October 17, 2008

Former Bristol reporter assaulted at a Palin rally

Update: Be sure to read this piece, which includes Joe's reaction to the assault.

A Bristol Eastern High School graduate who ignored my advice and went into journalism got his ass kicked for it yesterday.
Joe (Wilbur) Killian, a former writer for The Bristol Press and The Tattoo, is a reporter in Greensboro, N.C., where he got assigned to cover yesterday's rally by Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
At the rally, Joe tried to speak with some Obama supporters who were kicked out -- and then got assaulted for it by an angry Republican.
Read his account of what happened here.
Joe's been a friend since he was in high school so I've followed his career pretty closely. He won lots of awards for his work for The Tattoo, the international teen-written newspaper that my wife and I run.
He was briefly a staff writer at the Press, ran his college's newspaper and has worked for the Greensboro News & Record for a couple of years now. He's a great guy and a terrific journalist.
There's something terribly wrong with our politics when some angry fat guy could assault Joe for doing his job. I hope it makes everyone step back and think about where this fury might take us.
Meanwhile, I hope Joe's OK. I know he's black and blue.
You can read commentary about the assault all over the internet today, but I'll post a few links in a bit.
Here are a few:
*******
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is horrible news, Steve!

Another sign that the repugnant republicants are out of control, thanks in large part to McGranpa and his lackey Failin' McPalin.

I sure hope your friend considers his legal options. His civil rights have been violated. The clod who assaulted him and the entire McLoser campaign should be to the fullest extent of the law!

Is this what we want for the next four years? It will be interesting to see if this act of violence (political terrorism) is repudiated by McCoward.

Vote for OBAMA/BIDEN on November 4...it's the patriotic thing to do!

cseguin said...

That is horrible. I'm ashamed that someone who would label themselves a Republican and McCain supporter (or anyone, period), would act like that.

Joe's an incredibly nice guy, and as you said, one heck of a journalist. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

Shoulda stayed in Bristol!

Anonymous said...

This was a sad act by one stupid person. He was out of control, and yes, he should have been arrested for knocking down Steve's reporter friend. But to blame McCain and Palin and all Republicans and say that if McCain is elected there will be four years of violence, you have to be even stupider than the perpetrator.

Steve Collins said...

I don't blame McCain or Palin, though I do wish they'd stop hammering "the media," whatever that is, as if every reporter is part of some kind of monolithic entity.
I know Joe isn't. He goes where the news takes him.
I'll write later what he has to say about this, which is interesting and fair.

Anonymous said...

This idiot was obviously causing problems. He is, after all, from Bristol.

Odin said...

For the past twenty years the message of the Republican Party has been fear on a carrier wave of racism. Is anybody really surprised that a young reporter got stomped by an out-of-control Palin fan? They see the election slipping through their white fingers, and it terrifies them.

Anonymous said...

Would it have happened if they knew he was a friend of Steve's?

Anonymous said...

Careful, 4:42, your bigotry is showing.

cseguin said...

@ 4:42 pm
What happened to Joe is horrible, but to imply that this is somehow representative of the Republican party, or to equate members of the party with racism, is a bit much. As a Republican, I'd prefer that I not be lumped in with the type of person who would assault a reporter.

Unfortunately, each party has its share of crazy people. The partisan divide in this country has become way too wide, and there are too many people on each side who are willing to go to extremes.

I don't know the answer. What I do know is that the solution won't come by accusing the other party of racism.

Anonymous said...

Now you're encouraging people to read "The Daily Kos" Steve? You even found a silly excuse like this "innocent" reporter. How predictable.

What was this "reporter" (aka anti-Republican, liberal, Obama supporter) interviewinjg these crackpot protestors for? I protested at a Clinton fundraiser in West Hartford once and none of the reporters from the Courant or the TV news interviewed any of us. Obviously this left-wing hack reporter friend of yours was trying to get some anti-Palin fodder for his attack piece on a Republican.

There's no excuse for assault. But when you play with fire, some times you get burned. This guys just a martyr. Both of you love the opportunity to paint Republicans in a bad way.

And it's time you woke up, smelled the coffee and looked in the mirror. You hate "conservatives", Republicans, oil companies, corporations, people with money (who don't feel guilt about it), etc. How can you sit there and write that you don't believe there's an extreme liberal, pro-Democrat bias in the media? I actually stopped buying the Press becuase the reporting was so bad in regards to local politics. I probably should stop reading this blog to. How long until the Press goes belly up? I can't wait.

Steve Collins said...

I'm glad, 9:16 pm, that you know so much about the motives of people you don't even know.
I will say that you ought to look at what Joe Killian told me, in a slightly newer post, which makes it pretty damn clear that he at least doesn't blame Republicans for what happened to him.

Anonymous said...

Steve. In my humble opinion, the fact that you responded to me in such a negative way and not the idiot at "October 17, 2008 2:05 PM" or the idiot on your newer post that thinks "Nazi Germany" is back because of this incident proves my point.

Steve Collins said...

9:43 - The other people didn't question the integrity of my friend. You did.
And if I spent my time taking issue with every stupid post, well, that's all I would do all day.

Anonymous said...

What else do you have to do...sleep? Arty emails you all the city meeting stuff I heard.

LOL

Anonymous said...

Steve, once I was assaulted by some nut at a hot dog stand on Pine Street. Would you have posted that incident on your blog too?

Anonymous said...

STEVE COLLINS for PRESIDENT!!!

Steve Collins said...

If Art sent me emails, which he almost never does, it wouldn't help. I would read them, of course, but I'm pretty sure I still wouldn't have a clue what had transpired at any meeting! Art's skills don't extend to writing.

Anonymous said...

"Art's skills don't extend to writing"

May we quote you on that...forever?

I agree BTW!

cseguin said...

@ 9:16 pm
I'm a Republican, and I also know Joe personally. He's a solid journalist, and there's no way he asked for this treatment. He had no agenda in interviewing the Obama supporters, he was just trying to do his job. It's unfortunate that he had to deal with this assault.

And, as for Steve's "hate" for conservatives; I'm conservative on quite a few issues, and Steve and I get along quite well. He's about as fair a person as you'll meet.

Odin said...

"There's no excuse for assault. But when you play with fire, some times you get burned." October 17, 2008 9:16 PM

Where have I heard this kind of talk before...hmmmm...oh yeah - right after Kristallnacht.

Anonymous said...

seguin: Here's another shocker. No one knows you. No ones cares.

Anonymous said...

9:50 - connect the dots for me on your posting, seems like you are just slobbering all over yourself, waiting for someone to throw you a life preserver - drown fool.

Anonymous said...

Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for president

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer

AP – WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president, describing the Illinois senator as a "transformational figure."

Powell says both Obama and Republican John McCain are qualified to be commander in chief. But, in an interview Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," he said Obama is better suited to handle the nation's economic problems as well as help improve it's standing in the world.

Powell expressed disappointment in the negative tone of McCain's campaign, as well as in his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee. Powell says he does not believe Palin is ready to take over as president, if necessary.

Anonymous said...

Who cares?

Anonymous said...

October 19, 2008 8:24 AM:

You must be Ward or one of his cronies. Yeah a few of us are on to what's going on.

You're obviously getting bent out of shape. Don't worry. No one cares anyway.

Now let me "connect the dots" for you moron. Mr. Collins stated he didn't have time to respond to stupid posts (like your's). The point is that with the mayor emailing info to a reporter, he has some extra time. I guess some of us don't mind people doing their jobs for them even if it's the crooks their supposed to be monitoring.