UPDATE UPDATE: Video seems to show the spitting incident may have been way overblown. Video and full story below.
An RVO listener told us today the spitting incident at the DC Health care protest did occur and he was about 10 feet away. Regular caller “Wayne” said he drove to DC on Saturday to take part in the Tea Party protest, and, in particular, to deliver a “pink slip” notice to Congressman Courtney’s(D, CT 2) office. Listen to him describe how he was treated.
Wayne said the protest was orderly and well behaved, and he said he saw only two signs that the left could seize upon, but hardly controversial considering what the left did to “W”. One was a sign with a hammer and sickle deploring government control …. and one Obama with a mustache.
As for the spitting incident, where Congressman Emanuel Cleaver says he was spat upon by a protester, Wayne says it happened and was purposeful, but he says the Tea Party protesters were the ones who jumped the jerk and yanked the protester away.
Wayne says he thought the man was a plant. Don’t know. James Rosen did his own report on Fox this afternoon, and you can clearly see Congressman Cleaver stopping, and pretty angry. In my mind, the Congressman showed a lot of self control. I would be angry too. But remember, the other Tea Party protesters grabbed this out of control idiot, and pulled him away.
Kudos to Rosen for detailing the attacks on Tea Party folks too, and the variety of politicians who have been at the bad end of a loogie. Bottom line here, one over the top jerk can paint an entire grass roots movement in the eyes of the main stream media. It was disgusting. No Congressman …. and I mean none, deserves this kind of disgusting treatment. I am proud of the way the protesters reacted.
UPDATE: From Riehl World, new video shows the charge of spitting may have been overblown. In fact based on what I saw, way over blown. Here’s the analysis at Riehl World.
There’s some higher resolution video below I hadn’t seen before. Unlike what was claimed during recent Tea Party protests in Washington, DC, it would appear Cleaver was simply walking close by in front of a protester. The protester’s hands were cupped as he was shouting. While it appears Cleaver may have experienced a spraying of sorts as a result of the yelling, it does not support a conclusion that he was intentionally spat upon, as claimed.
The video doesn’t make Wayne wrong, or a hyper sensitive Congressman either. If you were standing behind him, where Wayne says he was … looking at a man with cupped hands leaning toward the Congressman, it could look like he spit on purpose, even though after watching the video the man never appears to stop chanting “Kill the bill”. Spray doesn’t equal spit. If that were the case Chris Matthews wouldn’t have a job.
UPDATE 2: An RVO reader, Rick from Chicago, notes Wayne couldn’t have seen it because he said it happened as the Congressman was leaving the building for the Capitol, instead of, as the video shows, entering the Capitol. I am trying to cut Wayne some slack here. But it’s getting hard. Again, standing behind the guy, it’s easy to mistake that for spitting. I agree. But the location is tough to screw up. This is getting worse than analyzing the Zapruder film.
Here’s the video: