I, too, know the joys of watching Kent State "gun girl" Kaitlin Bennett get marched off a campus.
Before Bennett was driven off Ohio University campus by a crowd of protesting students this week — more on that later — I had the pleasure of watching as she was ejected from a Bernie Sanders town hall for workers at a high school in Lordstown, Ohio. Later that night, conservative conspiracy theorist, pal of white supremacists and (former) Bumble aficionado Jack Posobiec tweeted a video of Bennett’s ejection from the event that went viral and, to my surprise, I made a cameo.
While the focus of the video is on Bennett as she’s marched out of the event, one eagle-eyed Twitter user chose instead to focus on the joy it brought others. Namely, me.
this man and his gentle wave goodbye gave me the strength to get out of bed today. thank you for your service and your energy, sir. pic.twitter.com/PgQIIyxyQ5— 🐉 m i k i a h 🐉 (@mikiahanne)April 15, 2019
Yeah, that’s me in the gray peacoat, mockingly waving at Bennett as she was led out of Sanders’ rally.
I’m ashamed to admit that my brain has been poisoned by the internet enough that I actually recognized Bennett when she arrived at the event. Evidently no one else did, as they let her simply walk into the town hall.
Afterwards, people debated on Twitter whether Bennett should have been kicked out or allowed to stay. In an embarrassing attempt to adhere to nebulous notions of journalistic ethics, my hometown broadcast station even gave Bennett — who was at the event on behalf of Alex Jones’ InfoWars conspiracy website — airtime to share her thoughts on what happened.
When questioned by the station, the Sanders campaign (correctly) responded: "We are disappointed the people of the Youngstown community are being shown on the local broadcast news content from InfoWars, a white supremacist platform that has been banned from YouTube, Apple and Facebook for hate speech and targeting the parents of children who died in Sandy Hook."
Turns out Bennett is still at it. Monday she was run off campus by a mob of OU students shouting “No one f*****g likes you,” “Don’t come back” and (my favorite) “Where’s your diaper?”, a reference to the widespread rumor that Bennett soiled herself at a frat party at Kent State University.
OU protesters mocked and yelled profanities at Bennett as she and her crew of Liberty Hangout lackeys retreated to their vehicle — an enormous orange Ford pickup truck that might actually be more embarrassing than Bennett’s rumored soiling incident — and fled the scene.
Where's your diaper hunny? pic.twitter.com/jV4jzxKYPZ— Tanishq Iyengar (@Tanishq_I)February 18, 2020
Bennett, of course, is making a big deal of this. Her first port of call was to run to Trump on Twitter and ask him to take away OU’s funding, calling the students “terrorists” in a tweet. She claims the crowd turned against her because she was a Trump supporter. To be fair, OU is a pretty liberal campus, especially for Ohio, but it’s far more likely that a generation that grew up watching kids their age get gunned down every few months might not take kindly to a conservative gun activist known for open-carrying an AK-47 round college.
Also, let’s be honest. Political views aside, at this point, everyone knows Bennett’s grift, especially if you are, like me, from northeast Ohio. She drives around the region looking for political events where she can turn up with her microphone in search of unwitting people to “interview.” Of course the interviews are usually done in bad faith and questions are asked in a way to make people look like liberal wackos for the delight of her audience, who I assume are either geriatrics or horny alt-right dudes.
This bit was played out when Jay Leno was doing it and it was called “Jaywalking,” and now Bennett is carrying the torch. Even her peers in the world of young "trying to make it cool" conservatism — like Charlie Kirk and his toddlers at Turning Point USA, as well as the always-entertaining conspiracy theorists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman — have upped their game to keep the grift fresh. It’s hardly shocking to anyone anymore to see college kids being mean to Bennett. Her shtick is getting stale.
I will give this one to Bennett, though: It takes a monumental lack of self-awareness to cry to the President of the United States that students on a college campus acted like "terrorists" by shouting mean things, and to then turn around and threaten to return to that same campus with an brigade of armed people. That about Bennett, at least, is truly original.