Senator Reid: Guilt by Association?

January 26, 2005

Did you see this? The Hill reports that:

An aide to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was arrested on the West Front of the Capitol for disorderly conduct during President Bush’s inaugural address last week.

Read on:

The aide, Nathan Ackerman, is a television producer on the Senate Democratic Communications Committee — an organization that was folded into Reid’s new communications “war room.”

About 20 minutes into Bush’s speech, Ackerman, 36, and another man held up a sheet that said “No War.” According to a Capitol Police report, Ackerman and another suspect “were blocking the view of the audience and they were engaged in a verbal dispute with members of the audience.”

The report states that Capitol Police officers told Ackerman and the other suspect to relinquish the sign or be arrested but that “neither complied and both were placed under arrest.” The report did not name either suspect, although Ackerman’s identity was confirmed with the Capitol Police.

The other suspect had been standing on his chair and “continued to display the banner and argue with members of the audience” before the arrest, according to the report.

And this is interesting:

Ackerman’s arrest was aired on national television by ABC News on Inauguration Day, although he has not previously been named or identified as a Senate employee.

Hum. Wonder why the Old Media isn’t reporting the connection? More:

Ackerman said that he was acting on his own and that no one in Reid’s operation encouraged him to undertake the protest.

Jim Manley, Reid’s communications director, declined to comment, other than to say that Ackerman’s “actions were not anything that Senator Reid condones or supports.” Manley said that he would not talk further about what he called a personnel issue and that Ackerman had Inauguration Day off, as many Senate staffers did.

No, I’m sure Reid would never support such things publicly. I wonder if this will get any further play in the Old Media.