Before Donald Trump …

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Jon Rowe

Jon Rowe is a full Professor of Business at Mercer County Community College, where he teaches business, law, and legal issues relating to politics. Of course, his views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar zic says:

    Well, he was right, it was creepy and stalkerish.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to zic says:

      Siding with @zic on this one. There wasn’t really any need for Rizzo to be investigated and it was his house. He had the right to confront the people in the van.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to zic says:

      Yeah, I don’t know anything about the guy other than what I just skimmed on Wikipedia, and it sounds like the whole reason the cameraman was camped out there was because there were questions about Rizzo continuing to enjoy taxpayer-funded security (presumably in the form of those cops who accompanied him in the confrontation); but at the same time, I think it’s pretty clear the reporters were hoping to provoke him.

      Doesn’t make what Rizzo did right, and maybe the story they were hoping to break was legit, but still…there’s at least a bit of media harassment going on here, and if I was a former mayor and police chief, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have acted somewhat similarly belligerently about it.

      I mean, he presumably had the continuing security in the first place because he feared he had enemies of some kind; so they parked an unmarked van across the street for three hours and waited for him to approach, which he did, with backup.

      Obviously he should have handled it all differently, but the whole setup still seems a bit like a deliberate provocation.Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    The reporter would have been best served ignoring rather than making a show of not deigning to respond to the personal attacks. I suppose he’d taken a wound to his pride and felt he had to respond.

    Also note that this sort of “jump out of the van and ambush the subject” journalism was pretty common in the 1970’s. IIRC, 60 Minutes did it a lot, too. Is it better today, when interviews tend to be scheduled? Subjects can prepare so they feel like they have more control, and journalists still get good stuff out of them, plus it seems somehow fairer. This kind of this is part of how journalism lost a lot of its prestige in the public imagination.

    None of which excuses Rizzo’s conduct, of course.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Rizzio, of course, was the notoriously racist mayor of Philadelphia during the time that led to Mumia’s arrest.Report

  4. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I don’t know how instructive it is to compare this guy to Trump, but he seems like a lout and a criminal and I find zero fault with the actions of the press in the video clip.

    I’m curious… what is the last major city to elect a former police officer as Mayor? Hopefully, it’s been a while and will stay that way.Report