I know ...the title is a bit clumsy and probably won't tweet well but that's what first came to the top of my head when I read about the Romney campaign banning a reporter simply because he is associated to a protester through his employer.
Here's the story.
Madison – An event for Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson at Monona Terrace in Madison on Wednesday turned a bit odd when WTDY reporter Dylan Brogan somehow earned a police escort out of the event.
What did Brogan do exactly to be removed? – Nothing. Brogan was there to cover Johnson’s talk about Mitt Romney's plan to strengthen the middle-class, and before he could open his notepad, was ordered to leave by a Romney spokesperson. Madison police were instructed to remove Brogan from the building, going so far as to threaten the use of physical force.
Once Romney spokesman Ben Sparks arrived, Brogan was told that he was not allowed to cover the event with Sen. Johnson because WTDY morning talk show host Sly in the Morning protested a previous campaign event for Mitt Romney in Janesville.
WTDY News Excerpt:
"He reflects poorly on you, you work for that organization, and you suffer the consequences," Sparks said. "That's how it's going to work. Now we're not going to discuss this anymore. You cannot cover the event."
Sparks went on to say that Brogan was "guilty by association."
When Brogan asked if he could wait outside the room where Johnson was speaking, he was told by a Madison Police officer and a staffer from Monona Terrace to leave the building.
"I can physically take you out, if that's what you want," the officer told him.
But let's get down to the brass tacks here. It's not like Brogan or WTDY co-sponsor Sly's after-hours activities, republicans know it. So I don't think the Romney campaign has any real issues with Brogan or WTDY. Their aim is to stop John "Sly" Sylvester from talking, agitating and activating and they're willing use a "divide and conquer" strategy to isolate him from his peers. We've seen plenty of that in Wisconsin in the past year and sadly - it works.
With that line of thinking, Ben Sparks should be aware that Mitt Romney is a Republican and so is Todd Akin, therefore, Romney believes women can shut down a pregnancy during a “Legitimate” rape. Romney also called on Akin to drop out of the race, so Ben, Mitt Romney should practice what he preaches and drop out?
Even worse, Paul Ryan is an actual co-sponsor to the Todd Akin Legitimate Rape Bill! So if they really want to play the guilt by association game, Paul Ryan is guilty as charged. The GOP should expect there will be consequences for that choice.
Whether you agree or disagree with John “Sly” Sylvester or like his personality or style of patriotism really isn’t the issue here at all, it’s the idea that we would allow public officials, political parties or candidates for public office to target and punish the friends and associates of those they disagree with, and worst of all, to let the outrage go without challenge.