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« Retreat! | Main | Ague »

Oct 17, 2008


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Robert P.'s blog on this is right at the top of the rec list at dailykos:


Jeffrey Sykes

How is it that Joe Killian has a history of becoming the center of the story? Seems like a trend to me.


Unfortunate incident. I am glad no one was seriously injured. Also, sorry the assailant disappeared into the crowd.

This all just goes to why I dislike counter rallies, etc.

Joe Killian


The communications director for the NC Republican Party e-mailed this morning to say he was sorry about this and it should never have happened. I thanked him and said -- you know, there are crazies in any large crowd. Not his fault, but nice of him to write.

Jeff: things like this (and other interesting things) happen to reporters every day. Most of them only tell other journalists over a beer after work or their friends and family if it's really funny. A few years ago I decided I'd start blogging about it. I never make myself the center of a story in the newspaper -- but when I'm telling the story on my blog I'm the main character, yes.

I wish more journalists were regularly blogging about their beats and their coverage -- I love reading it.

Chris Coletta


Can't tell if you're actually implying that Killian said or did something to set this guy off. But let's say that he did. So what? What does that have to do with the acceptability of a reporter being physically attacked? There are some things grown-ups don't do.

(Disclosure: I used to work with Joe at the News & Record. I found him unfailingly polite to everybody he interviewed the few times I went out with him on assignment -- the opposite of trying to become the center of attention. On the other hand, whether Joe does in fact put himself at the center of stories is irrelevant. Such actions do not call for assault.)

Don Moore

Where was HIS camera??? He's armed with the greatest revenge on earth - a Newspaper.

Imagine Joe having a picture of this goober, posting it online, tagged - "Humorless McCain Supporter Cheap Shots Reporter."

Ian McDowell

Jeffrey Sykes, I've said several complimentary things about you in the past, and in general held you up as a positive example of an intelligent and articulate conservative who makes the ideology look good, a la David Wharton. You're still more intelligent and articulate than many of the conservatives who post here, but to chortle in joy at the fucktard's cowardly assault on Joe Killian from behind does you and the party you support no credit.

And I say this as someone who necessarily opposed to punching people I don't like; I've repeatedly said I'm not a liberal, and I'm definitely not a pacifist. But kicking someone to the ground from behind and then trundling away is a far different act than looking the sumbitch in the eye and giving him fair warning.

It's not really your comment on this blog that I take exception to, although one can argue that it was Tony Wilkins and his bearded friend who inserted Joe into this story. What truly undermines my previous respect for you is the "karma is a bitch" comment on Joe's blog.

Ian McDowell

The beginning of my third paragraph should read: "And I say this as someone who ISN'T necessarily opposed to punching people I don't like . . ."

Ian McDowell

Actually, my SECOND paragraph! Sorry, I always had trouble with sophisticated math.

Jefrey Sykes

Ian: I'm just having fun with Joe because I consider him a complete dick. I'm sorry he got kicked. Shit happens. It's got nothing to do with politics and a lot to do with his holier than thou attitude over the years.

If that makes me a bad person, I don't care. If I kept a list of all the times my feelings have been hurt by people on the internet putting down my views, my family, my upbringing, my religion, etc. I would need some sophisticated math.

Sometimes absurd stuff happens. It made my day to read about Joe getting kicked in the leg at a Sarah Palin rally.

The world still turns.

Ian McDowell

That problem with that, Jeff, is that nothing ultimately bad has happened to Joe. Oh, sure, it easily COULD have, but it didn't. Some lumbering coward kicked him from behind, then trundled off, leaving Joe with no worse an injury than I've occasionally received in my kung fu and judo classes. Joe got some bruises but also a good deal of publicity out of it. It's only going to be a boost to his career.

Admittedly, I'm even more of an arrogant prick than Joe is, but a childish part of me would be thrilled if some knuckle-dragger were irritated enough to take a poke at me over something I'd written. Even if the knuckle-dragger in question wasn't a kick-and-run wuss, and actually DID manage to kick my ass.

Elsewhere, some folks have opined that Joe should have chased after and pummeled the guy. Yes, in the Most Favorable to Joe scenario, the corpulent galoot would have stood over Joe and waited for him to get up, and then Joe could have laid him out with a flurry of punches. THAT would have been self-defense, and Joe would have ended up even more of a hero. But Joe's right; if he'd tackled the guy after he walked way, he could easily have lost his job. Which is probably what the bearded behemoth was counting on. But had I been there as a private citizen, I kind of hope I would have chased after him and tackled him and at least tried to wrap him up in a submission hold until the cops separated us.

