SICK DAY  11:40 am February 18, 2011

Firefighter Refused Call To Giffords Shooting Because of ‘Political Views’

by Jack Stuef

The first-grader who just likes the siren has more guts.Congratulations to former Tucson city firefighter Mark Ekstrum, a 28-year veteran who retired last month as the world’s worst firefighter because he, according to the Associated Press, refused to respond with his crew to the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. He’s officially the world’s worst firefighter. Why? He said “he had different political views than his colleagues and ‘did not want to be part of it.’” Yeah, if a group of people are shot, and your job is to save people’s lives, you shouldn’t be a part of it. Shooting victims should be very careful not to be political in any way, because if they are, they shouldn’t expect any first responders to show up. Also: “Mark Ekstrum’s insubordination may have delayed his unit’s response because firefighters had to stop at another station to pick up a replacement for him.” Always good when people are bleeding to death on the pavement.

This story is a bit more odd, however:

Ekstrum also said in the statement that he had no problem with Giffords and even voted for her in the last election.

Yes, no problem except for that problem he had helping her when she had a bullet shot through her head.

Capt. Ben Williams wrote in a report that when Ekstrum first said he would not go on the call, “he mentioned something about ‘political bantering’ and he did not want to be part of it.”

What exactly does he mean by “bantering”? He didn’t go because his crew mentioned something about politics on the way over? What if one of the shooting victims liked cats? “I will not be a part of this bantering about cats!” What if one of them was a fan of Star Wars? “Let them bleed to death! I’m not going to respond amidst all this talk about Wookies!”

Seems like perhaps somebody was just a little afraid to go to a shooting. But knowing Arizona, he probably shouldn’t be surprised if a person angered by this story shows up on his doorstep and shoots him in approximately five minutes. Because most Arizonans aren’t cowards. Just this guy and John McCain. [AP]

UPDATE: From Wonkette operative “DoktorZoom”: I think you may have gotten it wrong on this morning’s post about Mark Ekstrum, the Tucson firefighter, largely due to some very incomplete reporting in the AP story you linked to. As commenter “Cicada” notes in the comments, the Arizona Daily Star ran a more complete story which points out that it was a follow-up call, 90 minutes after the shooting, that Ekstrum declined to go on, not the initial incident–no lives were at stake, but some post-incident tents may have taken longer to set up. More significantly, the article suggests that Ekstrum decided not to go because he was too distraught over the news to be an effective responder, not that he was chicken or that his choice was motivated by his politics. Still not a terribly professional decision, and he probably was right to resign, but very it’s also very different from how the Wonkette post depicts it.

Okay! But somebody in Arizona will still shoot him, because many of them are crazy, and they all have guns. In any case, it’s probably unfair to compare anyone’s level of cowardice to the most current iteration of John McCain.

 

Hola wonkerados.

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{ 166 comments }

DashboardBuddha February 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

Jesus wept

Oblios_Cap February 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm

When has he ever stopped?

DashboardBuddha February 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm

True dat…but back in the day I bet he would comfort himself thinking, "these people will figure it out. I left some pretty clear guidelines. It will be alright."

Now he just says, "what the fuck?"

CessnaDriver February 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm

So, we got him some fries to cheer him up.

Gleem_McShineys February 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I thought Manly Buffed Jesus wept bullets, especially at his enemies?

Dashboard_Jesus February 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm

not really, I was too busy thinking of perhaps a more suitable deployment that would pose no 'political' conflict for this douche, like maybe Iraquistan…srsly, WTF is WRONG with people? (ok now I'm weeping)

metamarcisf February 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the next Senator from the great state of Arizona: Mark Ekstrum.

MrFizzy February 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm

LOL

Grief_Lessons February 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm

This is too close to true to be all that funny.

Amaravilha February 18, 2011 at 11:45 am

In the hilarious coda, his daughter will have to deal with a mistakenly broken condom and not be able to get the morning-after pill from a pharmacist with a regressive conscience who doesn't stock it.

You know, because Arizona seems to be full of moral cripples.

Tundra Grifter February 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm

You beat me to it!

This is the "logical" extension of the theory that if your beliefs conflict with your job, go with your beliefs.

