In today's Rocky Mountain News, FOX News contributor Michelle Malkin claims she didn't realize she posed for a photo with a man holding a swastika-bearing sign at an anti-Obama stimulus bill protest Tuesday outside the State Capitol in Denver.
Malkin suggests to Rocky reporter David Montero that "Swastika Guy," as he's come to be known, may have been a "ringer" trying to discredit her by slipping into the mass of people waiting for a Malkin photo-op after the rally.
But if Swastika Guy was a left-leaning operative, he sure wasn't a secret one. Instead of hiding in the crowd of 300 people, many of whom had strongly worded signs of their own, he stood right at the top of the steps during the protest. He was one of the first people I noticed as a reporter covering the event. Even from within the thick of the crowd, his swastika was plainly visible.
The photo of Michelle Malkin and Swastika Guy that prompted Malkin to suggest that the man had been planted to discredit her.
Courtesy of ProgressNow Colorado.
It would be tough to believe that rally organizers overlooked him, especially considering how close he was to the action. Holding his sign, which featured a swastika inside the "O" in Obama, he stood to one side of the podium as local conservatives, including Colorado Republican Party boss Dick Wadhams and former Rep. Tom Tancredo, addressed the crowd. Standing next to him was "Hammer-and-Sickle Guy," who bore a similar sign.
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In fact, as captured in the photo at the top of this item, the two Guys stood right behind Malkin. They were so close that if she turned around -- even for a second -- she was bound to see them.
The Rocky story also quotes Colorado Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, who criticized the swastika sign, saying it "badly crossed the line." But he's in the ProgressNow Colorado photo too, within finger-wagging distance of Swastika Guy and Hammer-and-Sickle Guy.
So why so surprised, Malkin and Penry?