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Editorial: Heckling Hillary / A New York rock-concert crowd boos Sen. Clinton

Monday, October 29, 2001

Rowdiness and bad behavior are part of the rock 'n' roll experience, even at benefit concerts. Remember 1985's Live Aid for African famine relief? Joni Mitchell, the reclusive Canadian pop singer, was hit in the chest mid-performance with a water bottle thrown by a deliriously giddy fan.

Fast forward 16 years to the Oct. 20 Concert for New York. In the wake of the terrorist act that claimed the lives of hundreds of police and firemen at the World Trade Center, pop music and pop culture's royalty turned out for a benefit concert that featured a reunion of The Who, a mini-set by the Rolling Stones, Adam Sandler's mockery of Osama bin Laden and . . . the booing of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The junior senator from New York hadn't said anything offensive. A mere 15 seconds into her introduction of a clip by Jerry Seinfeld, New York's finest let her know that she wasn't welcome at their party. To her credit, Sen. Clinton soldiered on and maintained her poise in the face of an incivility she didn't deserve.

Yes, passions were running high that night and New York's working-class heroes weren't in the mood to be hypocritical about a politician their union leaders didn't endorse. Even so, the booing of Mrs. Clinton at this event reflected poorly on the police and firefighters who engaged in it.

They may be heroes, but there is nothing heroic about booing an elected official who is publicly applauding them. Sen. Clinton deserved better.

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