I am attempting, because of my spiritual path, to move into a state of complete non-violence. Some of my advisers think that is the way to go. I find some of the other tenets they describe, like truthfulness, non-stealing, and non-hoarding to be easier to make a commitment to.

What if I'm threatened? What if they deserve it? What if a guy is just an ass?

That's what our Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar may have felt he was facing when he told a reporter he would punch him if he ever pulled what he had just pulled again.

Now, tough questions from our reporters is one of the things that make this country operate in the great way it does. Elected officials can expect to answer for their actions. It's a cornerstone of our system, no doubt.

However, there are agreements between the officials and the reporters. Salazar was supporting President Obama's re-election when he agreed to do an interview with reporter David Philipps of the Colorado Springs Gazette. Given their setting and the reason Salazar was there, the assumption would be that he would say some things about the campaign, the future of America, general stuff like that.

When the reporter veered off to talk about a wild horse issue, Salazar took exception. I don't know if he was dodging the question or not, but one thing is sure, that reporter snuck his question in the back door. The reporter claims that he asked numerous times for an interview in the proper forum, but didn't get a response, so he went straight to the source.

The recorder rolled as Salazar said in a very even tone,

You should never do that...you know what...if you do that to me again, I'm going to punch you out.


The reporter, David Philipps, has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and writes for some big papers. He's a Colorado Springs Gazette reporter, has written for the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. So, he might have known his question had the possibility of being received in this way. Well, he may not have expected threats to his consciousness, but he was probably aware that the Secretary of the Interior wouldn't want to discuss very specific and potentially controversial policy issues at a campaign rally.

If Philipps couldn't gain access to talk about this issue, then maybe he thought the only way to go was the 'gotcha' route.

So what do you think about the whole exchange?