There were many at the California Democrats Fall Endorsing Convention that wanted to escape the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday.
With less than an hour to go before the big forum between 8 Democratic candidates, some of the crowds began to disperse after another day of committee meetings and booth duty. One supporter, wearing an old-political style of straw hat got into an argument with the security team over a small filing knife, with more guards slowly walking to him. A delegate, who had obviously been circling around the convention, was standing just outside the doors bragging to someone on a phone on how many pens she managed to take from stalls.
While most people were heading to either a ballroom to watch the forum or to the Arena itself to see it in person, a few people walked out to the small footbridge connecting the Convention Center to the Marina. There, with the Queen Mary and the Ocean in the background, a meltdown unfolded.
As the Globe walked over, the conversation became more clear.
“I don’t care!” shouted a young woman holding an Elizabeth Warren sign. “You come near me again, and I’m calling the cops.” The man who had agitated her was a journalist, holding out his phone set to record.
“You promised me you’d tell me what that was about!” he shouted.
Both clearly wanted attention, and both clearly wanted people on their side. The woman was a Warren supporter, as her sign and t-shirt so plainly told. On the other side was a bearded conservative podcaster and blogger who was wearing all black, not unlike Johnny Cash. Earlier she had disrupted one of the several committee meetings going on and had tried earlier in the week to disrupt an Amy Klobuchar event.
But while she had openly spoken to more left-leaning outlets, the right leaning blogger, who she had promised to speak to, was now refusing as she had Googled his website and found out who he was.
“I’m not speaking to a [expletive] Nazi,” yelled the woman again. Looking slightly embarrassed, the blogger replied “I just wanted to know why you interrupted that meeting earlier. Like, I want to know what cause or-“.
“I’d tell you, but you’re just going to spin it. If I say the environment, you’re just going to call me a snowflake millennial or something. [Expletive] off.”
The blogger was taken aback again and replied again “I just want your side. I’ll leave in a full quote.”
At that time the woman noticed both the Globe nearby, as well as a left-leaning Youtube politics show host, walking up with her iPhone stand. The blogger saw this, took his bag off the ground and walked down the nearby stairs.
Coming up to both the Globe and the Warren supporter, the Youtube host asked the woman “What was that about?”
She simply said “That Nazi tried to get me to say things so he could distort them and use them. [Expletive] that. I know to trust you guys.”
The divide of left and right leaning media is often noted, and most of the time it’s simply explained away as different ideologies. But as the scene unfolded on Saturday it’s clear that part of the divide is simply one side doesn’t want to talk to the other, so only one side of the story gets out. You can’t spin fact, but the fact of one side of a story refusing to cooperate purely based on politics only furthers that divide.
Supporters take sides with candidates, but they’ll also taking sides with the media. This is often charged to some Republicans, but as Saturday showed, some Democrats are not above this either. In an era of fake news allegations and politicians both right and left stopping some media from political events, the trickle down to singular supporters to act this way is only a small taste of how divisive the 2020 election stands to be in California and who the candidates and candidate supporters will talk to.
Without hearing all sides of a story due to distrust, only a distorted view is seen. And that’s the last thing we need now.