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Who Was This Man Volunteering For?

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The man has been identified as James Winfrey of Cedar Hills, MO. Sen. McCaskill's office has told us that he was not working for them or the college. Beyond that they have no other information on the man. As he was not there in any official capacity, we errored in identifying him as one of Sen. McCaskill's henchmen.

Also I'm replacing the original headline, "Sen. Claire McCaskill's Henchman Tore Up Rosa Parks Sign" with a more appropriate title, given today's developments.

As I wrote to my college Lori late, last night, part of what amused me about the reaction of the left is that people were so quick to assume that the man was a rabid right-wing nut because the outcome (as opposed to the video evidence) played to their preconceived notions. I'm fairly certain the man is a member of some group, be it right-wing, left-wing, and he's probably very concerned with people following the rules... I'm sure we'll find out eventually.

Given the information I had last night he looked to be involved in the event. Today is appears that is not the case, though he may be a member of an organization that attended the event.

Read the updates below.

Wow there's lots of outrage at the lefty blogs tonight over video, shot Tuesday by Democratic strategist Peter Glickert, of a disruption at Sen. Claire McCaskill's (D-MO) health care listening forum at Jefferson College Field House. The clip is running on all most of the cable networks, and angry posts denouncing "teabaggers" and anyone who does not drink the Obamacare kool-aid as deranged, dangerous, swastika carrying nutcases are plentiful.

Here's the video...


And here's how Glickert describes it...

The news only showed the woman being escorted away by the police. What happened was the women walked in with signs, the crowd booed and yelled at the women. The women rolled up their posters and put them down. A photographer/reporter approached the woman on the end and wanted to see what the poster was. As the woman went to show the photographer/reporter what the poster was, a man from the bleachers stood up and snatched the poster from the woman and photographer/reporter. As the woman went to retrieve her poster the police stepped in and escorted the woman and the man from the building.

And here's what the blogs are saying...

  • Huffington Post: "When the woman unrolled one to show to a journalist, an angry man in the crowd rushed over and tore it up. A poster of what, you ask? Rosa Parks"
  • Pandagon: "Low-life teabagger protester tears up poster of Rosa Parks at health care town hall"
  • Sensico: Some low class teabagger went over to the two women grabbed the sign and ripped it.
  • Daily Kos - White people booing Rosa Parks and then ripping up her poster in public. These rightwing Republicans are racists, and they're crazy. That's just a fact at this point.
  • Pam's House Blend - MSNBC's David Shuster covers the teabagger crazy who tore the Rosa Parks poster.
  • Talking Points Memo - Man Arrested, Woman Escorted Out Of McCaskill Town Hall Over Sign Incident

The list goes on...

There's only one problem, as this blown-up closeup of the video clearly shows.


McCaskill_town_hall_poster_grab.jpg
McCaskill_town_hall_poster_grab2.jpg


What's that on the back of his shirt? Yes, it says, "VOLUNTEER."

It seems pretty likely that the man who tore up the Rosa Parks posters was working at the event in some sort of capacity for McCaskill. As the TPM link indicates it looks like he got arrested later. It will be interesting to see exactly what he was doing there, and who he was representing.

Earlier McCaskill warned the crown that signs were not allowed.

Political signs, as McCaskill warned during the event, were not allowed inside the Jefferson College field house. (College policy, not McCaskill, prohibited the signs.) Somehow, one audience member was able to carry in a sign, content unknown.

Somehow every single cable news network has missed this so far...

Update: Here's a photo of the man being arrested. He still hasn't been identified.

Given the heated atmosphere, the announced policy, and the man's shirt it looks more likely that the crowd is applauding the enforcement of the announced rules, which everyone else in the audience is clearly abiding by, than cheering the destruction of Rosa Parks posters. Those cheering can't even see the posters.

For what it's worth Organizing for America (Obama's campaign arm) signed up 636 people who said they were attending the meeting, and the St. Louis Tea Party group was not officially attending since they had already met with McCaskill.

Update 2:

We spoke with a representative of Senator McCaskill's office this morning. The office indicated that the man, James Winfrey, of Cedar Hill, MO was not working for them or the college. Other than that they have no additional information at this point.