All of that is a side issue, though. The most interesting thing about this event is I find Tony Wilkins' silence since his initial admission that he talked to Joe's assailant.

Joe Killian


I love that you think I could have pummeled the guy. Do you know how many years since I've so much as sparred with someone? At this point I'm only physically fit enough to sumo wrestle him. Badly.

I'd love to think the whole thing will actually end up being good for my career. Someone said earlier it's not exactly indicative of skill but "good for my brand."

All I can think is that if I apply for a job somewhere, they'll know I can be counted upon to fall down if some guy happens to kick me.

Which you could say of just about anybody.

Someone said to me earlier that I am temporarily "Internet famous."

I said great -- think I can parlay that into a new laptop?

Tony Wilkins

I never assumed anyone would seriously think that I had witnessed the alleged assault and not assisted Joe.
Although we recently had a disagreement over one of his posts I certainly would have aided him if I had actually witnessed the alleged attack.
I didn't even see Joe Killian at the event.
Having said that there is no excuse for Joe not reporting this to the police. They were everywhere.
With all due respect I call BS if Binker and Killian say they could not find a policeman.

Joe Killian


Read my post or any of the numerous times I've said this so far: I did find a cop. He was courteous and helpful. But I had to walk back toward the stadium to find him -- I was well outside at that point talking to people walking away from the event past Obama supporters. As many cops and security people as there were around, there were fewer and fewer the further you got from the stadium.

The guy had split at that point and I was faced with the choice of a futile attempt to track him down with a cop, fill out a report, etc., etc. or finish the job I came there to do.

I chose the latter.

I'm glad you didn't actually witness it and not help me -- though really, the whole thing happened so quickly it's not like I needed a team of people to rescue me. But I was curious as to whether you'd actually talked to the guy or were kidding. It seemed pretty random but if the guy actually did have some beef with me if would almost have made more sense than his just snapping.


"It made my day to read about Joe getting kicked in the leg at a Sarah Palin rally."

Forgetting for a moment that you don't like Joe, how in the world could suppression of the press through a violent act "make your day"? It's bad enough that much of our news is shaped by boardroom intimidation, but to allow it to happen on the street with nothing more than a casual "shit happens" is possibly one of the most un-American things I've read in quite a while.

Do you realize that some 135 journalists have been killed in Iraq? I'm not talking about the ones who've died in accidents or natural causes; 135 have been killed because they were journalists. For either something they had already written or something they might write, or maybe just to intimidate other or future journalists.

You should be fucking furious about what happened yesterday, in spite of your personal feelings about Joe. To view an act like this through a situational lens is to show utter contempt for our Constitution, and all the people who have sacrificed and died to preserve it.

Ed Cone

Why would it make your day to hear that anyone got kicked?

David Wharton

It's wrong to assault people over political disagreements, and I'm glad Joe's OK. I think the guy who did it should be prosecuted, like this guy in Manhattan was.

One of the great things about living in a civil society is, um, civility -- like when two candidates can make jokes about themselves and each other.


Sorry that Joe got kicked. I wasn't there to determine whether it was deserved. More sorry that Ed doesn't care at all about the blatantly disparate coverage of the Palin rally by the N&R vs. the Obama rally coverage by the N&R and completely false numbers offered by the N&R regarding the number in attendance.

Also sorry that Binker can't understand why Republican's don't like the media in light of such blatant disparate coverage and LYING about the number of attendees.


Actually, Joe, I believe on your blog you suggest that there were so many fat bearded country music likin redneck Republicans there that you would not be able to discern your attacker from the run of the mill redneck in attendance.

Elizabeth Wheaton

I don't understand. Tony said: "I talked to the guy that dropped Killian to the ground."

But then he said: "I never assumed anyone would seriously think that I had witnessed the alleged assault and not assisted Joe."

So if Tony didn't witness the "alleged" assault, how does he know who the guy was who "dropped Killian"? Did the assailant come strutting up to him to brag about his heroic attack?

I agree with Ed, if Tony can identify this guy, he needs to firm up his law 'n order creds and turn him in to the police.


Reading comprehension.


Joe:"He’s this big fat guy with a brown beard and he’s wearing a McCain-Palin shirt and hat"

mick:"fat bearded country music likin redneck Republicans"

Compare and contrast !

Fred Gregory

Assault on Lex( no not that one )

John The Catholic

Spag and Jeffery: So glad to see how much delight you take in an assault against a journalist at a Sarah Palin rally.

You both bring nothing useful to the debate and only further inflame and incite people who would do violence against people with whom they disagree.

If you are representative of the GOP mindset, you may have just pushed me over to the other side.

