Censorship

Stark Incident! 'Skins scion sics goons on spit-taking gadfly

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Dig the footage of "Former Marine and first year law student" Mike Stark getting into a mega-wimpy tussle with some flunkies from the George Allen campaign. Stark got the brawl going with a question we should all be asking ourselves every morning: "Why did you spit on your first wife?"

Opinions? I'm watching it in a public WiFi zone with no sound, so I can't say for sure, but it looks to me like Stark is moving in pretty fast and furious, in a manner that could be interpreted as threatening to overly zealous staffers. (The arty shakycam effects may make Stark look more like a would-be assassin than he did in person.) The slap fight is good stuff though, and I give Stark full props for hanging on to his schoolboy bookbag (worn over one shoulder, koolkid-style) throughout the ordeal. As so many real-world fights do, this one reminds me of my favorite fight in literature, the lumbering brawl between Humbert Humbert and Clare Quilty:

We rolled all over the floor, in each other's arms, like two huge helpless children… I felt suffocated as he rolled over me. I rolled over him. We rolled over me. They rolled over him. We rolled over us…[E]lderly readers will surely recall at this point the obligatory scene in the Westerns of their childhood. Our tussle, however, lacked the ox-stunning fisticuffs, the flying furniture. He and I were two large dummies, stuffed with dirty cotton and rags. It was a silent, soft, formless tussle on the part of two literati… Both of us were panting as the cowman and the sheepman never do after their battle.

Remember the Stark Incident.

Merry Prankster dropout Kathy Casano, aka Stark Naked.

How would history have been different if Prince Andrew had married Koo Stark before Fergie came into the picture? How would all our lives be different if Koo Stark's cameo as "Camie" hadn't been cut from the original Star Wars: Episode Whatever the Hell It's Being Called Now?

NEXT: Kerry on Ice

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  1. Oh come on, he didn’t do anything that deserved him getting put in a headlock.

  2. Whether he did or not, what kind of ex-Marine gets taken down that easily but a guy in his 60’s? Stark must have really let himself go to seed.

  3. Two quotes that struck me as amusing:

    “Allen’s people tackled him. Some may call it manhandling him.” CNN reporter
    Yeah, I guess it depends on whether they are football fans or not.

    “Things like that happen.” Sen Allen
    That’s a funny quote to me because it applies to everything that has ever happened and that stands as his statement on the matter? CNN bothers to relay that to us?

  4. For politics, that was like Bloodsport-level battling.

  5. Remember the Stark Incident.

    Merry Prankster dropout Kathy Casano, aka Stark Naked.

    How would history have been different if Prince Andrew had married Koo Stark before Fergie came into the picture? How would all our lives be different if Koo Stark’s cameo as “Camie”…

    What? Do you guys have some kind of link quota to meet? Does Nick have weekly meetings where he encourages more linking? (“It’s a blog, God dammit! You bastards have to link to more stuff!”)

  6. Umm, were you really watching at all?
    What Stark did was standard journalism now. Yes he moved in fast and asked his questions loudly, so what?
    The reason he was grabbed, shoved, and headlocked was to get him away from Macacaboy. He didnt fight back because he was smart enough to know that the campaign goons played right into his hands by overreacting like the good little brownshirts they are.
    For a sight that is called Reason it seems a shame to get such a childish take on a thuggish attempt to supress calling on a US senator to explain himself to voters.

  7. He found out the lying bitch was an octoroon.

  8. Windypundit has a point, I clicked the Stark Incident link and said, Huh? Other than the name Stark, I don’t see a connection. Must be a slow news day.

  9. He found out the lying bitch was an octoroon.

    But she did have a great set of macacas.

  10. For a sight that is called Reason…

    I would like to suggest an instant lifetime banning of the next commenter to write this or any variation, spelling correct or not.

    Nothing personal against you, Robert Battle. I am sick of hearing this.

  11. Windypundit:

    I was less struck by the liberal use of linkage, and more struck by the overly liberal smattering of random popculture references. That goddamned post was like a free association exercise. Sounded like that parody of Jeff Goldblum on Southpark. Tim, time to cut back on the Adderall.

  12. but it looks to me like Stark is moving in pretty fast and furious, in a manner that could be interpreted as threatening to overly zealous staffers

    He was asking questions while macaca and his staff were trying to get somewhere…so it seems pretty reasonable that Stark would try and keep up with them. Yet somehow a “libertarian” wonders if something that was clearly battery may have been justified because he is moving fast while asking questions — in the same manner that reporters who are getting stonewalled do? (I don’t see what exactly was furious about it).

