Colby Hall and Poor Congress Members Being Asked Questions


By: Elizabeth Marion

When being questioned by two college students with video cameras, Rep. Bob Etheridge lost his cool, grabbing at the camera and grabbing one of the students by the wrist. Rep. Etheridge assaulted the students, yet to people like Colby Hall, who posted an article on the incident on www.mediaite.com, he is still somehow the victim.

Colby Hall’s victimization of a Congressman who couldn’t handle being asked a few questions without getting physical is laughable and quite childish, and unfortunately it is quite common. Congressmen are always the victims, especially if they’re Democrats. The students did nothing wrong. They even respectfully called the Representative “Sir” when they spoke to him. Hall apparently sees things a little bit differently, even going so far as to call the student’s question as to whether the Representative supports the Obama agenda “provocative” and “inflammatory”. She also refers to the students actions as “inflammatory and guerrilla interview tactics” and calls the students behavior “ambush journalism”. The students did not set up an interview and the interview was certainly impromptu, but calling it inflammatory and “guerrilla” is more than just a little over the top. Since when is
asking a member of Congress whether they support the President’s agenda being too aggressive or using “guerrilla” tactics?

Congress members are approached in this manner all the time. There is nothing wrong with this “ambush journalism” and there is certainly nothing wrong with asking a member of Congress what agenda they support. That’s just one of those things that most people want to know about the members of Congress. It is their job to represent us and it is our job to hold them accountable. It is amazing what some Representatives and Senators have said on camera when they are caught off guard. We are able to see who these people really are when they are asked questions while they have their guard down. Therefore, ambush journalism, if that’s what you want to call it, is something we need because sometimes it really shows us the true colors of these people when nothing else will.

Hall’s pathetic overreaction to a couple of students asking questions to a member of Congress shows how little importance some place on holding Congress accountable and how important it can be for the average citizen to step up and ask the questions that the reporters and the media will not ask. There is nothing wrong with citizens getting involved and respectfully approaching Congress members to ask questions. Representative Etheridge was not treated badly, he was not subjected to anything unusual, and he should not be victimized because some place little value on holding Congress members accountable. He was asked a few questions that he didn’t like and he responded by grabbing at the student and his camera. There is no excuse for a Congress member to act the way he did and there is no excuse for Colby Hall pretending that Representative Etheridge is the victim because someone had the nerve to ask a question about what he believes.

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