Perhaps it's just me, but this came across as a tad excessive.
On her MSNBC show last night, Rachel Maddow told of speaking on Sunday at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara about her book "Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power," before an audience she estimated at 2,000 people. (video after page break)
I went on YouTube today to see if there was footage of the event. What I found was a video taken afterward, of Maddow's departure from the back of the theater, surrounded by a security retinue you'd expect of a deposed Middle Eastern dictator.
The clip, posted yesterday by Erik Sauls, borders on comical. (Blogger's note: the clip was pulled from YouTube after this post was published, seeing how the video was unflattering to Maddow). It shows one of the security workers, all of whom are clad entirely in black, motioning for one of his co-workers to back a car toward the rear door of the theater. The guard standing by the door keeps motioning to the point where he's nearly struck by the vehicle, then talks into a microphone on his wrist.
Whereupon Maddow comes through the back door with a woman who appears to be her partner, artist Susan Mikula, and the guards shield Maddow and her companion from a crowd that -- based on what can be heard -- might number all of a dozen, possibly two.
Several people cheer when they see Maddow, who waves and says hello to someone she knows. "Thanks for coming up this way, Rachel!," a woman calls out. "Rachel, want to sign a couple of books?" another woman asks. "I'm not going to sign a couple of books because I'm on a tight timeframe," Maddow answers. "I'm sorry, but thank you," she adds, then jumps in the car and drives away.
Do MSNBC personalities routinely require this level of security for public appearances or is it just Maddow?