Oregon Republican candidate for Senate Mark Callahan was thrown out of a meeting with reporters from local alternative newspaper Willamette Week after chastising a reporter for writing “blah blah blah” in his notepad as another candidate explained her policy positions.
A group of GOP Senate hopefuls each seeking the Oregon paper’s endorsement sat down with a group of Willamette Week reporters. One candidate, Joe Rae Perkins, called into the meeting to explain her political platform. But not all the journalists were interested — and Callahan happened to notice.
“You want to talk about disrespect, I see what you’re writing down there,” he angrily accused reporter Nigel Jaquiss. “You just wrote down ‘blah blah blah blah blah’ for everything that Joe Rae said. Joe Rae is a respectable woman. Why are you not respecting her by writing ‘blah blah blah blah blah’ on your notepad?”
The moderator suggested that Callahan “move on” and answer the next question “respectfully.”
“You have to give respect in order to get respect,” he shot back. “Right now on that side of the table, you’re not giving very much respect to the five of us and our time here.”
Clearly peeved, the moderator nevertheless plowed on. “Mark, here’s my question,” he said. “Climate change: Do you believe it’s a myth or a reality?”
“It’s a myth,” he replied.
“Where are you on the Easter Bunny?” Jaquiss sneered — clearly unembarrassed by Callahan’s earlier accusation.
“Are these really the questions that I was called here to answer?” an infuriated Callahan replied. “I called you out for putting ‘blah blah blah’ on your notepad and now you’re asking me questions like this? Really? Really? Are we talking about this now? How about you ask a very serious and respectful question instead of asking a little childish question?”
Rather than call out his colleague, the moderator turned on Callahan. “Mark, I just asked you if climate change was a myth –”
“And I answered your question,” Callahan replied.
“So can I now move on and get the response from someone else? And if you’re not going to let me I’m going to ask you to leave,” the moderator continued. “Ok? That’s two strikes.”
“Who do you think you are?” Callahan laughed.
Strike three! “Ok, you may leave now,” the moderator snarled. “Go ahead. You’re done here! This is neither a fair or balanced meeting. This is a meeting for us to…”
“I know, it’s a meeting being had by disrespectful, thin-skinned liberals like yourself!” Callahan charged.
“There’s the door,” another reporter suggested.
“I got better things to do with my time,” Callahan finished, pushing off from the table and storming out of the room.”
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