Don't believe in abortion? Then your tax dollars shouldn't pay for them. Don't believe in birth control? Don't stock The Pill. Don't like gay folks – don't let them marry. That's what the right wing nutz tell us.

Of course, if somethings thinks the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are a sorry idea, we can't object by not funding them.

OC_Surf_Serf February 18, 2011 at 11:45 am

Jeez, I though even the firemen had guns in AZ…

(packing heat, pardnar?)

JustPixelz February 18, 2011 at 11:59 am

They don't call 'em "fire-arms" for nothing.

nounverb911 February 18, 2011 at 11:46 am

I'm snarkless! Just make sure he loses his pension.

Preferred Customer February 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Where do you think this is, Wisconsin?

baconzgood February 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

No you di-int….

Rarian Rakista February 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Lol, cops have gotten away with murder and not lost their pensions. Pensions are only taken away from people with pussy jobs like scientists, accountants and school teachers.

Lost_Teabaggers February 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Don't forget nurses and hospital workers, also. Because that's what we really want…our healthcare workforce angry. I imagine if this douche Walker manages to get his way that he'll stay WELL away from any state hospital. "Sorry Governor Walker, I mixed the cyanide up with your painkillers because I was too distracted by my low pay, no benefits and pension since you cut all of those, my bad"

Rarian Rakista February 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm

When the politicians are as paranoid for their lives as the lastrulers of Rome, we have done our jobs.

SorosBot February 18, 2011 at 11:46 am

He should have said he wasn't going because didn't pay her $75 shooting coverage fee; then he'd still have a job.

Lost_Teabaggers February 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm

In Tennessee, absolutely…and after he said this the Cato Institute would invite him as a special guest at some "selfish prick of the year" award show because he "gets it"

emmelemm February 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm

That was my first thought as well. Did she pay her "ambulance dues"? If not, we'll just be standing behind the yellow tape and watching her bleed to death.

elviouslyqueer February 18, 2011 at 11:46 am

Mark Ekstrum, meet bag of dicks. Bag of dicks, meet Mark Ekstrum.

V572625694 February 18, 2011 at 11:54 am

In the much-revered lightly salted rat variety, one hopes?

elviouslyqueer February 18, 2011 at 11:55 am

Is there any other?

neiltheblaze February 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I say heavily salted, and no Orange Crush to wash 'em down.

Negropolis February 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Orange Crush? Is that John Boehner's Secret Service codename?

GuyClinch February 18, 2011 at 11:46 am

And now that this courageous non-responder has made himself a political figure, I can assume he'll have no problem when nobody shows up at his house when he calls 911 after getting his axe-handle stuck in his ass.

PsycWench February 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

And if he has a heart attack or is stabbed, surely he won't be surprised if the doctor on call declines to treat him.

JustPixelz February 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

For a while — due to some medical misunderstanding no doubt — I carried a vial of nitroglycerin tablets. In case of chest pains, I could take the pills to avoid possible death. So I wondered, what if I was with George W Bush and he had those chest pains. Give him my pills or wait for the EMTs? I can't stand Bush, but would have given him the pills. Cheney on the other hand….

Lascauxcaveman February 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

.

MissTaken February 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm

T

Lascauxcaveman February 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

?*

kissawookiee February 18, 2011 at 11:47 am

I live in Tucson and have read several accounts of this and, not gonna lie, still have no fucking idea what is going on here. I think he was a Giffords supporter who was distraught that she was shot and didn't want to listen to–I assume–conservative squadmates making teabaggy jokes on the way to the scene. After everyone was already at the hospital.

Then again, "too distraught to keep my shit together in an emergency" is not really what I want to hear from, you know, a professional first responder.

baconzgood February 18, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Sort of like hearing your barber saying "OOPS!"

mereoblivion February 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Or your hemorrhoid surgeon.

kissawookiee February 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Better than your moyel.

Lascauxcaveman February 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm

So he's just an overly sensitive coward, not an asshole?

kissawookiee February 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Not a coward about physical danger, I don't think, since his unit wasn't called in until 90 minutes after the shooting, so there wasn't much chance of being shot himself (no more than any other day in the permit-free concealed carry cavalcade that is Arizona, anyway).

Where cutting words are concerned, though, it's apparently another story.

