John Georges v. The Dangerous People of the Internet

Jan 15, 2010 by

There are some dangerous people out there, and they’re here tonight. They’re taping us.” – John Georges

I didn’t mean any harm with my little video camera, really I didn’t. I just wanted to record what I thought might be an interesting historical moment in my beloved New Orleans.

Although it was a public forum, candidate Georges took issue with the presence of a camera, as you will see.

Some details, for the record:

— Although I recorded most of the debate, my wife Elly is holding the camera when Georges starts berating us. The nervous laughter is hers.

— The singing that you hear is that of our good friend, the brilliant New Orleans author, Poppy Z. Brite. She is commemorating the absurdity of the moment with an angelic renditon of “Paranoia” by Bauhaus. She has a lovely singing voice, don’t you think?

— Neither myself, nor my wife, nor Poppy Brite, nor our friend Todd are “political operatives” or “dangerous people.”

— The comments of John Georges are reproduced here in their entirety, from beginning to end. No editing, no trimming, no tricks, no hoodoo. Nothing is out of context. He says what he says and he won’t stop till he’s done and he seems to really mean it.

— Yes, Troy Henry claps along with the rest of Georges’ supporters after he gets done yelling at my wife, who weighs around 100 pounds.

— No, Rob Couhig is NOT clapping. (Thanks for your restraint, Mr. Couhig!)

— Poppy suggested, jokingly, that Georges could have me killed very easily. I laughed, but I also checked the rooftops for snipers as I left the building.

— I am not a supporter of James Perry or any other mayoral candidate. I include the clip of Mr. Perry at the end simply because he was the only candidate to directly address Mr. Georges’ comments, or to speak up in defense of free speech or freedom of the press at all. If any of the others had bothered, I’d have included them, too.

— Yes, bloggers are the new press. Politicians really need to get used to that idea. These days, the future is what happens when you blink.

— The internet can only hurt you if you let it.

Warmest regards,

Louis Maistros


Louis Maistros is the author of the historical New Orleans novel, “The Sound of Building Coffins.”

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  1. lorriejenkins

    Is this the “yelling” y’all talked about all day yesterday on twitter? Seriously?

  2. ok, i think i want to make a new t-shirt, for all the bloggers and citizen journalists who’ve been doing such an awesome job of covering the mayoral race:

    “John Georges thinks I’m dangerous.”

    wouldn’t that be fun? show up at all the mayoral forums wearing them? i bet that would fluster him.

  3. The day that politicians control the media (more than they do now)
    is the day that we find out who the Dangerous People really are.

    I’m under the impression that public servants (like the Mayor of New Orleans) are there to Serve the Public, and do so under our collective scrutiny. Perhaps Mister Georges, and his applauding pal, Troy Henry, need to realize this is not a CEO position where they get to dictate policy on ‘who needs to know’ and ‘what we’re going to tell them’.

    This is a public servant position, managing a city of diverse people with diverse needs, opinions and points of reference. It will be up to whoever wins this post to meet that criteria, not have us meet theirs.

    As for Georges, specifically, I’ve never seen such a public act of graceless, paranoid egotism, even from C-Ray, himself. Nagin knows how to turn the camera to his benefit, where as John Georges just gave himself away for the total dick that he is.

  4. John Georges – or frankly ANY politician – hardly needs help from folks editing video clips together to make him look like an idiot…they handle that all on their own!

    Perhaps they SHOULD be afraid of bloggers, twitter-ers and the like, because WE THE PEOPLE might have something to say, some truth about how you’re treating people and their cities. A reminder that you work for US not the other way around…and the more “regular folk” who wake up, stand up and speak up – the better off all of us will be!

    Despite the truth in what George Carlin had to say:

    I salute all of ye who get involved in yer communities – both online and off.

    I shall not fear anyone on earth.
    I shall fear only God.
    I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
    I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
    I shall conquer untruth by truth.
    And in resisting untruth I shall put up with all suffering.
    (Mahatma Gandhi)

    A leader is best when people barely know that he exists. Less good when they obey and acclaim him. Worse when they fear and despise him. Fail to honor people, and they fail to honor you. But of a good leader, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say; we did this ourselves. (Lao-Tzu)

    I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies. (Pietro Aretino)

  5. Mags — brilliant idea. If you make them, I’ll buy one.

    Lord David — well said as usual. Really, there’s no way I could put into words how surreal this experience was. I honestly didn’t see it coming. You can hear me and Elly whispering right before he went off on us. She said, “Is he looking right at me?” I said, “Yes, I think he sees the camera.” I assumed he was being internet savvy, wanting to speak directly to the larger audience that blogging sometimes provides. Turns out he was just seething.

    But really, I wonder what the point of the debate was anyway. There were only about 100 people there, and more than half the seats were labeled “reserved,” presumably for supporters of this candidate or that. Which means there were probably less than 50 undecided voters in the room. You would think that someone would have thanked me for trying to expand the debate’s audience a little bit.