At STLToday, a commenter identifying herself as his daughter leaves this:

The "sign grabber" is my father, a man who stops to help people stranded alongside the road, dedicates his time weekly to the poor, gives all his money to the church, and would do anything for ANYONE! our family grew up around African Americans, 3 out of 5 of his children have dated individuals of color whom my father has treated like his own children. He is not racist, he does not see color. He sees people. He is not an aggressive person. He did not even know the contents of Ms. Johnson's poster; he was upset by the fact that her breaking the "no poster" rule was being rewarded by positive media attention. My father did not see this individual as a women, as African American, or any other separatist adjective you can blow this into. He said to me in explaining the story, "it just wasn't fair." Now granted, it wasn't his duty to remove the poster from this women's possession, and he realizes this now. But there was no assaulting nor physical harm to the individual, just misjudgement from both parties involved. I'm sure if given the opportunity, my father would be falling over himself to apologize for his misjudgement and promise Ms. Johnson there was nothing racial about it.

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Comments (42)

Was the blue volunteer shir... (Below threshold)
Lorie:

Was the blue volunteer shirt what other volunteers at the event were wearing or could the man be a volunteer for something else?

From the HD version of the ... (Below threshold)
Kevin Author Profile Page:

From the HD version of the video it doesn't appear there's any "uniform" for folks who are along the edges of the rows or in front of the bleachers, though the woman in pink at the begining of the video appears to like she might be more than just a spectator by the way she's moving. She's also sitting right next to the guy who took the poster.

Finding other blue-shirted ... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Finding other blue-shirted volunteers would be one step towards proving your charge that the person who tore up the poster was a McCaskill worker, Kevin - since you've provided no evidence whatsoever that ties the "volunteer" with McCaskill up to now, but just to be different why don't we sprinkle some facts and reality onto this issue (Saint Louis Post-Dispatch):

Signs were prohibited in the Jefferson Community College field house. That was a college policy, not McCaskill's, an aide said.

Either way, someone was able to get a sign into the gymnasium: Maxine Johnson, who is well known at St. Louis City Hall as an ant-eminent domain advocate. She also ran on the Green Party ticket in the Third Ward against Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr.

The sign was not unfurled and had nothing, it seems, to do with health care: It was actually a poster of Rosa Parks.

However, Johnson opened it -- only briefly -- to show Post-Dispatch photojournalist Elie Gardner. (It's unlikely that Gardner asked Johnson to display the poster. Gardner probably just asked what the poster said for her cutline info.)

The blog Hating Not Debating has video (above) of what happened next. A man in a blue shirt -- later identified as James Winfrey, 67, of Cedar Hill -- grabbed the Parks poster from Johnson.

Johnson rushed to retrieve it, and a rhubarb ensued. Police hauled away both individuals from the meeting but only Winfrey was arrested. He was held on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

There's the guys' name. James Winfrey. A simple phone call in the morning to the McCaskill offices asking them if Winfrey was in the employ or in any way "working for" McCaskill will blow this story wide open - and prove what a great investigative reporter you are.

Or, if the guy isn't connected with McCaskill it'll prove you're just a teabagger apologist.

Do you have the guts to make the call and report the result of your call?

Vic

Gee, Vic, who taught you ma... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

Gee, Vic, who taught you manners? Anyone? He said he would call McCaskill's office. Of course he will report what he finds out. I don't know this writer personally, but from everything I've read, I see no need to question his integrity. Snotty little fellow, aren't you?

All roads lead to Rome. </p... (Below threshold)

All roads lead to Rome.

Listening to Fox News this ... (Below threshold)
Maggie Mama:

Listening to Fox News this morning, several Congress people interviewed have toned way back on their "angry mob" rhetoric. They are saying that they believe many average Americans are very concerned with the proposed legislation.

I think some Dems are finally waking up to the fact that Pelosi was taking them on a "death ride" with her radical rantings.

Lisa -"Snotty l... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Lisa -

"Snotty little fellow, aren't you?"

Nah, Vic's the very model of a kind*, polite*, compassionate*, reasonable* Democrat.

On the plus side, he punctuates well.

*Definitions are subject to interpretation, and may not match currently accepted cultural norms as promoted in Webster's or other dictionaries.

We've seen people grabbing ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

We've seen people grabbing posters and tearing them up before as well as personal assaults. This is not the typical MO of tax protesters. The left can't say the same. I'd say better than 9/10 of the time it is a union or college thug. That's right. CHARACTERISTIC of the left - no so much of the right. There is a fact for you VIO.

"Gee, Vic, who taught yo... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

"Gee, Vic, who taught you manners? Anyone? He said he would call McCaskill's office. Of course he will report what he finds out. I don't know this writer personally, but from everything I've read, I see no need to question his integrity. Snotty little fellow, aren't you?"

