Thursday, October 26, 2006

News coverage of death threats for campus republican

I want to repost a very interesting anonymous comment that was posted in response to the events surrounding the death threat to the head of the campus republicans, Nate Nelson. I added the news story to my comments about the College Republican story

It almost completely refutes the details provided in the news story, which makes it seem like the journalist did a half-assed job of reporting.

Does anyone else want to chime in? I don't know whether I can trust the details laid out here, but the comment is well written and quite persuasive.

Just to clarify a few points in that story:

1) The "gay pride rally" was actually a "Civil Rights Rally" organized by the Winnebago Peace and Justice Center (WPJC) which invited representatives from WisPIRG, People of Faith for Fairness, & Students for a Fair Wisconsin to speak.

2) Nate Nelson didn't "call" University Police to the scene - they were already there. The rally was legal, the use of a megaphone (apparently) was not. Nate may have asked UP to end the rally due to the use of a megaphone, but UP was already on site. I was there, I know.

3) This happened over a month ago, September 26 to be exact. The death threat was reported to have happened the next day, September 27. The "news" of this death threat just came out four weeks later in a press release issued by the "Leadership Institute", the agency that funds "Life and Liberty News", the conservative student newspaper that Nate Nelson writes for (latest edition issued today).

4) The implication in both the press release and the news reports is that someone "opposed to the Amendment" made a death threat on Nate Nelson because of his actions and/or views. But Nate Nelson has been a solid 'opponent' of the Amendment himself - at least until last week. If there was a threat sent to Nate Nelson, it would not have come from anyone from the gay and lesbian groups on campus who knew very well where he stood on this issue. He has been considered a 'distant' or 'silent ally' by the GLBT community until very recently.

5) Nate Nelson was walking around campus today carrying a megaphone and passing out "Dump Doyle" stickers before the Doyle event on campus. I guess the threats to his life are really getting to him.

And now you know ... the rest of the story.


S.B. said...

While putting the A-T together last night, I got a call from Ryan Murphy of the Winnebago Peace and Justice Center. He also (?) wanted to clarify some of these points. He or another WPJC member may have been the one who left the comment.

I realize I'm tooting my own horn, but I suggest you read the A-T's article rather than the Northwestern's. Since we had an extra day to process this information, there was more time to get the facts straight.

I wasn't at the rally, and I've heard different stories on whether it was actually "shut down." The people involved tried to make it seem like the UP intervened just as it was wrapping up anyway, so it wasn't a big deal. I have also heard they ended it early. I don't think it matters much either way.

If you'd like to discuss this further, I'd be happy to e-mail you; for various reasons, I don't want to talk about it too much on a public site.

Lake Winneblogo said...

Thanks for your extra information. The staff over at the A-T has done a good job keeping us informed about the Barrett events.

I also appreciated the editorial dismissing the LAB report on sick leave last week!