The media circus covering the 2012 Republican race finally spun out of control today, when a mob of reporters literally chased Ron Paul and his wife out of a New Hampshire diner where Paul was making his first campaign stop.Unfortunately, we weren’t there to witness the incident, but apparently it was mayhem. When Paul arrived at Moe Joe’s Family Restaurant, the tiny Manchester diner was already teeming with more than 120 reporters, who promptly swarmed Paul and his wife, Carol, before they had even gotten out of the parking lot. One reporter even shoved Carol and told her to “Get out of the way,” according to campaign manager Jesse Benton. (Paul’s wife rarely campaigns with her husband, so presumably the reporter didn’t recognise her.)
After about 15 minutes, Paul gave up fighting the hordes and retreated back with his security detail.
In a statement this afternoon, Paul’s campaign manager Jesse Benton apologized “to be respectful of both Dr. Paul and of New Hampshire voters, who are entitled to examine their candidates in a safe and responsible atmosphere.”
Interestingly, Benton writes that the mob was driven by an “influx of foreign journalists.” We have no idea if this is true or not, but it would make sense, given that Paul has quite a few fans overseas.
In fairness to the media, the dustup wasn’t entirely their fault. Reuters reports that the diner was already a madhouse before Paul arrived — in addition to the reporters, the place was packed with 100 Massachusetts high-school students, activists from Americans Elect, two people in pig costumes promoting www.taxmeat.com, and New Hampshire celebrity Vermin Supreme, a perennial presidential candidate who runs on a oral hygiene/zombie preparedness platform (seriously).
But given the astounding number of reporters covering the GOP presidential primaries, there was bound to be an incident. We would be surprised if the today’s mishap was the last time the media gets in the way during this election cycle.