A Question of Perspective

We’ve written several times about Congressman Bob Etheridge’s encounter with two young activists and a video camera. Etheridge’s arrogance and sense of entitlement come through loud and clear on the video, and that’s before he assaults one of the pair. As we noted yesterday, the incident appears to have hurt Etheridge seriously with his North Carolina constituents.
But Washington insiders have quite a different perspective, as this story in The Hill explains: “Guerrilla-style interview tactics make ambushed lawmakers’ blood boil:”

Lawmakers are increasingly frustrated with guerrilla-style reporters, bloggers and campaign operatives who ambush them on video to provoke an aggressive or outraged response.
Members of both parties want to see the unedited video of the latest high-profile incident, in which Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) grabbed a pair of young men with video recorders who asked him if he supports “the Obama agenda.” The lawmakers wonder if he was provoked or a victim of selective editing.

Based on the Congressmen quoted by The Hill, this does appear to be a bipartisan reaction. Maybe it all depends on where you sit, and no doubt one could be unfair or unduly aggressive in confronting an office-holder. But the comments don’t reflect a lot of sympathy for Congressmen’s concerns about “guerrilla-style interview tactics.”

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