As I've said, the Akron Pages are more or less on hiatus for the next couple weeks. Unless of course, something really juicy comes up. Something like, say, Sherrod Brown going Bobby Knight on a couple of bloggers and his internet staff guy issuing a nondenial denial.
Both Tim Russo and Pounder tell tales of Brown accosting and berating them at the ODP holiday party. Well, Pounder is an unapologetic (though not entirely upfront -- Buckeye Senate Blog indeed) Hackett fan and, from watching Tim and Hackett at MTB, it's safe to say there is an affinity there as well. So maybe things got exagerated a bit, no?
One of the Horses from Psychobilly Democrat saw the Brown/Russo encounter and pretty much backs up Tim's version of events. From my email contacts with these guys, they are not Hackett honks.
Meanwhile, I'm on Brown Internet Organizer Phil deVellis's contacts list. So I get an email today adressed to myself and Bill Callahan (who almost never does horserace politics) with a denial about a third alleged Brown blowup, as described on Buckeye Politics and beyond. This one supposedly involved a non-blogger who may or may not be in her eighties. Here is De Vellis's email in its entirety:
Guys,Eric at Plunderbund got a different email which also talks about the woman who grabbed Brown's arm. That email claims that "Connie and Sherrod stood a barrage of curse words and hostile language quite calmly — albeit with confused looks on their faces," though it doesn't describe the conversations with Tim Russo or Russel/Pounder.
You probably have been sitting back and watching the Russo & Russell show about last night's encounter. Since you are both fair minded, I wanted to make sure you saw this.
One great character reference and an eye witness account:
John Ryan, Cleveland AFL-CIO says:
I’ve known Sherrod Brown well for over a dozen years. I’ve seen him confronted by folks, including some young aggressive folks at the WTO demonstration in Seattle when Sherrod was standing with us against free trade. Besides his strong views to protect issues like social security and good American jobs, I like Sherrod because he is respectful to folks even when they do not show the same level of respect.
It’s going to be a long primary season, evidently. I would hope that we would focus on issues on not try to melt down before the primary is over. I’m interested to hear what Mr. Hackett has to say about the issues and hope that all of us who Blog try to focus more time on that.
John Ryan, Cleveland AFL-CIO
I was standing about two feet away when all this happened, talking to Connie Schultz about her new book that’s coming out next April (a collection of her Pulitzer-winning columns, btw).
A guy who had harassed Sherrod at a UAPA event a few months ago came up and wanted to get a picture with Sherrod. Sherrod agreed, and the guy brought the woman into it as well. While they were waiting for the picture, the guy started into Sherrod about “You split the party. You split the party.” Sherrod stayed pretty calm during all this; he only waved his arm once as a sort of “What?” shrug/gesture. After the picture was taken, Sherrod tried to disengage from the conversation, which was when the woman grabbed his arm. He disengaged and rejoined Connie.
Meanwhile, anyone who has read Al Franken's Lies or heard him talk about Bush and cocaine has heard his analogy to the Pepsi Syndrome sketch. In a bit where reporters ask about Jimmy Carter growing to gargantuan proportions (read the script) the following exchange takes place:
Female Reporter #1: Yes, is it true that the president is 100 feet tall?This is how the de Vellis email feels. Did Sherrod Brown tee off on an octagenarian activist? "No! Absolutely not! We have a witness. Sherrod was a perfect gentlemant." Did he get in the face of two unfriendly bloggers? "No Comment."
RossDenton: Nooooo! Absolutely not!
Male reporter #3: Is the president 90 feet tall?
Ross Denton: No comment.
What's really sad about this is how unnecessary this is. I can't believe anyone who's not already a Hackett honk takes Pounder's shots at Brown seriously. Russo commands somewhat greater respect, but his payola obsession has hurt his credibility on things Brown.
Didn't I say Hackett would be the one to pull a DeanScream? My bad.
As to Ryan's comments: I'd love to live in a world where elections are won or lost solely on ideas and incidents like this are of no moment. I'd love to live in a world where my children study the brilliant presidency of Edmund Muskie. But I live in this world. And in this world, Sherrod Brown can't afford to make many more mistakes like this one.