Rarian Rakista February 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Some of these 'good old boy jobs' like fireman are horribly racist, sexists etc places to work at, what he should of done if what the above said is true is sue his squad mates in Federal court for civil rights violations.

Moonbat February 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Isn't he both, really?

SheriffRoscoe February 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Whoa now, caveman. Some of us overly sensitive cowards like to think of ourselves as morally superior to assholes. But you do have a point in that you won't see me lining up at my local fire station to become a paramedic or firefighter where blood and people screaming in agony are likely to be involved in the daily job duties.

Lost_Teabaggers February 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Yeah I dunno….I'm not buying his story…call me cynical but after seeing the malignant cruelty certain wingnuts have displayed toward Lara Logan and Gabby Giffords I really don't buy this guys story. As the article says his squad wasn't called in until well after order had been restored; Gabby was off to a hospital and the desperate fight to save her and other victims lives was under way….I just don't buy cowardice, either. The scene would have already been picked over by homicide police…these idiots were probably the cleanup crew and he's the squad leader. If any member of his squad was such an asshole as to use what happened there to sling political barbs he could have reprimanded THE SHIT out of them and probably gotten them kicked off his squad. I just think there's more to it than he's saying; only a true wingnut would claim politics as a reason not to respond knowing they'd be defended by Faux, governor prison warden, Limpballs the Dominican boy luster, etc.

kissawookiee February 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Wait, now he's saying that it wasn't political at all. He was just watching the whole thing on TV and freaked the fuck out.
http://www.kold.com/Global/story.asp?S=14054954

Like, uh, any veteran firefighter might be expected to do. I mean, if Daniel Hernandez couldn't hold it together, what hopes can we realistically have had for Mark Ekstrum? Um.

Tengu February 18, 2011 at 11:47 am

Crazing Arizona

GuanoFaucet February 18, 2011 at 11:48 am

Here's to hoping that when Mark has a heart attack or whatever, the ambulance crew decides not to come to his aid because they "did not want to be a part of saving a cowardly asshole."

EatsBabyDingos February 18, 2011 at 11:48 am

"I voted for her" Well, that's a justification we can't prove. Probably sniffs his own farts.

GOPCrusher February 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

"I'm not a racist, but……"

imissopus February 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm

"Some of my best friends are Democrats with bullets in their heads…"

EDIT: I see down the thread where owls beat me to this,

Rosie_Scenario February 18, 2011 at 11:48 am

Fire Libel.

Weenus299 February 18, 2011 at 11:49 am

Cut his job from the budget. Talk about waste fraud and abuse. Leave his badge on the chief's desk and join Joe the plumber for some spastic nutbaskety workingman's tour of crazy.

JoshuaNorton February 18, 2011 at 11:50 am

"Coward" is much too kind a word for this asshat. Break out the thesaurus:

alarmist, baby*, caitiff, chicken heart, chicken liver, chicken*, craven, cur, dastard, deserter, faint-of-heart, faintheart, fraidy-cat, funk, gutless, invertebrate, jellyfish, lily liver, malingerer, mouse, pessimist, poltroon, quitter, rabbit, recreant, scaredy cat, shirk, shirker, skulker, sneak, weakling, white liver, wimp*, yellow belly, yellow*

"Poltroon" has a nice ring to it.

baconzgood February 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

I'm just going to stick with "big pussy".

MiniMencken February 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Then we could go all Spiro Agnew on his ass and call him a "pathetic pusillanimous poltroon."

weejee February 18, 2011 at 11:50 am

I hope his fellow firefighter remember this when he has a heart attack or his house catches fire.

memzilla February 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

Back in Tweed's day, you paid the local firefighting company so they would put out the fire and not rob your house. What a fine tradition this a**hat upholds.

James Michael Curley February 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm

No, no, no! Back in boss Tweed's day you paid the fireman so your house DID NOT catch on fire, you paid the police not to rob your house and paid Ed Koch not to date your son.

DoktorZoom February 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

Yow….Jack, that last paragraph strikes me as a bit over the line. I 'm pretty sure we're the ones who don't go around pasting crosshairs on people.

