The Times‘ piece about Charlie Rangel’s highly anticipated birthday party last night opened with a anecdote about former mayor David Dinkins confronting a protester that seemed to sum up the tone of the evening neatly.
“You know you are attending a party for a crook,” the man yelled.
At that, Mr. Dinkins, a paragon of statesmanship and dignity, raised his middle finger at the man, displaying it for all to see, according to witnesses, whose accounts were confirmed by the former mayor.
Now, video of the confrontation is available, courtesy of CNN. Seeing the moment oneself does rob it of some of the profoundity found in The Times writeup, but the moment of truth occurs around 0:45.
Maggie Haberman reports that, at his Harlem offices today, the congressman himself referened the bird-flipping as a touching moment of solidarity
He voluntarily brought up the people asking him to resign and said that former Mayor David Dinkins’s now-infamous middle-finger-flip to a rowdy protester outside the congressman’s birthday party Wednesday night, saying he “really expressed my view best last night. … I can’t find a better way to say it.”
He then went on to criticize the members of the press covering his alleged ethics violations.