(UPDATE: Baron Hill claimed he didn't allow taping of his town hall meetings. However the local newspaper was allowed to record all of this meeting although they failed to report in print on the blowup. More details at update following story.)
A congressman from the Indiana 9th district named Baron Hill had a major league arrogant temper tantrum on camera last Wednesday which has become a big hit in the blogosphere with over 100,000 viewers on YouTube. So one would figure that the local Bloomington newspaper, the Herald Times, would cover it, right? Wrong. Amazingly the most interesting thing that has happened in Bloomington in at least a year has been studiously avoided by that newspaper.
Here is the scene as described by the American Thinker:
It is not just the career safe seat members of Congress and the Senate who are vulnerable to getting caught up in the arrogance and elitism of power. Relative back bencher Baron Hill from Indiana's 9th District might well have surged into the lead in the contest to see which member of congress had the most out of touch and arrogant attitude during the town hall meetings.
You have to watch this video to believe it. It starts right after he has announced that there will be no videos allowed and goes into question and answer. The first question is from a school student trying to fulfill a class assignment.
A couple of Baron Hill's "memorable" lines:
"This is my town hall meeting -- and I set the rules."
"Let me repeat that one more time -- this is MY town hall meeting (snip) and you're not gonna tell me how to run my congressional office..."
It looked just like Baron Hill committed political suicide on camera yet somehow the Herald Times just couldn't get around to writing a single story about it (so far). One wonders what their reaction would have been had Hill had an (R) instead of the magic (D) after his name.
Even the liberal Huffington Post had a story about how it looks like it will soon be sayonara time for Baron Hill in the Congress due in large part to his blowup. Here is how Hill was described in the HuffPo by Gail McGowan Mellow:
...Four days later, at a meeting in Indiana University Bloomington (IUB), farther north in Indiana, Hill grabbed headlines by erupting at a young student journalist -- there to talk about the recent death of her mother and her own commitment to health care reform. Congress was soon buzzing with it. Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) from across the river in Louisville, Kentucky recounted, "Baron Hill may have lost his job that night. He had a town hall in Bloomington and apparently banned recorders. When a 17-year-old girl asked why, he kind of went ballistic on her and said 'I set the rules and no one tells me how to run my office!'"
It also hit cable and YouTube.
But not the Herald Times of Bloomington where the mental meltdown actually took place.
Mellor also noted that Hill's website is unclear on how he stands on health care:
...Constituents at the New Albany town hall whispered that on Hill's government website under Issues, he stated that health care was a right, but said little about how to provide it, let alone cost-effectively. When searched for "health care bill," the site accessed Thomas, a U.S. government database that coughed up only old health care bills. When "single payer" or "public option" was entered in the search box, it brought up no reference more recent than 2004. Even when the accurate number of the main 2009 reform bill, H.R. 3200, was entered, Hill's site--or Thomas-- wrongly identified it as a proposal "to expand the travel and transportation allowances available to members of the Armed Forces granted leave...."
This was not the first time that Baron Hill blew up. Take a listen to this revelatory audio via YouTube in which an angry Hill lashes out at his own constituents at another meeting which also resulted in a mental meltdown. Perhaps the haughty Baron Hill thinks he can get away with his temper tantrums because the local Bloomington media seems to give him a pass. However, despite his expressed desire not to be on YouTube, his video there has become a web sensation.
It could be time for Baron Hill to get a cue from Dave Buznik and take some Anger Management therapy from Dr. Buddy Rydell. Singing "I Feel Pretty" from the middle of a bridge might be a big step on the road to recovery.
Update: Although the Herald Times didn't write up a story about the blowup, they did have a video of the entire meeting on the Web which was found via an external link. So if the congressman doesn't allow filming of his town hall meetings, then why was someone from the Herald Times allowed to tape the entire meeting?