    If I recall correctly, Stark is one of his constituents and he was asking questions about his sealed divorce and arrest records. And he gets assaulted for his efforts. And now an asshat like Cavanaugh, instead of condemning the criminal conduct of macaca’s staff / supporters, wonders out loud if he had it coming and mocks him for carrying a back-pack ???

    When journalists can’t bring themselves to condemn unjustified criminal actions by our elected leaders, it proves that we really do get the government we deserve: One that shits all over the populace and acts like a thug. And I thought libertarians were against this sort of thing.

  13. I can’t wait to see how Allen responds to the forthcoming lawsuit brought by Stark.

  14. Stark really played the Macaca people.

    Obviously, a guy comes running up to a Senator shouting about his ex wife and spitting on people, and the entourage isn’t going to let him get near the Senator, or treat him like a member of the press asking a question.

    But the headlock and the rasslin’? What the hell is wrong with these people?

    I wouldn’t recommend any black or Arab-looking people try this around Allen and his staff.

  15. ChicagoTom,

    Aside from the typical useless stereotyping of libertarians (ugh, I’m growing SO very tired of the standard boilerplate “I thought libertarians were supposed to believe X”, as if, just because you associate yourself with a libertarian political philosophy, you’re required to follow 100% of the platform. Ugh.), you’re very right. There was nothing in that video that suggested that those thugs were justified in assaulting that guy…and again, you’re right: the guy, being a LAW STUDENT, was smart enough to know that, marine or not, he’d be better off not fighting back.

    I too am surprised at Tim’s nonchalance about the attack.

  16. I would have tackled that guy too.

  17. “I wouldn’t recommend any black or Arab-looking people try this around Allen and his staff.”

    No joke. I bet Macaca is just ITCHIN’ to use his favorite noose.

  18. “I would have tackled that guy too.”

    Based on what? Watching that video, all he did was briskly walk up to the crowd and start asking uncomfortable questions. That deserves a “tackling”? If you’re willing to tackle people over something like that, one has to wonder, Cab: how many assualt suits have you been the defendant in? It’s not like he went berserker. He just walked up to them. And there are a number of responses, other than assaulting the guy, that could have contained the situation. Why they chose assault as their first option is the very reason why they’re going to end up in court.

  19. And now an asshat like Cavanaugh, instead of condemning the criminal conduct of macaca’s staff

    Asshat = anybody who asks for opinions about an incident that is open to interpretation instead of immediately shitting his pants. I realize that true freedom means not doing anything to protect likely assassination targets and that in the real world there is never any ambiguity about anything that happens anywhere, but spare me the “libertarian” gotcha.

  20. A big guy, with a big backpack, pushes his way forward to come up behind Allen and ask the deep question, “Is it true you spit on your wife?”

    Hard to find sympathy for this guy. Who knows what he was going to do next?

  21. I think joe has it about right. Stark was baiting them, and they took the bait. These silly season incidents are just Rorschach tests. On the one hand we have drivel like this, and on the other we have drivel like Evan’s and Chicago Tom’s. I asked for opinions, but I suspect there’s something between the view that this is our own Tiananman Square and the claim that it’s another Squeaky Fromme episode.

  22. “Nothing personal against you, Robert Battle. I am sick of hearing this.”

    I’m not feeling so generous. Rob, this seems to be the go to insult of the lowest common denominator. The irony being, oh, never mind. For a site name reason … it sure do draw a passel of paste eaters.

  23. I wouldn’t take a chance that some whacko that thought I had blood on my hands because I voted for the Iraq war wasn’t seeking his own definition of justice. I have kids at home bro, I can’t afford to take chances that maybe you can.

    The fact is, that guy was aggressive in his mannerisms and tone of voice. And the one question he chose to ask is proof he wasn’t acting as a “concerned constituent” he was acting as an asshole. I’d rather find out I was wrong later.

    How far would you let him get to you?

  24. Mike Stark had actually confronted the Allen campaign, in August, asking whether or not Allen had used the N-word.

    I just don’t see how Stark’s approach to Allen can be viewed as aggressive.

  25. At least take a swing at the old fat grandpa who is tackling you, you puss. Being a 1L maybe he’s got the lawsuit in mind.