Congratulations, dickheads.


I saw it all. The guy with the beard who kicked Killian's ass was Jesus Christ Almighty Hisself. Jesus was weariing a Palin sleeveless t-shirt minding his own business. Killian was the only one besides me that recognized him and confronted him. Jesus was trying to ignore him and walk around Killian. Killian got on Jesus's last nerve. Then Jesus told his entourage to kick the shit out of Killian, but they were all carrying the 129.95
Palin latex blowup doll and it looked like they did more stumbling over him than kicking him. I asked one of the entourage if Jesus was afraid of being arrested. He said "shit no..all Jesus Hisself is afraid of are the new pneumatic and gas powered nailguns." Then I saw Tony say something to Jesus. It appeared to me that Tony calmed him down. They were a very angry crowd. But they sure did love Jesus and Palin.


"Sorry that Joe got kicked. I wasn't there to determine whether it was deserved."

Physical attack in response to a situation is never "deserved."


JTC, where have I expressed any delight in Joe getting kicked? My point was about the accuracy of the reporting and the line about whether Joe deserved it is another way of saying I question the version of events.

Big L

The biggest shame is that the reporter is even around to write the story.

Back in the good old days, it would have been "shushed", one way or another.


I can't help but wonder if this unfortunate incident was random or perpetuated by the elitist forum it took place in?


Ed, it's time. Big L needs to join Bubba.

Margaret Banks

Well, maybe what's missing from this discussion is the obvious: This business of wanting to stop reporters from doing their job ... it's not the sole province of the Republican party. The desire to prevent truth-telling is universal, and transcends race, gender and - gasp - party affiliation. If there is civilization on other planets, and they have democracy, then someone is trying to curtail the media there, too.

Joe has the story to top all stories, and his involves physical violence. But who in the newsroom hasn't had some bozo get up in their grill? It happens every day. Maybe not to the extreme Joe experienced. But people are always making threats to "call your boss," ignoring public records requests, holding press conferences to denounce your work, blah, blah, blah.

This could have happened to Joe any number of places. He's not saying, "Look at these evil conservatives picking on me." He's explaining how difficult it is to be a reporter. Joe would have blogged about this if it had happened on any assignment.

Jeffrey Sykes

"Why would it make your day to hear that anyone got kicked?"

As anyone who pays any attention to me knows, I am an absurdist. I love the absurd and the tantalizing thrill of tangents and their perception.

I once described myself as "a notch in the intensity of conformity."

The thought of a self-righteous supra-journalist like Joe Killian, a man who has insulted several aspects of my being on numerous occasions, taking a kick in the leg at a Sarah Palin rally, a mere few days after his Palin Porn Post, seemed to me to be quite fitting.

They say the lord works in mysterious ways. It's not for me to question how or why.

Joe seems no worse for the wear and a little verbal jab in the ribs causes him no pain.

The complete condemnations and cries of somehow damaging the Constitution and inflaming the political discourse are as absurd as my momentary chuckle at the thought of self-righteous Joe sprawled out on the concrete.

The rhetoric passed the absurd a long time ago in this political campaign. I'm not even sure what people are fighting about anymore.

Big L

When in doubt, liberal cowards like Timbo scream for censorship, for their ears don't dare hear what their brains don't believe.

Grow up.

Ian McDowell

Jeff and Sam, I have a question for each of you.

Jeff, a week or two ago you had the common decency to condemn the person who posts as "Big L" for advocating, or pretending to advocate, suicide bombing at an Obama rally. You went so far as to call his comments "cowardly" and "disgusting." I respected you before that, but my respect increased because of it.

Now "Big L" is saying that he or she thinks it's unfortunate that Joe is still alive. I don't see any other way to interpret his or her regret that Joe is still "around to write the story" or his or her nostalgia for the "old days" when reporters were "shushed."

How do you feel about that, and about him or her for saying it?

Sam, my question to you is the same, but in your case I'm even more curious, as this is a man or woman who has repeatedly defended you in this forum, or at least pretended to do so (I still say his or her first appearing on April 1st is significant). You were silent when he or she said that a suicide bomber "thinning the herd" of Obama supporters would be a good thing. Will you remain silent now? One of your criticisms of Obama is that he didn't distance himself from Wright soon enough. How do you feel about having a person who believes what "Big L" claims to believe in your corner?

If "Big L" is, as I've repeatedly claimed, a liberal hoaxer out to make conservatives look bad, silence on your part will help him or her do that.

And if I'm wrong, and "Big L" IS sincere and really what he claims to be, perhaps the police need to talk to him, as he would seem a possible suspect in Joe's assault.