Now, on the other hand, if someone wants to get creative with a bottle of Liquid Ass ("Once unleashed, this power–packed, super–concentrated liquid begins to evaporate filling the air with a genuine, foul butt–crack smell with hints of dead animal and fresh poo"), I have no proplems with that at all.

V572625694 February 18, 2011 at 11:55 am

Linky dinky no workie…glad I'm not the only one who has this problem. And that I don't have to call the Tucson fire department for help.

elviouslyqueer February 18, 2011 at 11:58 am

Oh man, *WANT.* Where can I find this magical "Liquid Ass?" Other than in every state capital, I mean.

DoktorZoom February 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Whoops! http://www.liquidass.com/ Apparently it's available on Amazon, too, where there are amusing user reviews.

DashboardBuddha February 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Gag gift, indeed.

738838 February 18, 2011 at 1:43 pm

My brother got Liquid Ass in his stocking for Christmas (It's my family!) and when he sprayed it my niece ran out of the room and almost barfed. This stuff is the real thing.

donner_froh February 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

He is a Giffords supporter. Just a really strange one

DaSandman February 18, 2011 at 11:53 am

Let's just nuke this shithole state from orbit. i want to be sure not a trace of it remains

freakishlywrong February 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Just to be sure..

Troubledog February 18, 2011 at 11:55 am

Thus begins Ekstrum's career as a pundit.

baconzgood February 18, 2011 at 11:55 am

Guns don't kill people. Firemen not doing thier jobs do.

slithytoves February 18, 2011 at 11:58 am

Srsly, how is he not in jail? You can get charged for not being a good samaritan bystander, why can't you get charged for putting someone's life in jeopardy by refusing to do that exact job you were hired for on a specific occasion on account of personal preference? Negligible homicide?

The mind reels.

PuckStopsHere February 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I blame the unions.

Oblios_Cap February 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I was always taught that you couldn't be arrested for not helping; it's just that it's bad form not to give a shit.

slithytoves February 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm

But you can be arrested for not helping. There was a Vegas case of a guy who witnessed a little girl being molested in a bathroom and he did nothing, and I believe he was charged.

Then of course, there was that last Jerry Seinfeld episode….

proudgrampa February 18, 2011 at 11:59 am

Pathetic poltroon.

hagajim February 18, 2011 at 11:59 am

Maybe they can withold Marky Mark's funky pension for a few months…you know, because they don't want to pay for this political bantering. Good thing he retired, because he ought to be canned for gross negligence. Do your job fuckface!

SayItWithWookies February 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Now wait a minute….

FNMA February 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Hey, some of my best friends are Wookies. I wouldn't mind if a Wookie married my sister. A lot of Wookies are a credit to their race.

imissopus February 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm

But I got to tell you, when I'm on an airplane, if I see eight-foot-tall creatures covered in hair and carrying blasters get on, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as wookies, I get worried, I get nervous.

DashboardBuddha February 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Are bandoleers filled with blaster charges considered "traditional garb"?

littlebigdaddy February 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I don't know…week's not quite over, and there is SO much competition.

GOPCrusher February 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm

And to think, South Dakota wanting to pass a bill proclaiming that killing an abortion doctor is justifiable homicide, may end up being the bright spot of the week.

Oblios_Cap February 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm

This is why I am always searching for my dream job – the one where I receive a large check in the mail every week, and don't aggravate anybody by showing up at an office.

freakishlywrong February 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I think maybe this nozzles problem is maybe a little deeper than "political bantering"? Maybe?

Clancy_Pants February 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Cue Glenn Beck and snowbilly Barbie to defend this poor victim of the lamestream media in 3.. 2..1…

GOPCrusher February 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I'm sure he will be portrayed as a victim of the Left Wing Hate Rhetoric and a former liberal that eyes were opened to the evils of socialism.

HolyMaracas February 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Just a matter of time before Mr.Doubtfire lands a gig at "Fox & Friends."

littlebigdaddy February 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Prediction: He'll be a guest on Joe the Dumber's show within a week.

genxr February 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Look it's a public safety issue. I don't want to watch my house burn down while the firefighters stand around arguing Star Wars vs LOTR trilogy. Best to leave those damn Ewok lovers at home.

