GOP Candidate Slams Reporter for Writing 'Blah Blah Blah Blah' in Notes While Another Republican Speaks

May 4th, 2014 5:00 PM

On the bright side, the reporter didn't write "blah blah blah blah from racist" while the candidate spoke.

Mark Callahan, a Republican running for the US Senate in Oregon, slammed a reporter from the Willamette Week newspaper for what sure looks like an example of liberal bias. During a candidates' forum, Callahan criticized the reporter, Nigel Jaquiss, for writing "blah blah blah blah" in his notes while another Republican spoke. (Video after the jump)

The session quickly grew contentious, followed by an editor from the same weekly booting Callahan out of the forum, which was held at the newspaper. A video of the exchange quickly went viral and was posted at the popular journalism website Romenesko.

"You want to talk about disrespect? I see what you're writing down there," Callahan said, pointing at the reporter (who remains  off-camera in the video). "You just wrote down 'blah blah blah blah' for everything Jo Rae (Perkins) said. Joe Rae is a respectable woman. Why are you not respecting her by writing 'blah blah blah blah' on your notepad?"

An unnamed moderator told Callahan it was time to "move on" and that if he was "willing to answer respectfully, we might be willing to ..."

"You have to give respect to get respect," Callahan responded. "Right now, on that side of the table, you're not giving very much respect to the five of us and our time here."

After the moderator asked Callahan his opinion on climate change, Callahan said "it's a myth" -- followed by Jaquiss asking, "where are you on the Easter Bunny?"

"Are these really the questions that I was called here to answer? ... Really?"  asked an incredulous Callahan. "I called you out for putting 'blah blah blah' on your notepad and now you're asking me questions like this? Really? Really? Are we talking about this now? OK, how about you ask a very serious and respectful question instead of asking a little childish question?"

The moderator warned Callahan that he had "two strikes" against him. "Who do you think you are?" Callahan responded, with the moderator then saying, "OK, you may leave now. Go ahead, you're done here. This is neither a fair or a balanced meeting. This is a meeting for us to ..."

"I know it's a meeting being asked by disrespectful, thin-skinned liberals like yourself," Callahan retorted.

"There's the door," another unidentified person, presumably from the paper, told Callahan.

"I've got better things to do with my time," Callahan said as he walked out. "Clearly," the moderator can be heard responding.

The paper published a story with a video of the entire forum, which lasts an hour and 41 minutes. When Callahan left the forum, he departed "to our left, and to his right, of course," the story lamely pointed out.

Callahan, as you might expect, was not endorsed by the paper.