing her support for police and brushing off First Amendment rights.
But ninteen paragraphs in Conover gets to what really chaps her ass:
Unlike the Vietnam War era, the only coverage of today's antiwar protests is negative. Rarely is anything shown of cops brutalizing protestors, who often are herded into "Free Speech Zones," and when it is covered, it's usually disruption caused by those clad in black government infiltrators the media call "anarchists." (Remember Seattle and Miami?) No peacenik in her right mind today would dream of sticking a flower in the barrel of an AK47 carried by a cop dressed as Darth Vader, without risking being shot.Well, gee, Bev but what day did the latest, greatest anti-Iraq war/peace demonstration take place? September 15, 2007, a Saturday. And what do most Americans do on Saturdays in September? Watch college football! I mean if you peaceniks aren't media savvy enough to know that the vast majority of Americans are glued to the television set watching Ohio State or Oklahoma or USC kick the crap out of Miss Muffet's Finishing School for Girls on Saturday afternoons in the fall, you deserve to be ignored.
And as far as the "free speech zone" thing. Yeah, the whole idea of a "free speech zone" is odious. But I donot recall any mass breaching of "free speech zone" barriers by demonstrators at any time, anywhere. I guess the media didn't cover it.
And I also remember... gosh it must have been shortly after the Iraq invasion in 2003 because it was betterly cold that Sunday afternoon. Anyway, I went to a peace rally with a couple of friends at a "free speech zone" in my hometown. The organizers of the event explained ahead of time that they did not want anybody connected with the anti-war rally wandering outside of Noland Plaza or shouting anything angry or confronting anybody. Now, mind you, there wasn't a cop in sight.
So this thing starts and it's O.K. There were some groups who did some "comedy" skits followed by some local speakers. But nothing really to get the blood up. Except for the speakers it was all rather childish really.
Well, simultaneously in another part of downtown a pro-Iraq war rally was taking place and evidently it finished earlier than our little "peace" rally. Anyway, a car, perhaps coming from the pro-war, pro-Bush rally drives by our little "peace" rally and some one yells: "You people are nuts!"
Well, my buddy sitting next to me shouts back, "Republicans!" And the next thing we know we're surrounded by stern-faced, placard-bearing women and my friend's getting lectured by a guy he knows on keeping quite and respectful. After a few minutes of this, and as it was freezing cold and we heard the speakers we wanted to hear, I said, "This rally must be run by grade school teachers. Let's get out of here and go someplace warm."
Let me sum up by saying that the more I've thought about the actions of "The" Andrew Meyer the more I think he may be doing a reverse of what my friend, who yelled "Republicans" did thirty years ago. Back in the Seventies by buddy had a radio talkshow in Minneapolis-St. Paul and he successfully passed himself off as an arch-conservative until he decided to go back to law school. Then, the last night from his show, he revealed that everything he had done the previous year or so had been a lie and he was actually an anti-Vietnam war liberal. In today's parlance he had "punked" his most loyal radio listeners.
I cannot shake the impression that Mr. "The" Andrew Meyer has done the same.