No, there wasn’t a “clash” or a “battle” at the Romney rally in Ohio. There was a one-sided physical assault by a Romney supporter aimed at a protester.
What’s wrong with these headlines?
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Clash breaks out at GOP rally supporting Mitt Romney in Parma
The Daily Caller
Romney Supporters Battle Protesters in Ohio
“Clash” and “battle” suggest violence on both sides. What seems to have actually happened – according to both accounts – is bad manners by protesters and assault and battery by Romney supporters.
The Raw Story gets the headline right:
Romney supporter gags protester with handkerchief at Ohio rally
Shouting down speakers is rude, and I wish the protesters hadn’t done it. But assault and battery is a crime, and Romney should urge his followers to remain within the law. (Don’t hold your breath.)
In the meantime, let’s just be thankful that the Second Amendment fanatics and “stand-your-ground” types are concentrated on the Right. Otherwise, this scene could have gotten very ugly.
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman
4 thoughts on “False! (equivalence)”
“Whatâ€™s wrong with these headlines? . . . Clash breaks out at GOP rally supporting Mitt Romney in Parma”
Um, if I had to guess, I’d say that what’s wrong is that it is impossible, since Joe Strummer is dead. And also because he never would have supported Romney.
Obnoxious people behaving obnoxiously — new at 11.
Seriously, though, if you’re going to report on this political street-brawling, it’s relevant that we’re talking about a 77-year-old man and a 25-year-old heckler.
itâ€™s relevant that weâ€™re talking about a 77-year-old man and a 25-year-old heckler
How so? Assault is assault. If the heckler had cold-cocked Grandpa, that would be one thing… but given that the only person employing violence was the 77-year-old, I don’t see how it could possibly be relevant.
Umm, it was staged. Neal lied about being in Canton, and the 77 year old is a registered Democrat and has been for years. Headlines should have been “Democrats stage and instigate clash at GOP rally.” Pictures don’t lie.
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