LetUsBray February 18, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Whenever I have an emergency, I ask the first responders "Kirk or Picard?" as soon as they arrive, and send 'em on their way if they don't give the right answer. I don't need my life and/or property saved if it's going to be by some fan of that histrionic, toupee-wearing ham, nosiree.

PuckStopsHere February 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Are we being a little hard on this guy? I mean, there was going to be "bantering." We all know how much that can hurt a guy. Maybe we need to show a little compassion here. Then again, maybe we need to tell this santorum to FUCKOFFANDDIE, forthwith from the over-consumption of bags and bags of lightly-salted RATS DICKS. I just can't decide. What to do; what to do?

SheriffRoscoe February 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm

You guys, he's just an emergency first responder person who gets squeamish looking at the blood stains of someone he doesn't know personally but happens to agree with, politically. I understand his reluctance. That intern kid who held her head together while they put Giffords into the ambulance must be made of ice water fer chrissakes.

carlgt1 February 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm

we've really become a white-trash nation….

JoshuaNorton February 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm

When Texas secedes, can we get them to take Arizona with them?

(I realize there are some perfectly decent people from that state so we'll have to set up some sort of relocation program for the ones who want to stay decent.)

thebeatgoeson08 February 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Stephanie Miller has been offering to airlift Tucson AND Austin out of their respective states if necessary.

GunTotingProgressive February 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I'd be much happier if we could just relocate the assholes TO Texas, and leave the few sane people here. I don't want to leave!

natoslug February 18, 2011 at 1:34 pm

The decent ones can swap places with the Inland Empire folks we'll be deporting from CA during the secession. Poor Ken is going to lose 112% of his neighbors in the process.

user-of-owls February 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

"I am not intolerant. In fact, some of my best friends have bullet holes in their heads."

cheetojeebus February 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Evil mother fucker eh?

Jerri February 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Jeez. Since when is "not being offended by dickhead co-workers" or "not doing X part of my job because I'm morally opposed to it" (looking at you, right wing nutjob pharmacists), some kind of inalienable right? Suck it the fuck up and do your jobs, all of you, then go home, forget about work, drink a beer, and relax like god intended. Why is this so impossible?

Oblios_Cap February 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I do it every day. Only I have more than one drink at the end of the day.

natoslug February 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I shudder with you. I have to code using Microsoft kit, so I know the pain of moral opposition. . .

emmelemm February 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Or get another damn job.

Callyson February 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I'm sure the family of Christina Taylor Green, the 9 year old girl who was killed at this shooting, are playing the world's smallest violin in sympathy for this poor firefighter's sensibilities…grrr…

PublicLuxury February 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

This is perfect for Wisconsin. The teachers need to go back to the classroom, demand voter registration cards and decide which children they are not going educate because of the political affiliations of their parents.

Then they need to find out which religion the little buggers' parents prefer and toss the ones that annoy them.

Then they need to look to see if their folks are vegetarians and decide if they want those kinds in the room. After all, Vegan children are a pain-in-the-ass on pizza reward day.

Eventually, the teacher would end up with their kid only…

What? No good? It's Teatard logic.

PubOption February 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Teatard logic indeed, and as you show it results in homeschooling.

Steverino247 February 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Consider the alternate view (even though it doesn't involve bags of dicks):

Maybe after 28 years of cleaning up after crazy people shooting and stabbing people, he couldn't do it anymore. He went home sick and retired as soon as possible. Wouldn't be the first time somebody just dropped his helmet and wandered off in a daze.

jim89048 February 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm
jus_wonderin February 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Mark Ekstrum = dick wad? I think so.

Tommmcatt February 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm

May I jack this thread just long enough to state that the ad with Ben Stein in the upper-right-hand corner is, as most things that include Ben Stein are, wrong and sick-making on various levels?

Thank you for your time and kind attention.

SorosBot February 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm

If it makes you feel any better, it's an ad for a scam; and shilling for this scam in his old NY Times column got his ass fired.

Tommmcatt February 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Well, it's Ben Stein, of course it is a scam. What else would you expect from a Nixon speechwriter?

The firing thing made me feel better, though.

LetUsBray February 18, 2011 at 9:37 pm

I have an ad for "COX", which, this being wonkette, seems about right.

tcaalaw February 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm

All I'm getting in the upper right-hand corner is an ad boasting about Toyota's safety record.