    That’s my favorite fight seen too. Fighting in real life is hilariously goofy and uncoordinated.

  26. “It’s not like he went berserker. He just walked up to them.”

    No, he was definitely more aggressive than that. And the question he was asking, about spitting at people – I would have moved to restrain the guy a little, too. Maybe put my hands on him. It’s a little ambiguous.

    But the entourage’s response was absurd. A headlock? Crashing the guy around the room like that?

    This is the same bedwetter over-reaction that’s defined the Republican security state since 9/11. Seriously, if that guy had looked like a “macaca,” he’d have been taken out of that hotel in a plastic bag.

  27. FFF – A large man, essentially barking, attempting to quickly maneuver around the people specifically put there to stop this sort of thing AND you now tell me that it wasn’t just a chance encounter, but the man has a history of stalking the Senator – and you don’t see anything aggressive?

    -maybe the word stalking is a bit loaded, but it sounded better in the sentence-

  28. This looks like a pretty mild overreaction to me. The entourage doesn’t seem to me like it was moving anywhere; it looks like Allen was in the process of answering a question from somebody else and this guy was interrupting. He was being rude and overly aggressive. Did he deserve a headlock? No, but I would support a shove and a pointed suggestion not to interrupt.

  29. Just wait a goddamned minute, Tim. You asked for my opinion, I gave it. Suddenly, it’s “drivel”? Or is it “drivel” because I was surprised by your nonchalance?

    Do yourself a favor: next time you issue a call for opinions, refrain from dismissing the ones you don’t like as “drivel”. My opinion is pretty reasonable, as I see it. There’s no excuse for those guys to tackle that dude. Was a response of some kind appropriate? Yes. Just not the response that was offered. Get it? How is that “drivel”?

    And by the way, don’t play this off like you were “just asking for opinions”. You offered up your own opinion, so don’t think that we should all lay off it.

    “I asked for opinions, but I suspect there’s something between the view that this is our own Tiananman Square and the claim that it’s another Squeaky Fromme episode.”

    Who said anything about Tienanmen’s Square? I said, and I quote, “And there are a number of responses, other than assaulting the guy, that could have contained the situation. Why they chose assault as their first option is the very reason why they’re going to end up in court.”

    But I suppose that dismissing our opinions as “drivel” is just easier.

  30. “But the entourage’s response was absurd. A headlock? Crashing the guy around the room like that?”

    Which is exactly what I said, a dozen posts ago. I think we’re on the same page here. A response was merited, but not THAT response.

  31. Watching it again, the oldster was being relatively reasonable, but that young buck went nuts on him, for sure. I guess once he broke the seal, the oldster felt like he could get crazy as well.

  32. “The fact is, that guy was aggressive in his mannerisms and tone of voice. And the one question he chose to ask is proof he wasn’t acting as a “concerned constituent” he was acting as an asshole. I’d rather find out I was wrong later. How far would you let him get to you?

    I would certainly expect some kind of response from his posse, but tackling him? If we truly live in a world where anyone acting “aggressive” deserves an immediate tackling, then something is really fucked up here. Those guys could have addressed the guy like civilized human beings, even if he was being aggressive. They could have asked him to calm down, even blocked his access to Allen until he calmed down. But his actions, as I see them, did not warrant tackling as the initial response.

  33. Aggressive enough to be sufficient cause for them to attack him? Did he brandish a weapon? Did his posture indicate that he planned to attack the Senator?

    Looking at the CNN video (from the CNN website; it’s much clearer and has better sound than the one Mr. Cavanaugh links to) again, just after the video starts, someone grabs Stark’s backpack. My guess is that Allen had passed from one room into the room where the confrontation had taken place, followed by Stark. Someone attempted to restrain Stark there, followed by the approach to the Senator.

    In the CNN video, its hard to characterize Stark as “barking,” his voice is barely raised.

  34. A thousand pardons, Evan! Twas ChicagoTom who driveled, you just agreed with him.

  35. Why does the camera start following Stark as soon as he walks through the lobby door? Did somebody know he was planning to provoke something film-worthy?

  36. That might just be the juicy bit. I don’t know if there is something more somewhere.

  37. If Stark had started asking “Why didn’t my grandmother get her Social Security check?” does anybody think he would have been treated this way?

    The posse decided they could rough him up, because he was obviously a Democrat trying to make trouble.

