October 17, 2008

Former Bristol reporter attacked at Palin rally

A former reporter from Bristol is perhaps the first member of the press to be assaulted at a presidential campaign rally this year.
While covering a Thursday rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in North Carolina, Joe Killian was knocked “sprawling onto the ground” by a “big fat guy with a brown beard” wearing a GOP campaign shirt and hat.
Killian, 26, said Friday that his leg “is a little black and blue” from the assault, “but mostly just my pride is injured.”
The attack on Killian, a Greensboro News-Record reporter who graduated from Bristol Eastern High School eight years ago and wrote for The Bristol Press and The Tattoo teen newspaper under the name Joe Wilbur, became a major issue among bloggers and political junkies Friday as they debated whether the Republican campaign’s slurs on the media contributed to the assault.
Killian said that becoming known as “the guy who couldn’t stay on his feet at the Palin rally is not the kind of fame you want to achieve.”
Killian wrote on his blog that the attack occurred shortly after the end of a Palin rally at Elon University while he was attempting to interview some supporters of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama who had been ousted from the event.
As Killian tried to interview them, an unidentified Palin backer began to yell at the Obama loyalists. The man made his disgust clear for the media clear and ultimately, as Killian explained, “kicked the back of my leg, buckling my right knee and sending me sprawling onto the ground.”
By the time he could get up and find a police officer, the man was gone, he said.
Killian said he suspects other reporters have similar things happen at political rallies this year, but because they never wrote about, nobody knows.
“The fact that I blogged about it is what made it a big deal,” Killian said.
He said that “weird and dangerous stuff happens to reporters” all the time because they go places where people who are “really passionate about something” gather.
Killian, who’s been a reporter for a decade and has been on the Greensboro newspaper’s staff for two years, said that he has felt “this could end badly for me” on a number of occasions, including violent anti-war protests.
He said that after heading into the middle of housing projects to talk to violent gang members and rallies from the left and right where violence was possible, it’s ironic “this is the first time I have been roughed up by anybody.”
“In a way, I’ve been lucky so far,” Killian said. “It was just my turn, apparently.”
While many bloggers have lined up to defend Killian, others have questioned his story and accused him of liberal bias.

Here is Killian's account.


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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Vicious thugs at those Palin rallies. It's like Nazi Germany all over again.

Anonymous said...

This story is hard for me to believe.


Heil Hitler!

Anonymous said...

Like Nazi Germany? Are you kidding? Have you ever tried crossing a picket line? How about simply critisizing Tommy Toupe'? You're the pot calling the kettle black.

And Steve delete the hiltler comment, it was obviously a joke, but it's not really funny.

Anonymous said...

If this guy writes anything for the Daily Kos or the Huffington Post, then he's unquestionably a left-wing hack. He's sure to be inspiring to work for MSNBC, a liberal rag like the New York Times or the aformentioned mentioned leftist blogs.

I am very suspicious of this story and the circumstances around it.

Steve Collins said...

Joe didn't write anything for the Daily Kos or the Huffington Post or Wonkette or any of the many other leftwing blogs that had accounts of what transpired. He only wrote on his own blog.
The other ones, including many Republican-leaning blogs, quoted from what Joe wrote.
And you can be as "suspicious" as you like. Joe is a straight shooter and an honest man. He wrote the truth.

Anonymous said...

Well if he's a "straight shooter" like you say I feel bad for him (although he will surely gain personally from this). If he's a hack like Keith Oberman then he deserves it.

Anonymous said...

Sad, but true.

Prosecute to the fullest extent of the law! Make an example out of all these people and demand that this end NOW! The bully, the "beauty," and the beast all must explain themselves!

This Palin is a sub-human POLITICAL TERRORIST who continuously tries to incite riots whenever she gets on stage. Her verbal diarrhea must end. It's un-American, dangerous, and illegal! Where's her personal sense of justice? Where's her conscience? Does she even know the difference between right and wrong? I have my doubts...

You have to wonder, is this a sign of what's to come under a Palin/McCain administration? Will anarchy rule the day? IMHO she's an absolutely disgraceful she-devil, that's right, I said it again, she's evil incarnate and I'm not taking that back!

Anonymous said...

Go Palin Go!

Keep up the great work of the true Americans!

Sarah Palin = Great American

B. Hussein Obama = great neo-Marxist

Anonymous said...

Verbal diarrhea! Disgraceful she-devil! Verbal diarrhea! Disgraceful she-devil! Verbal diarrhea! Disgraceful she-devil!

Anonymous said...

Palin's speeches are a welcome change from boring politicians' same-old, same-old. She talks about how great our country is. She talks about real values. She throws in stories of the state she governs, Alaska, and makes you want to go there and breathe the fresh air. She talks about how she pushed for reforms in Alaska, and how she will do the same for America. She is inspiring, and she will be our first woman VP.

A reporter got knocked down at a rally. It was an unfortunate incident, but that's all it was.

cseguin said...

I'm a loyal Republican, and I happen to know Joe personally. I can say that he's an absolute straight-shooter, and one of the nicer people you'll ever meet. He didn't deserve this, and I'd believe his account of the incident. He has a great deal of integrity, and that's part of what makes him such a good journalist.

Anonymous said...

The qualities you describe October 17, 2008 10:20 PM are fine for someone in the tourism business, but that's not what we're talking about.

