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(Ken Kurson for California Globe)
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Two Reporters Ejected from Newsom Inauguration

One appeared to have done absolutely nothing to merit exclusion

By Ken Kurson, January 7, 2019 5:16 pm

This is the second Frontline blogger who was ejected, moments after the incident. This fellow didn’t say a single word to merit his ejection. (Ken Kurson)

New California Governor Newsom was sworn in today amid the usual pomp and circumstance – musical selections that reflect the diversity of the state, a scene-stealing appearance by a Newsom son who had clearly seen footage of Andrew Giuliani doing the same in 1994, and even the ejection of a couple protestors.

The only thing that was unusual was that the two ejected protestors were journalists. And one of them didn’t do a single thing to merit ejection.

The first fellow, Ben Bergquam, was indeed disrupting the proceedings. Bergquam is a well-known blogger, radio host, YouTuber and provocateur – his ICE hat gave an early indication of his strong point of view. Nevertheless, for most of the ceremony, the credentialed journalist quietly manned his social media and even saved seats for other journalists in the packed reserved row in the back. Then, just as Newsom’s swearing-in began, Bergquam began to shout “I Object!” and “You have blood on your hands!” the latter an apparent reference to the recent killing of Cpl Ronil Singh, allegedly at the hands of an undocumented immigrant.

Bergquam was removed by three security personnel, a woman and two men. Several other journalists cheered his removal, because his actions had caused us all to miss the oath.

But then two of the security guards – the woman and one of the men – came back to eject another credentialed journalist, apparently simply because he appeared to know Bergquam. (Both were wearing the logos of Frontline America, a Trump-supporting website.)

The second fellow hadn’t said a single word or disrupted the proceedings in any way. He was just sitting there with his iPhone stabilizer and headset. His ejection appeared to be entirely based on some kind of association with the first fellow.

That’s not a good look for the capital press people.

Another interesting element is that not a single one of the 20 or so reporters in the immediate area spoke up in defense of the second ejectee. Myself included. Speaking only for myself, the reason I failed to speak up is that I was so startled by the turn of events. When you cover enough of these things you’re used to seeing ordinary protesters stand up and sometimes get ejected but never journalists.

As the second man was being led out—we’ll surely learn his identity soon enough—he began shouting “What did I do wrong?” and referring to Jim Acosta and the way the CNN reporter’s chastisement by the president is treated as a cause célèbre. Why weren’t other journalists standing up to protest this poor guy’s no-cause ejection?

It’s hard not to conclude that at least part of it has to do with the perception that a journalist who is tough on Trump is somehow more righteous than one who is tough on a progressive leader like Newsom.

After the ceremony, the second fellow was standing on the Capital grounds when someone who had seen the ruckus came up and scolded him: “Build bridges not walls.” The aggravated blogger let loose a string of invective against the unsolicited advice giver and said “Where were you when they were throwing me out and depriving me of my First Amendment rights for no reason?” He has a point.

A few minutes later a panhandler—a white guy in his 30s—approached the crowd that was gathering near N Street. He loudly berated everyone, “You fucking liberals won’t help me out.” A well-dressed black man told the panhandler to “get a job and stop criticizing liberals.” The panhandler yelled, “How do you know this isn’t my day off, asshole? Were you an affirmative action hire?”

The seams are starting to show in America today. It’s hard to know how much longer we can keep it together.

Ken Kurson

Ken Kurson is the founder of the Globe suite of sites. He is also the founder of Green Magazine and greenmagazine.com and covered finance for Esquire magazine for almost 20 years. Ken is the author of several books, including the New York Times No. 1 bestseller Leadership.
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42 thoughts on “Two Reporters Ejected from Newsom Inauguration

  1. You didn’t say anything, because you are a coward.
    Acosta was booted because he repeatedly violated instructions AND then got physical with a White House staffer. BIG difference.

    1. Agree Kurson was a coward. However, for clarification Acosta was not ejected. He argued with Trump and refused to give up the microphone. He was loud and argumentative but was not ejected from the White House press conference. The next day his credentials were revoked but reinstated by judge pending further review. Newsome’s people ejected two reporters and no one protested. Reminds me of the saying first they came for Frontline reporters, but I did nothing….

    2. I’d point out one other difference: this was a swearing-in ceremony, not a news briefing or news conference. But the questions should have started immediately after he finished the oath and before he started his speech. But perhaps it’s time to get in their faces everywhere, and at every kind of event.

