Monday, Oct 20, 2008
The panel discussion “The First Amendment, Freedom of the Press, and the Future of Journalism” got a little more interesting when an NYU facilities employee lashed out at conspiracy theorists questioning Dan Rather and Jill Abramson as they were leaving the event.
As reported on NYC the Blog and Mazza FHS the night began with the question “whether [Dan] Rather believes World Trade Center was taken down by bombs inside.” The conspiracy theorists followed Rather and Abramson out of the building after the panel discussion to continue questioning.
According to a NYU grad student, Aaron Howell, who was twittering at the event, “A NYU building facility guy got mad at the conspiracy guys for harassing the NY Times person so he spit in the dudes face/slapped his camera. Facility guy violated the poor conspiracy theorists I think NYU might be in trouble for that one.”
(Article continues below)
So far we have been unable to get confirmation on who the “facility guy” was and what consequences he may face, if any.
Rose Sculley, Director of Administration in the Journalism department, said that she hadn’t attended the event and didn’t know anything about the aforementioned situation. Updates to come.
Update: Gil Klein, the moderator of the panel, confirmed that the conspiracy theorists were “badgering” Dan Rather.
According to Ballheim, “the moderator kept asking, ‘how does this relate to the panel,’ and the guy just talked over him so it came across like they were yelling.” Klein identifies the conspiracy theorists as “not lunatics, but definitely people who had an agenda and were trying to take advantage of the situation.”
Word is still out on the identity of the NYU facilities “guy”.