File this one under Sore Losers. Minutes after being summarily drummed out of office, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and her aides made their way through a crowded press pack. When a boom microphone struck a of member McKinney’s entourage on the head, one of them went all Kenny Rogers on 11Alive News photojournalist Gary Stillwell, punching at him and pushing his totally tricked-out Hi-Def TV camera to the ground. That, ain’t cool. After the initial incident was caught on tape, WXIA staffers had to call 911 when one of McKinney’s goons followed them to their satellite truck outside to continue his rebuke. Security guard Steve Muhammad, who has a history of entangling himself with the press, claims photog Stillwell ’threw the camera at him’. The aforementioned fancy-cam - whose worth probably rivals either man’s yearly income. Yeah, those things get tossed around all the time. In the end, equipment was damaged, contusions were bandaged and a couple of new viral videos were born.
I wasn’t there, of course. But I’ve wrestled with the body politic a time or ten and I can tell you it ain’t always pretty. When telegenic newcomer John Edwards drove Launch Faircloth out of office, I spent the evening at the defeated Republican’s campaign headquarters. It started out a gala event, but as the precinct results poured in, it became obvious the grandfatherly incumbent was being swiftly trounced. A pall fell over the dance floor. As the vote margins widened, I began to feel most unwelcome. Old ladies who’d flirted with my lens all night picked through their hundred dollar plates and eyed my lens with open disdain. A few red-eyed fat cats, dizzy on cocktails, rubber chicken and fresh defeat, blocked my camera as Faircloth was wheeled out to the ‘concession stand’. No one took a swing that night, but the buzzkill of the event was palpable and it gave me one more reason to abhor politics.
As for former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, she escaped last night’s melee unharmed. No stranger to bellicosity herself, the defeated politician took to the podium with her usual delusional bent, proving to all that her maniacal ego and false sense of entitlement remained intact. Schmucks!