    Which begs the question: What kind of candidate seeks to discourage visibility of a debate that he himself is a part of? If you are confidant about your message, and the way that you present it, you should be eager to land on youtube before a wider audience. Right?

  6. agin_cajun

    Thanks for noting Rob Couhig didn’t applaud. In fact he looked disgusted through the whole thing. Georges is crashing and burning because he’s so surrounded by sycophants he can’t deal with criticism, or even simple disagreement.

    Man, what a disastrous mayor he would?

  7. Oh by the way, for LorrieJenkins or anyone else who was disappointed by the lack of actual honest-to-god YELLING in the Georges clip, here ya go:

    • Captain Sassy

      I’m glad someone got that on tape, Louis! I was there also and it was very surreal.

      I’ve spoken to that older gentleman a few times — he says that Mitch Landrieu promised him the position of Lieutenant Governor and he was just trying to get Mitch to admit it on camera. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Mitch made that commitment in exchange for a vote …

  8. clsnola75

    Mags— If you make a shirt, or find someone to make one, let me know. I will buy it! Awesome..

    I was at the debate, too. Does Georges not realize that he’s running for a PUBLIC office, and that these debates are often recorded for the PUBLIC to see…? Thanks for this post.

  9. Lizzy Caston

    So, I take it this is a pretty good indicator of how this candidate will handle the call for better open government and public information access should he be elected.

  10. Classic paranoia. Is it too early to rename feminine hygiene products “Georgesbags”?

  11. Young Marcus here delivers an important point…that should be pasted to the bathroom mirror of every candiddate.

  12. Leave John Georges alone you mean bloggers! Just LEAVE him alooooooone!

  13. Great stuff, Louis. Malaka John was nearly frothing at the mouth. What a tool. I’m piling on at my blog and posting your wonderful video. It needs to go viral asap.

  14. Xavier

    Let me know where to get a tshirt

  15. “Georgesbags.”

    This is why Stybie is one of my all time heroes.
    I’ll be sniffling coffee for a week.

  16. “Troy Henry emphasized his experience as a businessman and the importance of having an executive at City Hall.”
    That’ll stop the killing.
    You betcha.

    “John Georges, who said he takes every murder personally, noted that the city is not as aggressive as it should be in going after sales taxes.”
    That’s exactly what Batman said.

  17. LD,

    – “John Georges, who said he takes every murder personally, noted that the city is not as aggressive as it should be in going after sales taxes.”
    That’s exactly what Batman said.

    That’s a nice catch.

    “John Georges, who said I like wearing rubber underwear, noted that a tax increment financing plan for the Port of New Orleans has absolutely nothing to do with horrific wedgey I’m suffering from.”

  18. Thanx.
    I do what I can.

    When these panties aren’t bunching from being video taped, anyway.

  19. Here’s the list of Mayoral Forums.
    Everybody bring their video cameras & video phones.

  20. More comments soon, but real quick, check this out:

    Thanks to all who have posted the video on their blogs — and please keep it going. It is better fore everyone if more voters know about this before the big day.

    Thanks, Karen, for writing that article!!

  21. Thanks to Karen for being one of the few outside of The Gambit to properly attribute blog sources. Thanks to Louis for sharing his talent with us here on HumidCity.

    We will enforce transparency, these things are already public under the law. No more shady backroom politics.

  22. Captain Sassy

    Once again, Troy Henry is playing fast and easy with the facts in this “tribute” to MLK. Notice that he says “as president of the largest water and utility company …”, not “A” president amongst many, which implies “THE” president.

    Sorry, couldn’t find it on YouTube.

  23. The story is currently running on the front page of Again, thanks go to Karen Dalton Bebinato for having the courage to run the story. To my knowledge, none of the other local news outlets have touched it.

    I’m surprised that none of Georges’ many supporters have chimed in here or at to attempt any justification of their candidate’s comments. I assume the official policy of the Georges campaign is to ignore bad press until it goes away. If you have a blog, please make sure it doesn’t “go away” by posting the youtube embed.

    If you listen carefully to the clip, you will hear Georges state quite clearly that everyone makes mistakes, but that when *he* makes a mistake he is always “the first to admit it.” Well, newsflash; he mistakenly slandered myself, my wife and two of our friends by calling us “dangerous people” and “political operatives.” He knew nothing about us, did not know who we were, had never seen us before, and had no call to jump to such outrageous conclusions. Turns out, he was wrong. Hey, we’re all human. Like the man said, we all make mistakes.

    Mr. Georges, I am waiting for you to admit your mistake. An apology would be a nice touch.

  24. Captain Sassy

    Can’t wait to see y’all tomorrow night! Mirrors and cameras!

    Mayoral candidate forum on the future of public education in New Orleans
    When: 6 p.m.
    Where: Warren Easton Senior High, 3019 Canal St., New Orleans
    Sponsors: Loyola’s Institute for Quality and Equity in Public Education

  25. Elspeth Ravenwind

    Branley brings it! :)


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