The story dominating the news headlines today, including the top story on Google News is that a UF student, while attending a John Kerry speech, was tasered for disruptive behavior.
First let me say that I think the UF campus police most likely got a little Barney Fife-ish and pulled the trigger on the taser gun a bit too fast. It wasn't like this was a huge crowd, or a rowdy bunch of protesters. The guy got a bit overzealous and wanted to ask more than one question. So what? The UF police came in to remove him and ended up handcuffing him because he continued to escalate the situation. In my opinion, after they got the guy on the ground, handcuffed, they should have just shuttled him out, but someone got itchy and pulled the taser trigger. Bad decision.
My biggest problem with this headline story is that the right wing nuts are trying desperately to spin this as John Kerry's fault. If it weren't so pathetic it would be funny.
Just look at the headlines meant to catch reader's attention and spin a negative story:
"Student Tasered for Armed Madhouse Question to Kerry"
"Andrew Meyer Taser Video: Heckles John Kerry, Gets Tasered by Cops"
"Man Makes Embarrassing Questions To Kerry, Hit With Taser"
"Police use stun gun on student as Senator John Kerry looks on"
It goes on and on. I'm not saying that the articles don't set the story straight, but the headlines make it sound like John Kerry ordered the hit. In a time when most of us don't take the time to read an article to find out the whole "truth", this kind of journalism continues the spinning that the Bush Whitehouse has made the order of the day. Where is the headline reprimanding the UF police for being trigger happy?
Liberal Media indeed.
edit: after posting this I have thought a little more about this story and although I still blame the Police department for jumping the gun, I also think this whole thing is indicative of a larger problem. We are ultimately being censored at every turn. Our current climate demands such behavior. If we, the people, aren't in lock-step with the masses, we should expect to be tasered. I also increasingly agree that it would have been great if someone other than ONE student in the auditorium had protested or spoken up in Meyer's defense. I eagerly welcome any comments!