Joe Messina hosts a radio show called, “The Real Side”. Joe is a friend of mine and I have appeared on his show a few times. Joe is a wonderful guy, a staunch Republican, and a true conservative.
Last Saturday he attended Politicon, a political convention. No problem. He hung out with another mutual friend and comedian, Evan Sayet. On Sunday he went back to Politicon and suffered a humiliating experience by their security. Read Joe’s account of what happened below. Obviously, it was a case of mistaken identity, but it is both frustrating and angering that they didn’t listen to him explain that the person they thought he was, was not him. They simply banned him from entering. Makes one wonder if it is worthwhile to attend Politicon next year. Here is the story directly from Joe:
Politi-con 2016 a great event? Maybe for others, but I was accused of something I didn’t do. They had no proof of the accusation, yet acted like it was an interrogation from the SS of Nazi Germany.
Politicon states on their website that they are “the quintessential non-partisan event of the year.” Interesting choice of words. “Quintessential” as defined by the dictionary – “representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.” Remember the words quality and class.
The event started on Saturday, June 25th and continued through Sunday, June 26th.
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!
DAY 1 was uneventful. I ran into my good friend Evan Sayet. We hung out a bit and I went to the comedy show he was part of that evening. The non-partisan event had 4 liberal comics and 1 conservative. The comic before Evan made fun of Melania Trump and her young son, which made everyone roar. It was funny. Conservatives can laugh at themselves and each other.
Then comes Evan. He got very few laughs. Not that he wasn’t funny. He was hilarious. There were three older woman around me who’s mantra was, “That’s not very funny.” Why you ask? Because they were jokes about Libs. Evan’s humor has a lot of truth to it, and that made them uncomfortable. So instead of laughing at themselves, they chose to bash his humor. I saw this time after time.
In the Ann Coulter vs. Van Jones panel, there were boos for her and cheers for him. At the Bernie vs. Hillary panel, there were boos for her and cheers for him. (There were a boatload of Bernie bumper stickers in the parking lot!) The art gallery and vendors were VERY left leaning.
And after a very uneventful but interesting day, I went home.
DAY 2 – I showed up about 11 a.m. 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?”
As he went through a few pictures I kept saying “I don’t know them,” because I didn’t! He only got more irritated. He said, you were with them between 4:30 and 5pm. Before I could even tell him I was in the Van Jones v. Ann Coulter event actively Tweeting, another fellow came out looking all “security official”-like and said, “I don’t know how I got dragged into this but who are your partners and who do you work for?”
I reiterated for the new guy, I work alone, for Real Side Productions aka Real Side Radio. The irate security guy asked me for my credentials. When I responded with “you have pictures of everyone involved but me,” the irate man said “give me your credentials.”
At this point I simply took off my press credentials, handed them over to him and said, “what you’re doing is wrong.” To which he replied, “ I am not so old that I don’t forget a face from 24 hours ago.” Well, apparently he did, because it wasn’t me.
Before leaving, I asked him, do you have a name? He glared, looked right at me, and said, “Yes I do! And you will never get it. You need to leave.”
There were 2 security guards and one older security “official” who didn’t seem to know why he was there, along with the irate guy who was just plain nasty. In addition, there was a big, burly Pasadena cop standing next to me and one by the door.
I know that technically this is a private event. I go to them all the time and have NEVER been thrown out. This was one of the most demeaning and embarrassing moments simply because I knew I couldn’t win. He kept asking me questions, then talking over my answers. It was like a scene out of a movie.
There was a total lack of professionalism on the part of the security company. I really felt for a moment like I was in communist Russia in the bowels of some underground facility where no one would ever hear me scream.
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.
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.
Falsely accused, falsely detained, and removed for no good reason without a shred of evidence!
Thanks, Politicon, for showing me real Communism at work right here in the good old U.S.A.! You might want to consider changing your tagline next year.