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"Heckler Subdued at George Allen Event"

This headline, on a story with a byline for Bob Lewis of the Associated Press, was extremely misleading. In the article, you find out that George Allen staffers put someone in a chokehold. Putting someone in a chokehold is not “subduing” someone. It is assault and battery.

The San Francisco Chronicle at least included mention of the chokehold, though some news outlets that ran the AP story conveniently edited it out.

The assault and battery victim, Mike Stark, was asking perfectly reasonable questions about claims that George Allen spat on his first wife. Court records from Allen's first divorce have been sealed, an unusual circumstance which only adds to the suspicious nature of the situation.

Mike Stark was asking the kind of questions that any mainstream reporter would be asking if not for the rampant right-wing bias in the corporate media. Yet, the AP article dismissed him as a "heckler" and downplayed the crime of assault and battery that was committed against him. Just because Stark is a centrist blogger does nothing to alter or justify the crime commited against him or the lack of real reporting from the corporate media.

If newspapers want moderate and liberal readers to take them seriously, they need to make sure their articles are accurate and not pro-GOP propaganda. Wire services need to have higher standards of accuracy or they will continue to undermine the circulations of their customers, daily newspapers.


  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. Any man who runs up to a senator, moving around the crowd to reach him, and shouting malicious questions must be considered a threat and subdued.

    If I ran up to John Kerry, all angry and weaving through staffers to reach him, while asking a spiteful question with no intention of being answered...like "why do you hate our soldiers?!"... I fully expect to be taken down.

    He deserves an apology, but if the guy had pulled out a gun or a knife you would have called the staffers heroes... or would you?

  3. Brad Says:
  4. What an idiotic argument, Chris. You're entirely wrong. We in this country have a constitutionally protected right to address our congressmen. He was in a public forum. He was not threatening, he had no weapon, and if you watch the video, he did not even ask a question before being assaulted. The question he asked came from his divorce records which his ex-wife has not even denied, so in all likelihood, it's true. Are you now arguing that we can't even talk to our congressmen? Have you ever read the constitution?

    Maybe you should get an idea what you're talking about before you act as if you have one.

  5. libhom Says:
  6. chris: putting someone in a chokehold is not "subduing them." It is assault and battery.



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