      1. Since the press wouldn’t report any details about the illegal alien killing a police officer .. they put bows and ribbons on the story – leaving out important details about the murder .. a murder carried out by an illegal alien that had been deported – yet returned to – illegally according to the fed govt – but the crony politicians and their sanctuary states – that were NEVER voted on by the legal citizens of the state and country.

  2. Did our idiot newsome miss the briefing that immigration issues are Federal, and he can’t legally grant them asylum?

  3. I understand the first reporter getting ejected. The second, however, was inexcusable. Even more inexcusable was the fact that all you cowards (aka journalists) lacked the balls to stand up for him, you included. I get you getting caught off guard but a few of you should have defended him. Pathetic.

    1. Don’t shoot the messenger, he wrote this article about what happened! The bad guys are in power and they’re the ones abusing it. Journalists need to report their abuses and Ken Kurson did just that, and did it well. This article goes beyond the journalist ejection and into the seams of America, exposing Liberals for being stingy hypocrites who don’t really care about the homeless. They’re clearly only interested in expanding their voter base with illegal immigrants. We all know what’s going on. Thank you, Ken, for writing this piece. Let’s direct our anger at those in power and the journalists who help hide the abuses, not the journalists who expose them.

  4. Guilt by association? Poppycock… when I was a lobbyist before the State Legislature for 20 years…. we worked behind the scene to influence our Legislators plus the Gov….. “Capitol Weekly” was my prime source for timely news blurbs.
    On the other hand… this particular incident probably didn’t make their headline news… however, it most assuredly should have… i.e., IMHO.

  5. welcome to the new fascism same as the old fascism.

    first they take over the media, then they silence dissent, then they confiscate firearms, then they confiscate your liberty.

    Escape from California while you still can.

    Forget the wall with mexico, the usa needs a wall around california.

  6. I think it was very wrong to toss out the 2nd guy. Newsom’s people made an very grave mistake and showed extremely poor judgment by kicking out the 2nd guy – and that sets a terrible precedent for the free press. But here’s a tip from someone in this business for almost 40 years: A professional journalist does NOT say or do or wear anything gives the appearance of favoritism or partiality. For example, if you are a professional journalist, you do not wear a clothing or jewelry that has a logo for a political group or candidate. Your politics and the candidate/politician you support do not belong in the public arena. You are supposed to be impartial and your reporting must be fair. Your appearance, words and actions must reflect impartiality. Too many ‘journalists’ today forget this crucial aspect of the profession. Newsom and his team should apologize to the 2nd guy. He, in turn, should wear non-partisan clothes and accessories.

    1. He was wearing the logo of the company that he was working for. That would be like Pres. Trump kicking a reporter out simply for wearing a “CNN” shirt. That would be wrong and inexcusable.
      The 2nd reporter did NOTHING wrong, Gov. Newsom’s security was completely in the wrong here. There is no defense.

  7. Hello!!! People Aren’t Stupid. You didn’t say anything because you wanted to Suck Up To, or where afraid of, the Governor.

  8. This farcical “inauguration” of “Gavin Newsom: Murderer-by-Illegal-Alien”, should ultimitely lead to the arrest of all Sanctuary City Mayors/Police Chiefs/City Council Members, for being Accessories Before & After The Fact of the hundreds of murders of California citizens committed by their Illegal Alien friends!!

  9. Seems pretty obvious — he was ejected because he was wearing the same media org logo as the other disruptive guy and hanging out with him, so it seemed like they were acting as a team to security. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    Why does the right wing in this country so constantly fail every basic standard of moral decency?

  10. California has 12 percent of the nation’s population. Plus, 33 percent of the nation’s homeless and those below the poverty line. Newson will ensure all of those statistics grow.

  11. Were the “journalists” angry over the missing the oath, or that someone had the never to call out a fellow liberal? MOST Probably the latter.

  12. I left newjerkistaniland in 93. That rathole and kalifornika share the same mental socialista disorders. Over taxation , endless regulation , and creeping big brother control of anyone under their control. Newsome and his pack of sychophants are the new fascist order , and him and his cronies are too arrogant to acceot that.

  13. When he started yelling as a protest, he stopped being a reporter. How is that not clear? As to the other guy–bummer. Collateral damage for sitting next to a jerk.

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