Tampa, Florida Mayor Bob Buckhorn thought it would be funny to joke around about machine guns being aimed at reporters until they “cry like little girls,” however, the many journalist who attended and actually did have guns pointed at their faces, didn’t find his joke very amusing.
Tampa Bay Times reports that the mayor’s joke about pointing two 50 caliber machine guns toward journalist until they cry had journalist fuming, considering how many of them have experienced being at the wrong end of a gun barrel.
Susan Katz Keating was a journalist who covered Northern Ireland during the 1980’s and had been threatened with firearms several times. Keating claimed that she was “appalled’ with Buckhorn’s statements in a post on the “Military Reporters and Editors” official Facebook page. There an estimated 300 journalist members in the social group.
Another journalist that found the mayor’s comments offensive was Kim Dozier, a reporter for the Daily Beast who experienced a good amount of wartime fire while covering Iraq.
“As someone who had been under fire once or twice, and lost two colleagues to a car bomb in Iraq that nearly killed me, I didn’t appreciate the remarks,” Dozier told the Tampa Bay Times. “The mayor probably didn’t realize how many of the reporters in the room had risked their lives to bring Americans the story of U.S. troops in the field, including veterans-turned-journalists with prior special ops service.”
“And so the first place I point that gun is at the media,” Buckhorn said at his address. “I’ve never seen grown men cry like little girls, for when that gun goes off those media folks just hit the deck like no one’s business. It’s great payback. I love it.”