He said he would call the office in his update, which was posted after I made my comment.

Apology accepted.
Vic

So what are you saying ? Th... (Below threshold)
Kilo:

So what are you saying ? This is more or less of a non-event fictionalized beat up than the "Union Thugs Beat Man at Town Hall" video which showed nothing of the kind, yet blogs still ran with that story ?

This is more or le... (Below threshold)
Eric:
This is more or less of a non-event fictionalized beat up than the "Union Thugs Beat Man at Town Hall" video which showed nothing of the kind, yet blogs still ran with that story ?

Kilo are you saying that Kenneth Gladney wasn't actually beaten up by the union thugs and that is all fiction? So I guess Ken Gladney's injuries are fictional, and the SEIU guys weren't really arrested and charged with assault either.

You know when Vic comes her... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

You know when Vic comes here to critic the authors and other commenters, he thinks he is making the point then he uses the very vile, deragatory word "teabaggers" to deminish and marginalize working citizens protesting the out of control spending. Now, in an integrity comparison Kevin wins in a landslide.

I am sure it will be proven this guy volunteered for a union, the college, McCaskill or some other lefty group. I am also sure Vic and all the lefty loon sites will not even mention this fact, but will repeat the lie. ww

Great reporting. We know t... (Below threshold)
TOhio:

Great reporting. We know that the mainstream media is always going to slant the news in favor of the Democrats. It's stories like this that will help get the truth out and show how bad and biased the news organizations really are.

CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC are all propaganda machines. We need to starve them to death by not watching any of these stations. Turn them off! Let the liberals support the liberal news and let's see how long they're able to stay on the air with their lies.

Your attempt at distracting... (Below threshold)
epador:

Your attempt at distracting with "shiny" objects is pathetic, vio. The blatant distortions at KOS and the other blogs stands out as yellow journalism at its ugliest, and as a practitioner of that art, you are only an apprentice.

@ WildWillieCause ... (Below threshold)
LOLR:

@ WildWillie

Cause "teabagger" was such an terrific nickname to embrace . . . above reproach.

As to the "volunteer" shirt - it's not like you can get those anywhere. "Staff" and "Security" t-shirts are so ubiquitous these days that they are no longer used in many venues to avoid confusion and security breaches. I believe Vic was chastising Kevin for his lack of investigation. Vic is not the one who is name-calling.

Vic, you can't accept an ap... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

Vic, you can't accept an apology that was never extended.

JLawson - "On the plus side... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

JLawson - "On the plus side, he punctuates well"

Lawson, I'm holding you responsible if my monitor has shorted out.

And just so everyone knows, carbonated beverage coming out your nose doesn't feel especially nice either.

Good one, Lawson

UOG

Did you read the whole post... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

Did you read the whole post LOLR?

#3 Vic: Or, if the guy isn't connected with McCaskill it'll prove you're just a teabagger apologist.

Vic is the one calling names. I have been to a teaparty and though I hate the name you have assigned to my fellow peaceful protestors, I wear the name with honor.

Honestly, I have been to three rallies and all we did was discuss and share our worries and fears about the direction of this country. There are crazies in every crowd that make the whole look bad but you are a prejudiced idiot if you make sweeping remarks about a group of people because a few of the stupid ones got on the news.

BTW I also think any republican doing the same thing is a prejudiced idiot. Calling every protester unAmerican was totally uncalled for!

I'm not calling anyone name... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

I'm not calling anyone names. First off, a Tea Party protest group called themselves that.

www teabagparty dot org

It's a name a group of tea party protesters came up with, not me. And Kevin quoted its use several times in his article, showing it's common usage.

Apology accepted.

PS. Speaking of apologies. Kevin wrote the headline "Sen. Claire McCaskill's Henchman Tore Up Rosa Parks Sign" without any facts to back that up, just his theory that because the guy was wearing a t-shirt which said "volunteer".

The good news is that now, after the fact, he's going to find out if the headline he wrote is true or not.

Do you think he should apologize for libeling McCaskill if it turns out his headline is false?

Or is it ok to make statements like that without knowing the facts behind it?

Judging from the unfounded accusations and smears thrown out me in this comment thread my guess is that many of you think it's perfectly ok to make false statements and not bother apologizing after the fact.

Lorie Byrd did something similar yesterday, claiming that North Carolina PIRG was hiring "astroturfers" without any factual basis to back up the claim that the people being hired were actually "astroturfing" in the commonly accepted definition of the term.