AngryBlakGuy February 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm

…lately I have tried my best not to be as angry of a blakk man as I was before the whole wonkette remodel; but bull shyt like this brings out the old me! People like this deserve an entire fukkin subdivision built for them in the deepest darkest realms of hell(housing association and all). Before someone makes a decision as stupid as he did they should think of what they would say to to someones little kid if they died cuz he refused to help them because of their political views!

baconzgood February 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

"Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

You stay Angry.

AngryBlakGuy February 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm

…you my friend are inspiring! Time to crank some "Rage Against the Machine"

spinozasgod February 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm

They weren't called to the scene until everyone was ready at the hospital, I believe he was upset about the insulting and vile comments about Giffords that the other firemen were making. Most firemen, like most cops, are very right-wing.

BklynIlluminati February 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Is there ever a moments rest from someone in Arizona tarding it up?

fuflans February 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm

when everybody outlaws unions like WI, all our public servants will finally be free to do whatever the fuck they want.

Sue4466 February 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Seems like an extension of the thinking that pharmacists should be have a "moral opt out" in filling prescriptions for birth control or hospitals can refuse care or referrals to women seeking abortions. But no, that would never happen.

SorosBot February 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I'd like to see a Christian Scientist become a pharmacist and refuse to fill any prescriptions.

Redhead February 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm

“he mentioned something about ‘political bantering’ and he did not want to be part of it.”

I'm sure Giffords stopped screaming in agony over being SHOT IN THE HEAD long enough to strike up a conversation with the other victims crying and yelling "fuck I'm in pain!" about what to do about illegal immigration, the budget and abortion.

MsElla February 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm

By the same token, if a cross were on fire on somebody's lawn, he'd probably decline to put it out.

MinAgain February 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm

They have a name for that. It's called neglect of duty. Why isn't he out on his butt?

Cicada February 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm

He resigned already.

mavenmaven February 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I think refusing to attend to an emergency call because of politics gets more than a week of leading douche baggery.
I think he gets Iranian Revolutionary Guard Man of the Year.

dyedwool February 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm

You say "Iranian Revolutionary Guard Man of the Year".

Arizona just says "Man of the Year".

JoeBiteme February 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Thank you Arizona, for yet again affirming my decision to fucking move across the country to escape your inbred "independent spirit".
Goddamn it, there was a sweet spot there between the late 80's MLK debacle and two years ago where I really though we might be able to compete in the "Not Mississippi or South Dakota " category…

mavenmaven February 18, 2011 at 12:39 pm

welcome to end-of-weimar 'merka. Only expect health care and emergency services if you belong to the Party.

Oblios_Cap February 18, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Probably more of a Starship Troopers scenario would play out, what with all the hero veterans about.

DDDintensified February 18, 2011 at 12:39 pm

He should have gone. But he didn't refuse to go because he hated her. He refused because he was sick of the environment of right-wing hate that surrounded him in the station. Not the best career choice for someone who doesn't like being among hatemongers (see also: law enforcement). He just should have realized it 28 years ago.

BornInATrailer February 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I didn't realize "I'm not going on this call because of <something that doesn't interfere with my ability to do the job>" was an option for emergency services folk.

That's very interesting. I'm not entirely sure I believe all this.

SorosBot February 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Nah, Wisconsin's Governor still has him beat.

proudgrampa February 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Such recurring stupidity has to be the result of the heat in AZ. It must fry their brains.

owhatever February 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm

No excuses on this one, and politix be damned. It was his job. He took an oath and a salary. He did not perform in a time of crisis. His captain should be fired for not kicking his ass onto the truck and making him go.

Cicada February 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm

From the reports, it sounds like Ekstrum opted out because he felt emotional to the point where it would impair his ability to do his job: http://bit.ly/fjQZjO

A quote from that link:
He said in his statement that he voted for Giffords in the last election, and spoke with her early on in her tenure about a communication vehicle that TFD had for mass-casualty incidents. "She asked many pertinent and intelligent questions," Ekstrum said. "She has always impressed me as a person that was willing to listen."

Ekstrum resigned because he realized he had behaved unprofessionally.

