To steal a phrase from Glenn Reynolds: They said if Bush were re-elected there would be intimidation of the press, and they were right!
Unfortunately, that intimidation came from a Barack Obama staffer, who tried to take away Bill O'Reilly's constitutional right to cover a public campaign event. Here's the video.
When an Obama staffer intentionally stepped in front of O'Reilly's camera, Bill got testy. He did instruct the staffer, Marvin Nicholson, to get out of the shot multiple times before attempting to physically remove him from the shot. At one point in the video, O'Reilly called the staffer "low class" and an S.O.B.
Naturally, for all their whining about freedom of the press, intimidation, access, yada-yada-yada, when a full blown incident occurs where a reporter is prevented from exercising his right to cover a public event, the left celebrates:
"Cuff him," says DuH, where commenters are only bummed the Secret Service didn't physically assault O'Reilly. At DailyKos, 60 percent of readers wish the Secret Service would have "tazed" him. At HuffPo, the headline reads, "Secret Service Restrains Out-Of-Control O'Reilly."
The NY Daily News found no shortage of Obama supporters who were traumatized by the sight of a reporter refusing to be bullied:
"[O'Reilly] was just a crazy person," a photographer who witnessed the altercation told The Daily News. "He throws a complete fit, and then the Secret Service came in."
A woman in the crowd, who witnessed who witnessed the incident, exclaimed, "I'm never going to watch that man again. I don't believe this!"
Ya, I'm sure she was a devoted fan before.
I've been in situations where doing your job means waiting on the sidelines for that 10 to 15 second window in which to get your story. I must say I too would have pitched a fit if an employee of a public official intentionally, and illegally, tried to prevent me from doing my job. And I don't think there can be any doubt Nicholson was doing it intentionally, unless he's hearing impaired.
In any case, it certainly isn't a good thing for Obama to have a staffer trying to suppress a guy who is consistently in first place for the most coveted prime time slot in cable news.
Personally, I salute O'Reilly's determination to fulfill his constitutionally protected duties. The left would feel the same way too, if they stopped long enough to see beyond their shallow ideology.