This kind of behavior is exactly what Pelosi (and others) is complaining about. I agree it's wrong, but that's just my opinion.

Vic

Nice try Vic. Good name. Sh... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Nice try Vic. Good name. Short for victim which about all in your party claim being.

Do you have any idea how many made up stories of GW Bush that were put out there? Not blogs but MSM? Instead of spewing faux outrage, why not humble yourself before the conservatives and first make great amends for the smearing of GW, Palin, Rove, Cheney AND their families. What a twisted thinker you showed yourself to be. If the New York Times was around when Jesus walked on water the headline would be "Jesus Can't Swim", that is your side in a nutshell.

I think the protesters are angry for one reason, they do not think our representatives are listening to us. Basic no no is a democracy driven republic. How about a democrat congresswoman who actually takes a phone call while one of her constituents bared her soul about her health problems. There is very legitimate reasons for protesting and the anger as well, but the left goes immediately in the gutter with "nazi's, unamerican" stuff. Then you throw in your degrading sexual nickname for honest hard working protesters, you are pathetic. ww

Victory is Ours said... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Victory is Ours said
This kind of behavior is exactly what Pelosi (and others) is complaining about. I agree it's wrong, but that's just my opinion.

I assume, then, you also think Pelosi's behavior in falsely claiming that the town hall dissenters are "astroturf" and implying that they are Nazis is wrong as well.

How about that Obama delegate and Organizing for America member who falsely claimed to be a doctor at Sheila Jackson-Lee's town hall? Wrong, too? I'm waiting to hear Pelosi complain about that sort of "astroturf."

"I volunteer to be the race... (Below threshold)
914_62:

"I volunteer to be the racebaiter"

Say's Obama's 3rd batallion brownshirt organizer..

When VIO calls everyone who... (Below threshold)
klrtz1:

When VIO calls everyone who attends any tea party or town hall a "teabagger" isn't he libeling them? After all he has no evidence they have anything to do with the web site he mentioned.

Apology accepted, Vic.

Stay strong, VIO. Don't let... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Stay strong, VIO. Don't let 'em change the subject or pull a "hey, look over there!" on you. You're doing great.

klrtz1 - ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

klrtz1 -

vic/vio, meet your own petard

You just can't help yoursel... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You just can't help yourself, can you Kevin?

Here's the full video of what happened.

By the way, all those posters and signs that called George W. Bush a fascist/Nazi/Hitler at protests over the years? Those were all right wing plants. Just, you know, because I say so.

Oh, it's the race card. Wha... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Oh, it's the race card. What a surprise.

Is that you, Kimmie? I don'... (Below threshold)
Ashley Todd:

Is that you, Kimmie? I don't know why your posting under Kevins name but I'm sure you have your reasons. I can only assume Obamas henchmen are after you, so you must be in hiding. Don't listen to demoRats, I think youre doing a great job. This man is obviously one of Obamas henchmen. It says so right on his T-shirt! How could the MSM be so blind.

You believed in me, and I believe in you.

Ashley Todd

mantis - By linking to the ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

mantis - By linking to the full length video showing those with "don't tread on me" signs and carried by white people were allowed to stay and the BLACK woman was escorted out what you're really saying - and proving I might add - is Sen. Claire McCaskill [a democrat] and her security force are racists.

Thanks for the heads up mantis.

I don't really care about t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I don't really care about the commentary on that video, the point was the footage of the incident itself, but I find it amusing that Marc believes that the law enforcement in Hillsboro, MO are the Senator's private security force. Moron.

mantis - To paraphrase some... (Below threshold)
Marc:

mantis - To paraphrase someone else, "Oh, it's the you're a moron card. What a surprise."

Sorry asswipe, private security isn't implied, that's your convenient take on it rather than admit your video clearly MAY indicate a dem is a racist because she and the security force - whether hired or provided by the city/county - let the "don't tread on me WHITIES" stay and led out of the meeting a BLACK woman.

Sorry asswipe, private s... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Sorry asswipe, private security isn't implied,

Sure it is: her security force

that's your convenient take on it rather than admit your video clearly MAY indicate a dem is a racist because she and the security force -

She had nothing to do with it, and the "security force" was law enforecement. And I'm not calling anyone a racist, just pointing out that "volunteer man" wasn't trying to enforce any rules, as the woman whose poster he grabbed was not breaking any.

