Gotta tell ya, after watching this video of a Fred visit to a firehouse in Waverly, Iowa where he declines to put on a firemans hat, calling it his “silly hat rule”, and then reading Roger Simon’s description of the event I have to wonder what planet Roger is on.
Here is Roger’s take on it, making the whole thing sound awkward:
Inside, Thompson shook a few hands — there were only about 15 people there — and then Chief Dan McKenzie handed Thompson the chief’s fire hat so Thompson could put it on.
Thompson looked at it with a sour expression on his face.
“I’ve got a silly hat rule,” Thompson said.
In point of fact, the “silly” hat was the one Chief McKenzie wore to fires and I am guessing none of the firefighters in attendance considered it particularly silly, but Thompson was not going to put it on. He just stood there holding it and staring at it. [Curt – watch the video and tell me you see this?]
To save the moment, Jeri Thompson took the hat from her husband’s hands and put it on her head.
“You look cute,” Thompson said to her. She did.
Jeri took off the hat and McKenzie led the Thompsons over to a fire truck.
The chief invited Thompson to climb up behind the wheel, but Thompson said, “Naw, this is fine.” And he stood there looking at the fire truck.
Jeri once again saved the moment by engaging the chief in some actual conversation.
“How many people do you serve?” she asked.
“About 10,000,” Chief McKenzie said.
Thompson walked away from the fire truck, posed for a picture or two and the event was over. He and his entourage got on his bus and roared out of town.
Don’t see it. But I do remember these incidents: (h/t Second Hand Conjecture)
Now both of those were suits of people who should be admired. Those working for NASA and those who fight for our country. But in both of those incidences they looked like fools.
Fred know this. I have no doubt whatsoever that he respects those firefighters but he also knows about the sharks waiting to jump all over him for looking silly, and believe me, he would have.
Now why would Roger write this piece this way? Jay at Stop The ACLU knows why:
Maybe the hit piece had something to do with the writer, who has a history of not liking Fred that much.
Now if Fred screws up, I will call it. His video presentation at the debate a few weeks ago, I called him on it. Like the video but not the timing and said so. But this was no screw up. The video shows this and it also shows us that Roger may well consider being a bit more objective, as all professional writers should, and not letting his personal feelings for the candidate color his descriptions of events.
I’ve just finished reading Allah’s post on the subject, which he entitles “”Brutal”: Fred’s painfully awkward day in Iowa” and I have to wonder at Allah’s objectivity here. He viewed the video, saw that the situation was not awkward but actually kind of friendly, but still believes the rest of Roger Simons piece. There is evidence Roger has a bias against the man (see above) but that’s still not enough. Video doesn’t jive with written account = Don’t believe the rest of the written account.
Common sense really.
Allah attempts to excuse this by saying if Huck had done this we would be all over him. Wrong. We are all over him for the way he has led in the past and his flip-flopping on issues. Whether he wears a hat or not is no big deal.
And another thing, working as a cop (some on the east wear hats, we don’t) if I had my hat with me I would never think to offer it to any political candidate. I mean why would I do that? Why does this fireman do it? Maybe it’s just me but it would never cross my mind.
But I digress….
I guess the point I’m trying to make is has it come to this? Are we this pathetic that we judge a candidate on whether he puts a hat on or not? Not on his policies, not on his prior history of leading, not on his belief system….but on a hat.
And another thing, a man in fire gear wearing a hat looks professional. A man wearing a suit and a firemans hat looks retarded.
The tread of this video is the biggest one by FAR on HotAir with 320 comments at the moment and a vicious headline to boot and negative comments from all three VIPs including Michelle. Shows you how seriously even the supposedly intelligent people are taking this election, probably the most important one in 50 years. DailyKos is reporting the death of Fred’s campaign over it. Maybe this country deserves Huck/Edwards/Paul/Bloomberg or whatever other strange creature can “connect” with the intellectual giants who are about to vote based on basic principles (like nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people).
This is no big deal — Fred is no fool. He knows that this could have blown up in his face and they’re now trying to make something out of nothing.
He did the right thing — he is a politician, not a fireman. I like Fred even more now…he doesn’t pander, he leads.
That guy Simon really, really has it in for Thompson. What a vicious article. It doesn’t even seem like he’s doing it because he supports another guy in the race (if that were the issue, he’d be attacking one of the frontrunners). Any theories as to why he hates Thompson?
“I guess the point I’m trying to make is has it come to this? Are we this pathetic that we judge a candidate on whether he puts a hat on or not? Not on his policies, not on his prior history of leading, not on his belief system….but on a hat.”