    There were a number of episodes of similar thuggishness on display at the 2004 Republican convention. Remember the guy who got kicked in the head repeatedly?

    This is what you get…
    This is what you get…
    This is what you get
    When you mess with us.

    Fuck the Republicans. Bunch of thugs.

  38. Seriously? This doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Stark was clearly acting in a low-level agressive manner and the goons moved to protect Allen. They also clearly used more force than strictly necessary, but it didn’t appear to me that they were trying to hurt or beat Stark down, only that they were trying to subdue him and just sucked at it.

    Throwing him to the ground and yelling at him a couple times was the very worst thing they did and he was immediately let up.

    Stark was looking actively for trouble and he found it. The goons overreacted inappropriately but stopped well short, imo, of anything really awful.

    Of course, without knowing the surrounding context it’s impossible to say. If Stark had been hounding Allen for months as suggested above, it certainly puts the goons actions in a new light. CNN also referred to Stark as a “protestor”, which seemed inaccurate from the brief footage, but if strictly true (ie there’s an actual protest happening) than his appearance was not out of the ordinary.

  39. Asshat = anybody who asks for opinions about an incident that is open to interpretation instead of immediately shitting his pants. I realize that true freedom means not doing anything to protect likely assassination targets and that in the real world there is never any ambiguity about anything that happens anywhere, but spare me the “libertarian” gotcha.

    Nice try Tim, but no.

    Asshat = a journalist who takes a nonchalant attitude about a Senator’s staff battering his constinuents for no legitimate reason, esp when said journalist’s opinion is uninformed (you did admit that you only saw the video and not the sound)

    And if you really believe that Sen. Allen might have been at risk of assasination in this case, then it’s you who is the “pants shitter”. SPare me the fear card and the “we can’t be too careful” tripe. It didn’t work when the GOP tried and it won’t work when you do it. No one there feared for Macaca’s life. They were merely asserting their dominance over the little people.

    And pardon me, but you asked for opinions…your attitude about the incident makes you an idiot, in my opinion. And your attacks on Mr. Stark make you a fucking dolt.
    And your trying to hide behind the “I was only asking for opinions” makes you a coward to boot. You asked for opinions and offered your own childish thoughts at the same time….so let’s not get all thin-skinned when someone calls you out for penning crapola, ok??

    You’re job as a journalist and a member of the press is to speak truth to power not to ridicule the victims of abuse of that power with childish snark.

    As for “open to interpretation” — its pretty cut and dry. A constituent was asking embarassing questions and he was battered for it. The only thing open to interpretation is which degree of battery charges to file. Thankfully, Mr. Stark has already decided to press charges (If anyone cares, a copy of Stark’s letter to the local NBC affiliate is available here

    A sitting senator’s staff battered a constituent for asking uncomfortable questions…the only “drivel” is coming from the mouths of people who want to downplay the incident or paint the victim as somehow having it coming (How dare a mere layperson question the great Senator Macaca while moving “pretty fast” ?!?!?!? )

    No Tim, it isn’t Tiananman Square (nice straw man) but it’s still pretty fucked up. It’s not anywhere near an acceptable way for a sitting senator and his staff to act. And to pretend otherwise makes you pretty intellectually dishonest.

  40. Hmmm… Civil debate.

  41. Chcago Tom, in my mind I am holding you in a headlock.

  42. Where were the “law enforcement professionals” while this was happening? Guarding the donuts? Making sure no freelancer came along and tried to ticket the limo? How can it be possible, in this post- 9/11 world, that a (Republican!) United States Senator is permitted to wander around without a platoon of jack-booted thugs trampling the riffraff?

    Ten seconds of mostly inaudible back-and-forth, ending with Da Headlock, definitely looks like a case of egregious overreaction; what level of provocation preceded that climax?

    And you definitely don’t have to be an atty-in-training to be aware, in that situation, the best thing to do with your hands is put ’em in yer pockits.

  43. Jesus, you folks are picking through this clip like the Zapruder film. Just sit back and enjoy silly-season comedy gold!

    And joe, what I remember from the 2004 elections was Al “The Rock” Franken running around tackling people.

  44. Oh, and kudos to Teason for the site upgrade — posting comments is like a lightning strike now!

  45. The people I pity are the investigating cops who will have to interview the 1L dweeb and the wannabe-praetorians.

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