Mantis, Didn't you ... (Below threshold)

Mantis,
Didn't you say goodbye when Jay Tea left
Wizbang?
Maybe it's time for you to MoveOn.org

mantis - "Sure it is: h... (Below threshold)
Marc:

mantis - "Sure it is: her security force"

Nice spin, and more BS from you.

"She had nothing to do with it, and the "security force" was law enforecement. And I'm not calling anyone a racist, just pointing out that "volunteer man" wasn't trying to enforce any rules, as the woman whose poster he grabbed was not breaking any.

Well, quote where I claimed you called anyone a racist. That diversion falls on deaf ears.

As for the rest, it shows your misinformed, disingenuous, willfully ignorant or a flatout liar as there was a specific rule against signs at that function:

"Political signs, as McCaskill warned during the event, were not allowed inside the Jefferson College field house. (College policy, not McCaskill, prohibited the signs.) Somehow, one audience member was able to carry in a sign, content unknown."

So what does that make you mantis, misinformed or just another lying libturd?

I vote the later because the same link is included in the post and you ignored it thus making yourself a bigger fool than "Mr. Volunteer Man."

P.S. mantis, that black wom... (Below threshold)
Marc:

P.S. mantis, that black women led out of the meeting was also a Green Party candidate on Green Party ticket in the Third Ward against Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr.

That gives strong indication she not only broke the campus rules by taking a sign into the meeting but she is "on the left" 'cause you know all us evil librarians and conservatives just HATE the globe and wish it to heat up to the point of incineration.

NOTE to Sen. Claire McCaskill: Is that anyway to treat one of your fellow travelers?

She probably snuck the sign... (Below threshold)
914_62:

She probably snuck the sign in under Her shirt along with the box of twinkies and six pack of Mountain Dew She swigged in the restroom before She auditioned for the Gong Show.

As for the rest, it show... (Below threshold)
mantis:

As for the rest, it shows your misinformed, disingenuous, willfully ignorant or a flatout liar as there was a specific rule against signs at that function:

Misinformed, in fact. I had heard that attendees couldn't hold up signs, not that they couldn't bring them in (not that that makes a lot of sense, but that's what I read). I stand corrected. It does seem that volunteer man had good reason to think the rules were broken, even if he shouldn't have taken it upon himself to enforce them.

NOTE to Sen. Claire McCaskill: Is that anyway to treat one of your fellow travelers?

What did she have to do with it? She didn't order that woman to be removed.

Btw, I didn't say you said I called anyone a racist. I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't endorsing the commentary overlaid on the video I linked.

mantis - "What did she ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

mantis - "What did she have to do with it? She didn't order that woman to be removed."

She didn't stop it either, it's called guilt by omission.

She, and the security force, let the WHITIES stay that had banned signs, yet allowed a black woman with a sign be led away.

She's U.S. Senator with far enough power to allow all to stay or for all to leave.

She sat on her hands in much the fashion when asked whether abortion would be funded she said it wouldn't but conveniently neglected to mention it wasn't specifically banned either.

She sat on her hands in both cases.

And you knee-jerked yourself into looking foolish. Hardly surprising.

Maybe volunteer Man had vol... (Below threshold)
914_62:

Maybe volunteer Man had volunteered to keep the rascist signage under wraps? After all, this was about health care, not drinking fountains or bus rides.

Keep this in mind: Democrat... (Below threshold)
Tailgunner:

Keep this in mind: Democrats do not need conservative or GOP support to pass this medical dictatorship.

Not one single GOP vote is necessary.

Democrats wouldn't expose themselves to the anger at these 'town halls' if they didn't have to.

There's one simple answer.

It's the DEMOCRAT rank-and-file that's expressing its outrage to their own Congressmen.

Not the 'mobs', not the 'swastikas', not the 'political terrorists' of the right.

The Dems' meltdown is the only reason this National Socialist outrage hasn't already passed the House.

"Kilo are you saying that K... (Below threshold)
Kilo:

"Kilo are you saying that Kenneth Gladney wasn't actually beaten up by the union thugs and that is all fiction? So I guess Ken Gladney's injuries are fictional" -- Posted by Eric

That depends. Was he the noticably non-hospital-worthy guy who walked up and talked to the camera that everyone seemed pre-occupied with ?
If so, then yes.

All that was missing was a backwards B. And perhaps an acting coach to tell them if you look at the camera every 3 seconds it kind of undercuts the spontaneous, non-staged feel of the production.

Racism.... (Below threshold)
Rich:

Racism.




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