I am right there with you, Curt. I read through the post and the comments over at HotAir yesterday afternoon and the more I read, the more my jaw just hung open and I was flabbergasted that I was reading people supposedly on my side of the ideological aisle demonizing a candidate all because of a hat. Not over any of his policies, but because of a hat.
The only criticisms I even read of Fred Thompson are
(1) He’s “lazy”
(2) He has run a “bad campaign”
(3) He has a trophy wife
(4) He refused to put on a firefighter hat
Nothing, absolutely nothing, about his policies.
After getting through about 3/4 of the comments at the time, I just lost it and posted a ranting comment expressing my disgust with HotAir, Michelle Malkin and AllahPundit and Bryan Preston for blowing this up into a huge scandal. Last I checked over there, there were 165+ comments on this, including multiple comments by Michelle Malkin herself!
I was just left dumbfounded.
I’ve really had it with people and this presidential campaign. The mass media and blogs like HotAir are more concerned with tabloid crap like this, instead of focusing on policy and analyzing where each candidate stands on the issues.
I decided during the past few weeks that Fred Thompson most aligned with my conservative principles. I think I am just going to ignore everything related to this campaign until the Primaries and then cast my vote and be done with it. This is getting absolutely ridiculous.
Lots of people whine about government, yet they don’t look in the mirror and analyze how they demonize policitians. Maybe if we were all more concerned about policy instead of fireman’s hats, government would be better.
*sigh* sums it up perfectly.
Also see this post by Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee.
Roger Simon’s Hit-Job On Fred Thompson At The Politico
Simon quoted Thompson as stating that “I’ve got a silly hat rule.”
As the CBS video clearly showed, that was only part of Thompson’s statement.
What Thompson actually said was, “I’ve got a silly hat rule that I’m about to violate.”
Thompson then takes the Chief’s helmet and starts to raise it if he is going to put it on, and then says, while laughing, “I ain’t gonna do it… I ain’t gonna do it.”
At this point Jeri Thompson steps in and Fred puts the helmet on her. Throughout the video, you can hear those assembled laughing, including Chief Dan McKenzie, who handed Thompson the helmet to begin with. McKenzie is shown smiling widely at the end of the clip.
We don’t know if the entire Politico article is grossly unfair in the way it characterized Senator Thompson’s swing through Waverly, Iowa, but we do know, thanks to the CBS News video, that not only was Simon’s editorializing of what occurred in the Waverly Fire Department mischaracterized, but that he doctored a quote to make his article appear all the more damning.
Seems like HotAir and Michelle Malkin got exposed for believing BS shoddy advocacy journalism. And, in my opinion, their ridiculous anti-Fred bias was exposed as well. Or, at the very least, their sensationalist, tabloid journalism that we all accuse the mass media of doing.
Regardless, even if the original false story was true, who the hell cares. For crying out loud, we’re criticizing the man over a stupid hat.
I start seeing more and more comments in various places that we are in some sort of a Twilight Zone episode, where “the media”, even the supposedly highly conservative media acts like they know something about Fred that can’t be mentioned and “the people” are confused about their apparent lack of support. All the possible reasons have been brought up over and over and those who care know the score, but this does have a feel of a mass insanity episode. With Hugh Hewett, Fox, now even HotAir where Fred blew away the competition on their latest poll, local radio stations, various other national radio hosts (not Rush or Levine, but still), etc. (and I’m not even speaking about random hacks like the Simon guy) act like the less they mention him the better. I never bought the theory that “they” are “afraid” of him, and have generally never believed in any conspiracy theories but to me all of this has a very weird feel to it.
have generally never believed in any conspiracy theories
And generally that’s a good stance to take, because most conspiracy theories are outlandish and implausible. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, the best heuristic is just to assume all conspiracy theories are bogus.
However… there is nothing impossible or unbelievable about certain kinds of behind-the-scenes behavior (which might be labeled as ‘conspiracies’, I suppose). If you don’t think Romney and Clinton (and to a lesser extent others) have cultivated a lot of contacts in the media, and that they can influence what is printed and what’s shown on TV (in some, but of course not all venues), I would say that’s naive.
I can still remember seeing a picture of Calvin Coolidge – this was a Social Studies textbook in school – wearing an Indian Headdress. He looked silly. They usually do. No candidate should think about putting on a hat just for a photo op. And the folks they’re visiting sould never ask them to.
It’s childish, just like Politico’s lying about the entire thing.