Disrupting The Show

Supporters of both Barack Obama and John McCain disrupted a taping of ABC’s World News Tonight in Racine on Thursday.

Supporters of both Barack Obama and John McCain disrupted a taping of ABC’s World News Tonight in Racine on Thursday.

Charles Gibson and ABC News were in town as part of ABC’s “Great American Battleground Bus Tour,” which began October 2nd in Florida.

Gibson anchored the show live from a top floor balcony of the Johnson Building in downtown Racine, without incident.

Just hours earlier, however, the taping of a pre-recorded intro to the show was disrupted by the screaming supporters of both presidential candidates.

Gibson emerged from the Johnson Building at about 4:00 to pre-record an intro to the show. He attempted two takes before stopping due to the noise coming from the hundreds of people that had congregated along Main Street.

At one point, Gibson himself walked about fifty feet and asked the supporters to quiet down so that they could finish taping the intro. The crowd obliged, and the brief taping was completed.

About thirty minutes before the show was to go live, police arrived to keep people away from the ABC news vehicles and production equipment. And, presumably, to help keep things quieter for the broadcast.

Racine Police Chief Kurt Wahlen told the Racine Journal Times that ABC officials were the ones who called the police department requesting a little help.

“They called us initially and were complaining about all the noise, all the screaming, yelling and horns because it was disrupting the show,” he said to that newspaper. “But certainly people have a right to be doing that.”

So Wahlen personally asked the crowd “to quiet down and give our community a good look on the show and they all did. It was really wonderful.”

Supporters were undisruptive during the 30 minute broadcast. However, as soon as the show was over, they continued.

About an hour later, Gibson reemerged from the building, stopping briefly at the police line to sign autographs and pose for a few photographs.

He then boarded the ABC News bus, which immediately departed Racine and continued on to the last stop of the “Great American Battleground Bus Tour,” Iowa.

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