One of the favorite stories of the press is when a heckler disrupts a political event, especially when a conservative is the target. Months ago some extreme left-wingers disrupted a congressional hearing where Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was speaking about Iraq. They held up a sign and started chanting. That became news. Conservative columnist Ann Coulter was recently giving a speech at a university and ran from the stage when she saw two men coming to attack her. It turns out they only had pies, but they could have easily inflicted bodily harm. Film footage of the attack made the news.
Here’s a different kind of case you may not have heard about, even though possibly a hundred journalists were present and five television cameras were there. In this case, the Washington press corps ignored an assault at the podium of its own National Press Club, minutes before billionaire George Soros was scheduled to speak and just four days before the election. We at Accuracy in Media covered the attack, as we were in the audience when it occurred and saw the initial stages of the assault. Anti-drug activist Steven Steiner was surrounded by security personnel, who represented either Soros or the National Press Club, and he was hauled away and beaten up.
As we reported, Steiner told us that he was accused of “trespassing,” when he had a ticket to the event, and that he simply wanted people to see a picture of his dead 19-year-old son, Stevie, and to explain why Soros-supported drug legalization would only make the drug problem worse. This “disruption” occurred before the official program was underway and Soros had been introduced. There was nobody else at the podium at the time. Yet security came down on him like a ton of bricks.
Even though the initial stages of the incident occurred in front of possibly a hundred or more journalists and five television cameras, the only newspaper story we have found about the incident appeared in the Binghamton, New York, Press & Sun-Bulletin. Reporter Justin Walden contacted Steiner, a local area resident, and Accuracy in Media for comment.
As he reported, “Steiner spoke at a platform near Soros for about 15 seconds, displayed a picture of his son Steven Steiner Jr., then was physically removed from the platform by three or four people?What further bothers Steiner about the incident in Washington is what happened after he was hauled away by those three or four people. Steiner said he was thrown into a door in a side hallway at the Press Club. Steiner said he suffered a dislocated left shoulder?aggravating a prior injury. But the pain was bad enough to send him to the hospital for five hours.”
It’s important to note that Steiner did not threaten or go near Soros. He wasn’t trying to throw a pie at the billionaire. He just wanted a few seconds before the start of the official program to say something about the drug problem and the death of his son. There was nobody else at the podium at the time, and most people were just milling around or waiting for their food. If you’re outraged by this incident and the cover-up, call the National Press Club in Washington.