Saturday, October 27, 2007

FOX News and the "Don't Tase Me Bro" video

On Thursday I was at a local auto dealership having my new car serviced. I was waiting in the waiting room reading a book while they serviced the car. Like most local establishments in my hometown that show news channels, the television was tuned to FOX News (Ugh!). I was generally trying to ignore the TV and read, but then a news story came on about the "Don't tase me bro" incident in Florida and it caught my attention. The story was about the fact that the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement had found that officers to be within their rights to use a taser on the student (Andrew Meyer). As part of the story they replayed the latter part of the video where Meyer is being dragged off and then shocked with the taser. The news caster (I don't know who he was, but it was around 10:15ish in the morning) who was telling the story commented that he could just watch that video all day long and commented that Meyer should have "taken it like a man" instead of yelling like that. I was thoroughly disgusted. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the video (or are just like the news caster and enjoy watching it) here is the whole video:

Now I know that the video went viral and obviously many, many people enjoyed watching it, but I certainly couldn't imagine watching it all day long or even over and over multiple times. And particularly the tasing scene is something I don't want to watch again. What strikes me about the commentary is that if that guy were to be tased I have a hard time imagining that he would "take it like a man". My guess is that he would be suing the cops that did it just like Meyer is doing.

Now I can see that Meyer was over stepping the bounds a bit with his questioning (or his introductory commentary as it were), but John Kerry said that he wanted to answer the question. Plus, if his commentary was totally out of bounds then people like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh ought to be tased as well. They talk over people and make wild accusations all the time. If anyone who is rude or just has ideas that conflict with the mainstream should be arrested and tased then shouldn't we all just get to walk around with tasers all the time and tase most everyone we see?

It seems to me that if Meyer wants to be a journalist some day he is going to have to refine his questioning skills, but it hardly seemed like behavior that deserved being arrested for. Plus, if they weren't arresting him for it, how could he be charged with resisting arrest?

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