Over the weekend, a number of people gathered at Politicon in Pasadena, California. The event was supposedly non-partisan and featured big names from across both sides of the political aisle, including Evan Sayet, Sarah Palin and Van Jones.
But one conservative talk show host learned the hard way that Politicon really isn’t as non-partisan as it seems.
Joe Messina wrote:
This was my second year attending Politicon. The wait in line was quite long. I don’t think they really expected so many people to show up. While I was in the line I struck up a conversation with 2 gentlemen who were excited to be there. After a few minutes it was VERY evident they were Democrats. It started with them bashing Bush the Senior, on to what a disaster Ronald Reagan was, followed by how Republicans were a disaster.
I threw out some generic scenarios and received the typical Party answer on almost every statement. EVEN when I commented that we have forgotten that we are Americans first and then Party second, I got that look you get when you swallow a drink that’s supposed to be iced tea but find out its Diet Coke!
We got to the front of the line and I asked security where the press registration was. He pointed me to the tables and I looked at the 2 gentlemen and said “Thanks for all the material for next week’s shows!” It looked like they took another drink of the not-iced-tea!
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Day 1 of the event was, well, uneventful. Messina said he spent time with Evan Sayet, and had a good day. The allegedly “non-partisan” comedy event, he added, had four liberal comics and one conservative.
Although Sayet was hilarious (and trust me on this — he is), Messina said the audience, which was apparently filled with leftists, didn’t give him very many laughs.
But things changed on the next day, however.
As I’m getting close to the entry from the garage I notice there are 2 security guards, not the uniformed type, just suits… and eyeing me. I check myself… zippers up, pants on, no stains on shirt, same shoes, we’re good.
One says do you have credentials? I say yes. I had them in my pocket and simply put them on. They are very generic looking.
One of them asks me to stand by while they check my credentials. They don’t ask my name or anything. I figured they were walking Sarah Palin through and I just needed to stand by.
Then an irate fellow who looked very agitated from the minute he saw me, came out of a walkway, looked at me, and asked “where are your partners?” I felt like I was in one of the old German movies, “Vare are yur papus?” I responded that I had no partners. He looked even more irritated, “You aren’t here with anyone else?” I said nope, yesterday I was with Evan Sayet (yes I’m a name dropper) on and off most of the day. He then said you know who I’m talking about, whipped out his phone and said “you were with these guys, who is this?”
After being given the third degree, Messina said he was asked to hand over his credentials.
In short, he was falsely accused of being with someone (he knows not who) and kicked out for no reason.
Messina said he realized the event was a private affair. Nevertheless, he felt as though he was in Communist Russia being tortured in an underground facility somewhere.
“Politicon management, you should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing a company like this to handle your affairs. It’s bad enough that it isn’t really non-partisan, but to allow a guest, who did nothing wrong, to be treated this way (without ANY proof of wrong-doing!) is just plain un-American,” he said.
“I still don’t know who any of those people were, neither the ones who detained me nor the ones I was accused of affiliating with. And I don’t know what I supposedly did or what my supposed affiliation with them was,” he added.
“Falsely accused, falsely detained, and removed for no good reason without a shred of evidence!”
At the very least, Politicon owes Messina an explanation and an apology, and they need to do a much better job of making the event as welcoming for conservatives as liberals.
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