Powerline versus Jim "I'm a Big Deputy Editor!" Boyd
Major Mark Banks - Someone You Should Know

Protest the Republicans - Legitimate or Freakshow?

Conflicting Chicago Tribune stories make me wonder if there were two different protest marches in New York today...

First, there's this story about the protest:

Thousands fill N.Y. streets in anti-Bush protest
By Flynn McRoberts and Leon Lazaroff Tribune staff reporters Published August 29, 2004, 7:22 PM CDT

NEW YORK -- Under a beautifully clear blue sky and a brutally hot sun, tens of thousands of boisterous but orderly anti-war protesters streamed through the canyons of Manhattan today.

Groups ranging from young anarchists to gray-haired veterans of the 1960s anti-war movement worked their way past Madison Square Garden, site of this week's Republican National Convention, as hundreds of helmeted New York City police officers looked on.

"I need to say no. I need to say, 'Not in my name,'" said Pat Halsey, 64, a retired home furnishing designer from Oakhurst, N.J. Halsey walked with a poster bearing a silhouette of one of the Iraqi prisoners tortured at Abu Ghraib and a one-word caption: "Shame."
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, filmmaker Michael Moore, actor Danny Glover and Leslie Cagan, leader of United for Peace and Justice, walked at the head of the line.

The following crowd extended back across much of Manhattan, shouting, chanting, singing, carrying banners and waving signs. They headed north into midtown Manhattan.

Shortly after noon, the first marchers reached Seventh Avenue and 32nd Street in front of Madison Square Garden. There, police stood shoulder to shoulder in front of the big arena.

As the crowd, echoing speechmakers at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, chanted, "Hope is on the way, hope is alive," leaders of the march sat down in the street. They sat there for five minutes, as though waiting for the rest of the group to catch up. Then, they got up and started walking again....

Then, there's this piece that sits on the fence but can't help but notice that it's just one big freakshow...

'Fox news sucks!'

By Charlie Madigan
Tribune senior correspondent
Published August 29, 2004, 7:15 PM CDT

The sad thing about not being here in the heart of it all, of course, is that even dedicated CSPAN viewers think this mammoth, steamy demonstration in the heart of Manhattan was basically all about yelling "Fox News Sucks" or even worse as the long, loud line made the turn at Madison Square Garden.
Marty's assessment:

If I were one of the RNC's leaders, I'd have a whole crew of video cameras out on NYC's streets…to catalog the weirdos whom middle-American voters are supposed to find common cause with.

It's not just the bunch of folks sporting their "Buck Fush" t-shirts; it's also the mindless ninnies for whom the height of intellectual discourse is to march past Fox News' HQ chanting, in apparently substantial numbers, "**** Fox News! **** Fox News!" ad nauseam. If Republicans wanted to secretly pay a bunch of disreputables to disgust normal people "from sea to shining sea," they could not come up with a better cast of characters.

In fact, I'm guessing the Kerry campaign will "discover" sometime in the next couple of weeks that there was a conspiracy of RNC agents-provocateurs whose task was to make today's march look like it's peopled with idiots. If the discovery turns out to be true, the RNC-ers succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.)