GRIFFS NOTES 09/20/2006

I’m on the "protester beat" this week for FOX News Talk. I’ve been hanging out across the street from the heralded United Nations building on New York’s Upper East Side talking to a myriad of people who have come here to tell the world about whatever Cause du Jour was on their minds. And I can honestly report to you: American Democracy is very much alive and well despite what you may have heard from crazy dictators named Mahmoud.

Down at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza - the designated place for protesters to peacefully protest - I have encountered a buffet of activists that has ranged from anti-war, anti-Bush folks to pro-democracy, anti-Ahmadinejad Iranian opposition groups. There are people who believe that President Bush was actively involved in the attacks of 9/11. There were two groups who supported and opposed America’s relationship with Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf - and they mostly preferred yelling at each other. And at one point shortly after the news of the Coup in Thailand, about a hundred Thai protesters streaked the plaza as if they had just won the World Cup.

Perhaps the most exciting moment came while reporting live on the air with Judge Napolitano when 40 or 50 anti-war protesters took notice of my FOX News baseball cap and began wildly chanting "FOX News sucks!"

But hey - I can take it and I actually appreciated their honesty and candor. At least I wasn’t spit on like I was during the RNC Convention in 2004. And I went back after the incident and interviewed several of them as well. I asked most of them who they thought was a bigger war criminal: Bush or Ahmadinejad?

Bad news for Bush in this unscientific circus sampling!

Once again we are reminded that in this country whether you support the president, oppose the war, save the whales, preach climate doom or simply want to come out make noise - you can do it with the protections of the very people for whom you are speaking out against. And you can’t say the same for many of the countries represented in that building across the street here.