I was there. :)
So I made it down to Lawrence and actually got some good picts and video of the event. I was standing behind a woman with a huge green sign that read, "MADDOW IS MY BIEBER" (and ... I don't know if I should feel disturb about that idea or amused. I dont' think Rachel knew either. ) The crowd was just a little rowdy at first, as expected, but afterwards they only yelled on cue (when she mentioned Kansas or FreeState) or booed on cue (when she mentioned Brownback, or Gov. Walker). Maddow was very animated and had to raise her voice quite a bit but seemed to enjoy the energy in the room. It was very positive. People were polite and staff was amazing. Depsite the crowd, everyone flowed in and our just fine. There were some amazingly somber moments during the more serious interviews with the Kansas doctors and women being harassed. We couldn't hear the video interviews but people up front were reading the teleprompter over Rachel's shoulder and you could feel the vibe pass through the room. Be sure and watch the third video below the cut as to why she came to Kansas. I was amazed.
Afterwards Maddow offered to take questions or let people "suggestion-box (her)" about how they felt the show did. No one had any comments except "What do you want to drink" ("Dude. I'm driving," she responded.) I don't think too many people have seen this series yet. One woman in the crowd had never seen her show and said to me, "YOU might be Rachel Maddow and I wouldn't know!" ... Um- ok?
But seriously.... After I got home and watched the videos, I must say this was an amazing show. Of course all the subjects mentioned are good, Wisconsin (Walker is losing, says Maddow) DOMA (Yay!) ... but it is the ongoing fight to keep abortion legal here in Kansas that was the centerpoint. Maddow has recently done a documentary about the murder of Dr. Tiller and she went on in great length about what the "Free State" means, it's history is and women's rights here is Kansas. This was a feminist call to arms. It seems she wanted to present it from the front lines of the abortion rights battle and give props to the people who have to live through it here and now. I love her that much more after watching this show.
Maddow is very optimistic about Uninon rights. Governor Walker spills his beans in a prank call from a complete stranger.
- Protestors are winning and this bill is UNpopular. Polls show most Americans are against it.
- Walker is looking more and more like a shmuck.
- As are other anti-union voices like a government official who was asked to step down after tweeting a comment advocating DEADLY FORCE on peaceful protestors. (Crown boos)
- Funny moments: Maddow mentions a multibillionaire from Wichita and the crowd boos loudly. I'm surprised she was unaware how many people look down on Wichita around here. She also used Brownback to seque into the DOMA announcements and she actually had to calm the crown down and tell them to "be nice." Yeah, we dont' like him either. Maddow invites Governor Brownback to an interview. "We can talk about Gay stuff or anything. PLEASE."
- Civil Rights: One democratic president had to overturn a bill created by the last democratic president. and ... I can't believe I'm in a bar in Kansas hearing Rachel Maddow- an out gay news anchor- talk about gay people getting married and THE WHOLE ROOM IS CHEERING. I had a moment here. I wish my grama ("don't hang out with lesbians cause they are unhealthy and will make you look bad") could have seen this.
- I'm in this video (6:12 overhead shot going to commercial green sweater lower left! )
- Dist. Atty. Lee Thompson: Image of the GOP has been highjacked by a "loudmouth" group that pretends to be a majority. Good interview from a previous show.
- Maddow explains why the came to Free State, the history of Lawrence, and John Brown etc. "This town was made by fighters, for fighters."
- "Kansas is amazing especially for girls" (Really?) Apparently we had the first female mayor and allowed women to vote 8 years before it became a national amendment. (Ok so Kansas had a good history for women, wow. I didn't even know. )
- Maddow draws a relationship between 'Bushwackers' anti-abolitionist who came across state lines to burn down Lawrence during Quantrail's Raid- and the shit-stirring anti-abortionists terrorists who have come from OTHER areas of the country to fight abortion rights in this state today. I had no idea that many of the vehement Doctor-killing fundies were from out of town. !
- Doctors are being directly threatened. Anti-abortion protestors aren't from here. Operation Rescue IS FROM CALIFORNIA they moved here from Los Angeles so they could target Dr. TILLER.
- Maddow:" The next time somebody asks you what's the matter with Kansas , I'm here to tell you nothing is the matter with Kansas" It is "a crime problem about a specific small radical group" Operation Rescue claims victory even though abortion is legal.
- Maddow mentions Phil Kline crowd boos. (Strange mix of rage inducing news and lulz.) Kline phot0-copied records of women's private medical records and attempted to mail those records to himself in Virgina and became and "inside source" for Bill O'Reilley.
- Kline now facing disbarment. Operation Rescue comes off as a bunch of terrorists
- This woman had to take elaborate measures to protect herself as a doctor.
- The interview is "at some location" because she is still under threat.
- Yes abortion is legal but thanks to shit-stirrers from out of town, this woman has to live underground to provide a legal service that all women should have a right to. The crowd became very somber during this video , even though we couldn't here her. You'll see the change in mood when she comes back to the room.
- Maddow: "Everybody is nice, except for the (Op.Rescue) people screaming at us, but besides them everyone is nice."