Also, Ekstrum spent two weeks of his vacation time volunteering in Haiti after the earthquake. He doesn't sound like an asshole to me.

Fuck Toad February 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Yeah, maybe a few dozen people here could have waited for more than a single news report to come out before calling for the guy to be rent in the deepest chasm of hell.

It's not like he was a first responder. Nobody's life was endangered by what he did. And he followed up by honorably resigning.

I'm seriously embarrassed by how bloodthirsty people I like and respect have been against this guy with basically no justification.

Cicada February 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I'm finding the pile on depressing, and agree with your comment downthread that it would be nice if Jack updated the post.

mavenmaven February 18, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I disagree. As a person with similar emergency duties, I would be expected to answer the call without thought of who it is that is involved. He is right for resigning, as his initial failure could potentially have cost lives.

Cicada February 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Right. He says he had an emotional response to hearing about a politician he respected being gunned down. He fucked up, he admitted it, and he resigned even before any publicity about the incident occurred.

There isn't any evidence that he denied people care because of their political affiliations, which is what Jack's post makes it sound like and how most of the commenters here are characterizing it. That's the part that bothers me.

ETA: The article in the AZ Daily Star that I linked to is worth a read, if you want more insight into why Ekstrum acted the way he did. It seems much more personal than political. He speaks highly of Giffords, and he was a registered Dem for 17 years.

DoktorZoom February 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Just want to jump in to keep this comment near the top of the "Last Activity" view. The more I read about this, the less I think Jack got this one right. Ekstrum may have behaved improperly, but as you note, it sounds like he was more shell-shocked than anything. Resigning was almost certainly the honorable thing to do, and I wish like hell that Jack would update the story, and maybe say that wishful thinking about shooting Ekstrum was kind of a dick move, too.

__kth__ February 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I call liberal media bias, this guy can't possibly be real

Bonzos_Bed_Time February 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm

This is possibly the most disturbing thing I've ever read on Wonkette. And y'all are pretty disturbed. I will hang my head in disgust at Amerika for the rest of the day.
Perhaps for the weekend, but probably just the day.

__kth__ February 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

True story: the fire department of Pasadena, TX (population 250,000, think working class suburb lately trending Hispanic but historically full of redneck refinery workers. Better yet, it's where Gilley's, the dance hall in the movie Urban Cowboy, was located) is all-volunteer. Which is actually cool, though most of the firemen view their time there as an apprenticeship of sorts.

Anyway, being macho firemen types, they not only used to festoon their firehelmets with nicknames like "Snatchman" or "Pussy Bandit", they threw a big fit when the fire chief made them stop. So: lots of those guys, although genuinely courageous, are neanderthals.

AngryBlakGuy February 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

…turning 29 has taken a lot of the fight out of me! I'm considered middle aged by black male standards!!!

PresBeeblebrox February 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I was going to post a faux Bryan Fischer op-ed about the heroism of this guy & how Muscular Christ approves of not showing up to give emergency aid to DEMON-CRAPS because they literally have the word "demon" in their party's name, until I realized that it was just a case of one douche trying to avoid a number of other, greater douches.

starfanglednut February 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm

"Muscular Christ" sounds so gay.

DashboardBuddha February 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm

More proof that you can't spell crazy without AZ.

gef05 February 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that a lot of right wingers are, quite simply, stupid?

capnhuggyface February 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm

i saw a similar episode on "Rescue Heroes" where Billy Blaze just let the mosque burn

Fuck Toad February 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Jack, could you maybe adjust this post so that it doesn't insinuate that Ekstrum endangered Giffords' life because he's some kind of secret tea bag patriot?

Because neither of those things are true, and it's thoroughly fucked up to suggest as much.

Firefighters are human beings too. Don't you remember what it felt like to hear that someone had shot a US Representative in the head? He freaked out, and then he did the honorable thing and retired. And now he gets to have a bunch of people at their computers calling him a coward, suggesting that terrible shit should happen to him, and suggesting that he's some kind of right-wing lunatic.

Come the fuck on.

CapnFatback February 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Yeah, what an asshole.

This week, the Arizona Daily Star published an article about the incident. The Tucson Fire Department, in a statement issued Thursday, called out the report's claim that Ekstrum "refused to help" as "simply not true."

