Monday, October 25, 2010

Time to swing for the fences

The problem with our nation today isn't with what people know; it is that too much of what they know isn't so. Whether it is a protester at the front gate or a longtime teacher, we must be transparent. We must explain exactly how it is and hide nothing.

By TRENT LOOS Posted on: 10.22.2010

I had hoped for a grand slam but probably only got a single instead. I was in San Francisco, Cal., where the Giants baseball team was attempting to go onto the World Series.

However, I am actually not talking about baseball at all. I am referring to putting the "cow" back into Cow Palace.

Seth Daulton called me last spring and asked if I would be willing to help bring the emphasis on the cow back to the Grand National Livestock Show & Rodeo.

On the first night of the event, I was in the administration office when the call came over the radio that protesters were at the front gate. Without hesitation, I went to monitor the situation, and what I saw was extremely interesting.

The thing that impressed me most was the manner in which the situation was handled. As general manager Joe Barkett told me, "We have plenty of practice dealing with protesters."

Still, it really hit me that you must maintain your composure, grant the protestors the opportunity to say their spiel yet establish a set of guidelines they must follow. Each of the eight protesters who showed up in opposition to the rodeo were handed a piece of paper with the guidelines they would be expected to follow.

One key thing about these protesters is that they were seeking to intimidate, pure and simple. They had cameras rolling on rodeo management just hoping to catch someone making a mistake.

I thought I would attempt to turn the table on that, so I took out my camera and microphone to interview the lead protester. The minute I turned on my camera, they put three cameras on me and made it look like a video camera duel at the front gate of the Cow Palace. Full commentary

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