Overall, MRS Palin's actions and statements at her rallies are unraveling the loosely knit fabric of diversity in this once great country of ours. She's divisive and dangerous. And she must be stopped before more people are hurt. Arrest her!

Tiem to admit it, McSAME's gamble was a losing bet. She's hurting his chances of winning.

Not only did he "screw up" when he failed to appear on the Letterman Show, he also "screwed up" when he picked Sarah Failin' Palin as his running mate. And there are many other "screw ups" I could point to, but I'll spare you the breakdown.

Vote OBAMA/BIDEN on November 4! You can bet that they won't screw up! :o)

Anonymous said...

Yeah Gov. Sarah Palin is "failin".
That's why she has an 80% approval rating in her home state which she precides over as governor.

The only thing that's "failin'" is Community Organizer Obama's campaign which has spent twice as much money as American hero Senator John McCain but only enjoy's a 2 percentage point lead in the latest polls.

Anonymous said...

LOL When will Obama and Biden STOP screwing up? Plagiarism, Wright, Ayers, ACORN, travel to Kenya on the backs of Chicagoland taxpayers, plans for higher taxes, impossible promises of everything to everyone...

McCain/Palin: true Americans!

Anonymous said...

Are we supposed to take anything seriously from people who call call their opponent McSame, McSenile, McBush, etc.?

I'm sure those clever name plays are really going to sway the voter on the fence.

Anonymous said...

"This Palin is a sub-human POLITICAL TERRORIST who continuously tries to incite riots whenever she gets on stage. Her verbal diarrhea must end. It's un-American, dangerous, and illegal! Where's her personal sense of justice? Where's her conscience? Does she even know the difference between right and wrong? I have my doubts..."

Truth hurts, huh? Palin's just shining a light on Obama's character. It's not her fault that he's a radical anti-American.

McCain/Palin

Anonymous said...

"Not only did he "screw up" when he failed to appear on the Letterman Show,"

Oh ya, there's a good reason not to vote for him...looks like the dumbocrats are grasping at straws...

Anonymous said...

Gee, ya think maybe the "ousted Obama supporters" stirred up a little trouble at the rally? They must of been pretty loud and disruptive to get ousted. Ya think maybe tempers were flaring BEFORE this reporter decided to have a chat with the troublemakers? I'm not excusing anyone from attacking the guy, but calling them "vicious thugs" and ""Nazis" is ridiculous, and blaming Ms. Palin for their behavior is ludicrous.

The truth is that Palin is exposing Obama's slimy underbelly, a side that no Democrat really wants to see...

McCain/Palin - Real Americans

Anonymous said...

If you don't want to take my word for it October 17, 2008 11:12 PM, then read conservative Peggy Noonan's article in the Wallstreet Journal entitled, "Palin's Failin' What is it she stands for? After seven weeks, we don't know."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122419210832542317.html

Here's an excerpt...

"In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism."

Anonymous said...

There cfan't be much substance to it, the New York Times didn't play it up, and we know how anti-McCain/Palin they are.

Anonymous said...

There is no excuse for violent behavior - especially at or near a political rally.

People will do in groups, and as a member of a group, actions that would be unthinkable as a sole individual.

When conservative commentators like Peggy Noonan and George Will are raising red flags and pleaing for civil discourse and civil behavior, we should all heed their warnings.

We should not be unleashing the dogs.

Anonymous said...

Who unleashed dogs?

Anonymous said...

This is all a big exaggeration by the liberal media.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about this story, its just a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

hmmmmm ..... When a Democrat begins an investigation into mr. obamas' birth history and finds his dead cat hanging from his mirror , it gets no mention in here , but , when a liberal reporter trips in a crowd @ a palin rally it becomes big news .

Anonymous said...

Joe was unlucky He could have gotten a pack of gum

CNN's Ed Henry Hit with Gum at McCain Rally
By Ed O'Keefe
WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- As Republican congressional candidate Keith Fimian warmed up the crowd at an afternoon rally with Sen. John McCain, CNN's Ed Henry was co-anchoring his network's weekend political coverage live from the press risers. Fimian was speaking about his personal accomplishments as Henry quizzed Bill Schneider, who was standing at another camera position at the rally.

A woman towards the back of the crowd angrily turned back and started yelling at Henry, asking him to stop talking during Fimian's speech. The woman grew so angry that she threw a pack of Dentyne Ice gum at Henry, which hit his back as he wrapped up his conversation with Schneider.

Henry finished his live shot and turned in the direction of the woman, who gave him the cut sign across her throat. Henry turned back, bent over to pick up the pack of gum, shrugged and shook his head as he tossed it to his producer.

Her anger might have had something to do with another unfortunate bit of timing -- an earlier live shot of Henry's had started just as the crowd of thousands began reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

from that liberal rag the Wash. Post.

Anonymous said...

BREAKING NEWS: Former Sec. of State Powell backs Obama for president!

And the good news just keeps on coming!

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...

Powell was one of the worst Secretary of State's the US ever had. He left the State Department more tied up in a bureaucratic mess than when he got there. He was a token example of affirmative action and his endorsement of Obama has everything to do with the fact that Obama is black.

Anonymous said...

once again confusing the news with the truth...

Anonymous said...

I have many times wanted to knock a reporter down too, after being continually misquoted. I have never done so, but reporters should realize there could be consequences for their actions.