"He had an inability to remain at work due to emotional stress related to events he had been watching on television and was (in) no way political," the fire department's statement said.

The fire department noted that, had he gone, Ekstrum would have joined his crew nearly two hours after the shooting to deliver and set up tents. They didn't treat any victims, who were by then all at hospitals.

Ekstrum "abruptly retired" and didn't give the department "a clear understanding of what led to his decision," the statement added.

"Everyone in this community suffered some effect of what occurred that day," the fire department said. "For Mr. Ekstrum, it was overwhelming."

AngryBlakGuy February 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm

…does anyone know why my pants all of sudden feel tighter?

GregComlish February 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm

The shooting of a Democratic Representative by an anti-government nutjob: Not at all politically motivated.

Saving a the life of a Democratic Congresswoman: more partisan Washington politics

Hard to decide if this was ideologically-driven disregard for human life, or if he was just burnishing his Centrist credentials and angling for a job at the Washington Post.

OneTrueLiberal February 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Franklin and I could not agree more with these posts.

After all, the Bravest, Most Heroic, Most Selfless People On Earth are TrueLiberals like Wonketteers.

All of us have served in combat, or in First Responder positions, and full know what it is like to deal with a trashing, blood, guts and feces-spewing victim of a massive head trauma.

Particularly when under fire, or in situations where the "Bad Guys" might come back.

Or at the least, we've typed some very, very heavy shit from our keyboards in our basement bedrooms of our parents' house.

So, we're all in a position to judge.

Cordially,

Eleanor

So we're all in a position to judge

sportshort February 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I love that there's always someone worse than me to piss on. Sure hope when all the facts come in we aren't victims of the instant press.

NadePaulKuciGravMcKi February 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm

What Made America Famous
by
Harry Chapin

pinkocommi February 19, 2011 at 1:37 am

In an effort to promote bipartisanship, I solemnly swear that, if I ever become a first responder and you happen to be shot in the head by a nutcase, I will in fact "first respond" even if I think you are Mark Ekstrum – if only to prove to the world once again how much better a person I am than Mark Ekstrum.

IMamYouDad February 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm

To put down your beer, button your pants, and wash the funk from your hands is asking too much for merely assisting a bleeding Liberal.

OT: my first post on this site. The average intelligence on this site is three fold what I glean from other sites. Only a matter of days since HuffPo was 'acquired' and already the content and comments have degraded.

Cicada February 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Thank you for the update Jack!

DoktorZoom February 20, 2011 at 11:35 am

Yay, Jack read my email! Also, "the current iteration of John McCain" should be the standard way of referring to that guy, at least when space restrictions don't mandate "Walnuts."

gurukalehuru February 21, 2011 at 5:25 am

I accept the info in the update. I don't know if this guy's a jerk or not, maybe more of a Dennis Leary sort of dickwad than a classic Arizona dickwad, maybe not even that.
In any case, the outrage here is clearly based on the headline rather than people actually reading all the way to the bottom.
Lighten up, folks.

L188188 February 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm

New Teabag icon! Mark the (ex) Firefighter and Joe the (fake) Plumber will be having intercourse on Beck's show next week.

Tyler520 March 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm

notice that the commentary fizzled away when they found out the story was bogus…no apologies…nothing – ho hum.

DoktorZoom February 18, 2011 at 9:46 pm

" We don't fact-check [and] look at context because of any journalistic criteria that has to be met; we do that because jokes don't work when they're lies. We fact-check so when we tell a joke, it hits you at sort of a gut level — not because we have a journalistic integrity, [but because] hopefully we have a comedic integrity that we don't want to violate." Jon Stewart, Fresh Air with Terry Gross

I dunno, you do sound a bit like Neilist, but without the funny. Bitterness does not suit you. But, hey, this is still far better than the Eleanor Roosevelt persona.

Cicada February 19, 2011 at 10:24 am

I can't think of a real reason you would be angry that people are calling for more accuracy on this story.

This sounds like a tantrum because you don't feel like your ego has been stroked enough. I've found you funny before, but this is just sad.

Cicada February 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Aw, poor thing. I'm so sorry.

Show me on the doll where the bad Wonkette touched you.

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