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Rotten tomatoes miss Palin, hit police officer

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on book tour

Political history is not usually made on a second-floor balcony in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.

But that's where 33-year-old Jeremy Paul Olson lost it Monday. Observing the lines and hoopla attending former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's book-signing at the mall's Barnes & Noble, Olson lobbed not one but two tomatoes in the direction of the former Republican vice presidential candidate.

Instead he hit a police officer and was arrested for disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer. Gawker called the Bloomington jail and talked to "a bored-sounding officer ... apparently indifferent to the feat of produce-based heroics." The site added, "If anyone has information on the tomato-wielding Real American Hero Jeremy Paul Olson, please email us. Who is this man? What motivated him to throw tomatoes at Sarah Palin? And most importantly: How could he miss!?

Palin, who has already sold more than 1 million copies of "Going Rogue," kept on autographing, with First Dude Todd Palin at her side. Certainly her fans ignored any sign of trouble -- lining up in freezing weather before the mall doors opened at 5 a.m.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo Credit: Associated Press

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Comments () | Archives (13)

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Where can we contribute to this True American Hero's bail?

"Produced based heroics"? So now you're a hero if you through rotten food at someone you disagree with politically. Hope all the kids are listening.

Looks like this jackass could use a little time in the lock-up. This sort of behavior is shameful and not the least bit amusing.

Johanna Neuman & Los Angeles Times,

Concerning your article about the man throwing tomatoes at Sarah Palin: I would say shame on you, but then neither you Ms. Neuman or you the Los Angeles Times have any shame....just hate.

Frank Wallach

Had I been there, they would also have carried the slob out on stretchers with a broken jaw, black eyes and a broken nose, not to mention what his gonads would look like.

Use your words, people.
Dissent is good, dialogue is good, throwing tomatoes or shoes or anything else is immature, irresponsible, and unacceptable.

OK - I get that throwing tomatoes, pies or shoes at politicians is newsworthy - what I don't get is why it seems OK to relish or encourage such behavior - that is as long as it is directed at the 'other' party.

Joanna Neuman's article/commentary should have roundly chastised Gawker for its glee and encouragement of such unseemly behavior. I could be wrong but it appears that she used Gawker's quotes as a way to share her own hidden approval of such actions.

Is there some underlying idea that she somehow deserves it? For her conservative beliefs? Her audacity to run for vice president and actually get people excited about her candidacy? Or is it the idea that she might actually think she could run for president in a future election? Or is it because she is so 'stupid' in clinging to this "outdated" and "intellectually inferior' conservatism - thus deserving public humiliation.

Bring some civility back to public discourse or we will all suffer from an increasingly worse pool of people running for public office.

What ever happened to the idea of respect and tolerance. Why aren't our columnists writing to encourage better human behavior?


Mr. Olson needs to grow-up. At age 33 you would think he could act like a man. Throwing tomatoes at someone is rude, and he is lucky that he didn't get one back. (being arrested and taken to jail was probably the safest place for him.) I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Palin in Ft Wayne, IN and I can tell you I spent 6 long cold hours waiting in a line of like minded people. When it came my time to meet her, she was more powerful in person. She was beautiful, warm and you could tell she sincerely cared about the person in front of her. Mrs. Palin shook each person's hand. It's to bad we have people in the country that are more interested in doing evil deeds like throwing tomatoes. This article doesn't speak well of Ms. Neuman either. I don't think I need to read any more articles by this person either.

Where does it end libtards? First fruits, then rocks? You no doubt would cheer that on.

How childish is that for a grown man to show his petulence and immature behavior because someone, especially a white woman,to be almost if not more popular than their demagogue, manufactured politician with no resume of any political accomplishments in Illinois or in D.C. A man whose claim to fame was to be a "community organizer", any smooth talker can do that,in Chicago that translates to pimp and street thug. Mr. Olson should be proud to be counted with "Zero" in the long list of lifes losers.

Sarah Palin is tough, strong and ready to fight!
Unlike our current president!

Liberals, the likes of 33-year-old Jeremy Paul Olson, are, have been, and will continue to be nothing but ignorant cowards. Unfortunately, they also have the right to vote....and the product of that vote now sits in the White House. Our responsibility is to figure out how to educate some of these fools (no small task by any means) in order to effect real, honest, and beneficial change to our Country come 2010.

Sounds like Johanna won't mind getting smacked in the face with a tomato.

How discouraging that some might actually laugh this off as a joke! This should not happen in this country, not to conservatives OR liberals, there are plenty of educated & civil ways to make a statement, but of course those ways require intellegence, which this man obviously lacks. How dare anyone call him a 'true American hero'.. I would call him a true coward and a disgrace!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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