Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sir Rove Bravely Runs Away

A little bird told us that Karl Rove would be taping a segment with George Stephanopolous over at the Newseum this morning, so we planned a little early Sunday action. Of course he's had plenty of encounters with The Pink Police, as he mentioned in the May issue of GQ:
[S]omeone called you a cancer.
Right. Oh, sure.

You must get that all the time.
Uh, I get it some. When I go to campuses. But did you hear what I did? I just let him rant. And when he was finished, he had no question, he just wanted to accuse me of undermining the Constitution and blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. And I said, "Thanks for your thoughtful rant." And he sat down. And I said, "Now do you feel better about yourself?" And he said, "Yeah." And I said, "Well, I want you to feel better about yourself." And everybody laughed, and we went on.

But is it hard when people—
No. No. Look, everywhere I go, people say nice things to me. I don't live for that. I appreciate it, and I'm grateful for their kind words, but I don't live for it. And similarly, when people say ugly things? It doesn't affect me. I mean, the other night Juan Williams and I were walking Fox and the [Code] Pink ladies came over with a bullhorn and started screaming, you know, angry things, and Juan was literally taken aback. But look [they] want their words to affect me. And as a result, I'm not gonna let 'em.
(Note: the print edition has the full quote on page 168, but the web version leaves off the Code Pink reference.)

Yes, clearly it doesn't affect him so much he never brings it up in interviews and doesn't run away from the "angry things." Got it.

Anyhoo, we'd planned a two-pronged approach: I (NTodd) was to act like a journalist and camp out with the regular press waiting to get a statement after the taping, hoping to delay him a bit; Liz and Lorena donned the Pink Police uniforms ready to take the criminal away to face Lady Justice whilst all the cameras were rolling. Then we got word that Rove chickened out and was sneaking out the back, so Liz and I booked it over there ahead of the other media, but it was clear he'd already scarpered off. Of course if you've already seen Liz' pictures, you understand how scary "the [Code] Pink ladies" were.

Here are the questions I didn't get to ask:
Mr Rove, do you still think Hillary is the stronger Democrat [sic] candidate after her Kennedy assassination remark?

Do you think she has a better chance against McCain because her campaign uses the same underhanded tactics you did to beat him in 2000?
I'm sure the answers would have been enlightening. Despite the no show, this did once again show just the kind of person Rove is: spew lies in a safe, controlled media environment and shrink away from confronting reality and real citizens.

The side benefit of my not wearing the pink for a change--not to mention carrying a camera, a recording device, and a spiral notebook (thanks, Des!)--was getting an interesting glimpse of how people react to Pink Action. I talked shop quite a bit with a visitor who produces a news magazine for a Boston TV channel (I won't say which), and early in our conversation he observed, "Man, those Code Pink people are relentless!" I agreed.

When he found out I was there to "cover" the Rove appearance he asked, "What do you think they're going to do? Harass him?" He rolled his eyes. I explained in my role as a detached reporter with some experience seeing Code Pink in action that they just want to get him on record answering some straightforward questions (*ahem*).

I later learned that his son is a Marine and had been in Fallujah. He was down here visiting him and other family--his son is receiving daily treatment for "a variety of things" in Bethesda, presumably as a result of his service. One might understand his skepticism of Code Pink in that context, particularly if they don't internalize the fact that we're fighting to bring people like his son home and to get them the care they need. I would've done a bit more educating but didn't want to give the game away.

People walking or jogging by mostly just gave a passing glance, maybe pointed to our Pinkers, but a few engaged with Liz, who as always obliged. Even though it was a fairly quiet action--fitting for a Sunday morning--the message was visible, reminding people that we haven't stopped pressuring all enablers of the regime, even ones who have allegedly left the stage (which of course explains why ABC called in a GOP strategist to comment on the Democratic primary race).


PS--In addition to the photos Liz posted, I have a few at Pax Americana.

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