I didn't read the remarks, Ian, but if that is what was written then I certainly condemn them and don't approve of any of those exchanges.

Now will you condemn the people including yourself who repeatedly call me names on this site? Why would you expect something from me that you don't expect from others? Sifting through all the vitriol and personal name calling directed at me and others by liberals here to find something inflammatory written by an alleged conservative and then having the nerve to ask me to condemn it is really bold.

Ian McDowell

I've not seem anyone on this site calling for a suicide bombing at an McCain or Palin rally, Sam. I've not seen anyone suggesting that you or Fred or Jeff or even Bubba should be murdered. The closest anyone has to come to the latter is me when I made a satiric riff to the "first, let's kill all the lawyers" jibe that was old when Shakespeare wrote it. I was spoofing the "Guilt by Association" argument by pointing out that you, a member of a "despised" professional class that many Joe Sixpacks make jokes about killing ("what do you call a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?"), support McCain, just I was joking when I suggested you were a moral reprobate for spending so much of your time on "disreputable" websites like Ed's blog (what, did you think I meant hornyrussianlolitas.com?)

I don't have any objection to name-calling. I've called you plenty of names and will likely call you plenty more. You're welcome to do the same to me. If you want to suggest I deserve a punch in nose, that's fine, too. "Big L's" jibe in the Ghost Story thread that it's a good thing my mother died before seeing what I've become is also fine.

What's not fine, and where you don't get a free pass is calls for murder, either singly or en masse.

Here's what "Big L" said in this thread, just six posts above the one of mine that you were so quick to respond to. Unlike Beau D. Jackson, I'll use quotation marks:

"The biggest shame is that the reporter is even around to write the story.

Back in the good old days, it would have been "shushed", one way or another."

There, that's his whole post. No "if he really said that". Either take the time to scroll up a few inches and read something that's not about you, or accept that's what he said. Then tell me what you think of it.

You've condemned Obama for not condemning Wright earlier. Obama's "defense" is that he wasn't aware earlier of what Wright had been saying. That was weak when he said, and it's weak when you say something similar now.

How does it feel to have someone claiming to support murder and terrorism on your side, Sam?


I didn't know anything about Jeffrey before. But I fear I know all too much now. Disappointing.


Big L - I am far from a coward. If you got the cajones, I'll show you. I'll have to wear old shoes, though, as your shit probably won't wash off.


Big L -Will you be wearing your pointy white dunce cap or will you go for the complete Kommittee of Koncerned Konservatives bed sheet ensemble? I need to know. I hate to miss you at the meet up. I'll be the guy in the old shoes.


You guys must have the most fabulous make-up sex after your feisty little frays.

Big L

Good to see "Ian's" one man smear campaign against me continues even without anything to back it up. He doesn't even have to read anything I write, I could post something about helping an old lady across the street or adopting a puppy and he'd rush to pound out as many insults and false accusations as he could against me.

Do me a favor, moron. Point out EXACTLY where I said that the reporter should have been killed. I want to see kill, dead, death, deceased. I want to see that exact language. You know what I said, since you rushed to repeat it as quickly as your chubby little fingers would let you.

Now that you've frantically searched for something to work with, you'll find that you're wrong and I'm right, as usual. My earlier post did not have the mention to death in there, it's simply a conclusion you leaped off a cliff to in your attempts to discredit me.

In addition, your failing attempts to try and pin my words onto someone else are straight out of the liberal press 101 playbook. "If you won't condemn what someone says to the nth degree, then you yourself not only agree with what they said, you say it yourself!" Grow up. My words are my words, not Spags, not yours, not anyone else's.

Besides, I've never directly wished for the death of a person who comments on this blog like you have. I know you'll try to pass it off as satire and sarcasm, but you aren't a good enough writer to try and make it work.

All is shows is that you are an underdeveloped man-child who regularly throws tantrums in desperate attempts to gain attention. That you post your myspace page in every one of your pointless posts is further proof of that.

Do us real adults a favor: go away until you grow up.

As for "Timbo", you won't be the one with old shoes, you'll be the one with your knuckles dragging on the ground. Leave the playground and join the real world, infant.

By the way, as much as the liberals here beg Uncle Ed for my banning, maybe some of us should start demanding their heads. The hypocracy that would come out of them would have me laughing for months.


Wasn't Jeffrey Sykes an Obama supporter at one point? Weren't you Jeff? I remember you talking about how much you liked, defended and supported Obama on a former incarnation of your blog. Am I totally off base about this? And now you're anti-Obama? Weird, man.

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