According to one report, she “shoved aside” a volunteer working the event “and dashed from the room as the mob called for her to be booted from the premises.” Dateline‘s Michelle Madigan was apparently caught undercover at the Defcon security convention in Las Vegas. Here’s a transcript and video of what happened next.
Hackers take their privacy seriously. Defcon staff had already begun broadcasting Madigan’s picture as a warning before each presentation, according to Wired News – but by Saturday they’d finally lured the reporter into a large auditorium. After Defcon’s founder, Jeff Moss, announced her presence, she drew boos and hisses. And though Madigan fled the auditorium and headed for her car — a throng of the young convention-goers followed her.
“We don’t mean you any harm…” Moss warned from the podium. “It’s just that we want to know if we’re talking to the press. That’s the purpose of the press pass. If you’d like to wear a press pass you’re welcome back. Otherwise, please go home!”
And then in a startling reversal of the usual roles, the “ambush” news producer became a target, with her walk of shame captured by amateur videographers. Within hours they’d uploaded their various footage to YouTube — capturing forever the catcalls and heckling she endured…
Dateline has been issuing only one comment on the incident — that they won’t comment about how their stories get created. But as blogger Xeni Jardin joked, the first rule of any exploit is: don’t get caught.
Below are two amateur videos — along with some screen captures, and (best of all) a transcript of all the heckling that took place in the parking lot.
“Did you catch a predator?”
“Or did we catch one?”
“No no no. It’s catch an identity thief.”
(Mimicking) “They’re making fun of me and they’re taking pictures! I don’t like it.”
(Taking her picture) “This is for all those helpless predators.”
“Do you have any comments?”
“Can you just say what your name is?”
“Wow, you must feel like Lindsay Lohan right now.”
“I don’t know — Lindsay Lohan’s pretty smart.”
“You seem kind of upset.”
“Can I have your badge?”
“I don’t understand what the problem is. I mean, you chose a life in front of the camera.”
“Wait! We just want to ask you some questions!”
“Smile for the camera!”
“We just want to ask some questions!”
“We don’t bite.”
“Go get ‘em, Lumpy!”
“Don’t let the door hit ya where the dog shoulda bit ya!”
“Is this a rental?”
“Thanks for playing!”
“To Catch a Reporter.”
“Come back next year!”
(Crowd, in unison) “Bye! Bye! Bye! Bye!”
(Laughter as she makes a wrong turn….)
“Give our love to the editors!”