Anderson Cooper gets punched: Mubarak's supporters staging counter protest and target news media for harassment

Mubarak's goons are taking to the street in support of Mubarak.  They also have a preferred method of engagement... targeting media.  Whenever things go bad for those in power, the instinct is to blame the media.  Democrats frequently cite talk radio as a reason why the President is unpopular.  It is as ludicrous as it is dangerous.  Via CNN

Demonstrators who appear to support Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are targeting journalists for attacks on the streets of Cairo.

A Belgian reporter on Wednesday was arrested, beaten and accused of being a spy by men supporting the Mubarak regime in the central Cairo neighborhood of Choubra, according to one news media watchdog group. An Egyptian reporter was found severely beaten several hours after a group of men seized him in Tahrir Square, according to his news organization.

Journalists from the BBC, ABC News and CNN were also attacked. Among them were CNN's Anderson Cooper and Hala Gorani.

Cooper said he was hit on the head by a pro-Mubarak demonstrator. Gorani said she was threatened after getting caught in a stampede of men riding on camels and horses Wednesday morning.

"I got slammed against the gates and was threatened by one of the pro-Mubarak protesters who was ... telling me to 'get out, get out!' and saying it very close to my face," Gorani said. "The pro-Mubaraks, whoever they are, whoever sent them, are being threatening toward camera crews, journalists, anybody who looks like they may be onlookers. Some of the elements there are rather thuggish and they seem to be intent on causing trouble."

Several hours later, Cooper said he, CNN producer MaryAnne Fox and a cameraman were attacked by pro-Mubarak supporters in front of the Egyptian Museum. At the time, Cooper said, the three journalists were trying to reach a "no-man's land" between the demonstrators against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime and the counter-demonstrators.

"We never got that far. We were set upon by pro-Mubarak supporters punching us in the head," Cooper said. "We turned around and start to walk just calmly. The crowd kept growing, kept throwing more punches, kicks, trying to grab us."

"It was pandemonium," Cooper said. "Suddenly a young man would come up, look at you and then punch you right in the face. You know the instinct is to try to punch back or push back but that just inflames the crowd more."

"All we could do was to just try to walk as quickly as possible, stay together and seek a safe location," Cooper said.

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