The heckler who tried to accost George Allen at a campaign appearance was a Kos diarist who was trying to provoke a response against Allen. Now that isn't at all surprising in this utterly awful campaign season. What is very, very surprising is that the AP is reporting it straight – including the man's threat to try to provoke a response.
Mike Stark, a liberal blogger and first-year University of Virginia law student, approached Allen at an event in Charlottesville, loudly asking, "Why did you spit at your first wife, George?" according to witnesses.
Three men, all wearing blue Allen lapel stickers, immediately grabbed Stark, dragged him backward and slung him to the carpet outside a hotel meeting room, according to video captured by WVIR-TV in Charlottesville.
Stark said later in a telephone interview with The Associated Press: "I am a constituent. I am allowed to ask my U.S. senator questions."
A new statewide poll conducted for CNN showed Allen's Democratic challenger, former Navy Secretary Jim Webb, with a slight lead in a bitterly contested race that could help determine whether the GOP retains control of the Senate.
In a Monday posting on "Calling All Wingnuts," the blog Stark publishes, he hinted that he would attempt to provoke Allen before the TV cameras.
"Im also trying to `Roger and Me' George Allen whenever I can," Stark wrote, referring to director Michael Moore's 1989 documentary in which he repeatedly tried to confront former General Motors' chief executive Roger Smith about the company's downsizing.
That just wrecked the photo-op Stark planned it to be. Once people are informed that it was a straight-up stunt, they won't like the tactic. By trying to make it into a media event, including the interviews, he needed the press not to report that fact. But they did not cooperate this time. Interesting.
UPDATE: Ok, not as big a shocker here. The WaPo covers up the fact that it was preplanned, but does mention that Stark was shouting unsubstantiated charges from "liberal blogs"