It would be an understatement to say we're glad it's Friday. This all Andrew Meyer, all the time coverage has just about driven us here in the Department of Darts & Laurels over the edge. But nonetheless, we're here for this week's recap of Tasergate. So read on, brave souls. If you don't, we might Taser you. Enjoy this week's "Don't Tase me, bro" edition of…
Darts & Laurels
We start off with a was-this-the-response-you'd-hoped-for? DART to the Tasered Andrew Meyer. He may have spouted the catchphrase of the year, but even we cynics have to believe he didn't mean for this to go as far as it did. People have said Meyer is a shameless self-promoter, a conspiracy-theory lover and all-around jackass. It's possible all this was one big publicity stunt.
But Meyer took it too far. Instead of making it look like he was merely silenced by Accent and assaulted by the University Police Department, Meyer spent a night in jail, and he may be charged with a felony. But it's possible he got just what he wanted: attention.
We're equal-opportunity offenders here, so here's a did-it-have-to-come-to-this? DART for UPD for…well, you know why. While we don't think it should have come to a Tasering, that's not for us to decide. The police were the ones there, but we hope they learned their lesson: Don't use Taser guns on students in front of a U.S. senator and more importantly, in front of video cameras.
If UPD had moved Meyer away from his audience - it was no longer Sen. John Kerry's at this point - and into the University Auditorium's lobby, he may not have even needed the Taser treatment. If UPD officers could get him to the back of the auditorium, surely they should have been able to get him through the doors.
Next up, we've got a check-out-the-Wikipedia-Web-page-on-the-First-Amendment DART to protesters claiming Meyer's right to freedom of speech was taken away from him. Freedom of speech is a tricky subject - just ask the U.S. Supreme Court. No one ever had to give Meyer a microphone in the first place. Kerry didn't have to agree to answer questions. Meyer wasn't Tasered for what he said. He was Tasered for how he acted. So for protesters to claim people can be Tasered for "being obnoxious," as one protester's sign read, is absurd. Before you write an angry letter saying we're squelching your First Amendment right to protest, let it be known that we fully support the right to protest, just not for stupid reasons. It's pointless to protest just to protest.
Here's a you-aren't-inciting-a-revolution-you're-just-pissing-people-off DART to the Guy Fawkes wannabes who vandalized the late Lt. Corey Dahlem memorial on the 34th Street Wall. Even though the Wall is a free space for anyone to paint on, it's an unspoken rule that the memorials are not to be touched. So to the anonymous attention-seekers, hang up your paintbrushes and masks until there's something really worth fighting for - or until Natalie Portman comes along.
Last but not least, we give a now-that's-what-we-call-360-degrees-of-coverage DART to media around the world. It's one thing for them to report the story. It's another for them to sensationalize it, host debates, misspell his name as "Andrew Meyers" (good one, FoxNews) and have "guest speakers" analyze what happened. We guess The Gator Nation really is everywhere - including all over your television.
But not all coverage is bad coverage. So we have to hand a fake-news-is-better-than-real-news LAUREL to "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." Jon Stewart said the incident was an "unfortunate combination of police overreaction and…student douchebaggery," and that getting Tasered at a Kerry speech is "one of the most pleasant outcomes of attending a Kerry speech." Stephen Colbert suggested that Skull and Bones might have something worse than a Tasering for Meyer. But hey, maybe the society's members would answer his question.