While the official word is, no doubt, that nobody from the McCain campaign wants to see anyone get hurt, the constant classification of liberals as America-hating enemies, and the media as unapologetically liberal (ha!), by McPalin in speeches is having an effect with supporters (eg, all of the supporters who yell “terrorist” and “kill him”). I suspect the response is what is hoped for; after all, why even obliquely encourage this stuff unless it’s what you want?

At any rate, the problems continue to escalate as battery was committed against a reporter in North Carolina for, I guess, being a reporter.

I sidled up to one of the Obama supporters and asked why they were there, what they were trying to accomplish.

As he was telling me a large, bearded man in full McCain-Palin campaign regalia got in his face to yell at him.

“Hey, hey, ” I said. “I’m trying to interview him. Just a minute, okay? ”

The man began to say something about how of course I was interviewing the Obama people when suddenly, from behind us, the sound of a pro-Obama rap song came blaring out of the windows of a dorm building. We all turned our heads to see Obama signs in the windows.

This was met with curses, screams and chants of “U.S.A” by McCain-Palin folks who crowded under the windows trying to drown it out and yell at the person playing the stereo.

It was a moment of levity in an otherwise very tense situation and so I let out a gentle chuckle and shook my head.

“Oh, you think that ‘s funny?! ” the large bearded man said. His face was turning red. “Yeah, that ‘s real funny‚Ķ” he said.

And then he kicked the back of leg, buckling my right knee and sending me sprawling onto the ground.

The reporter in question apparently wasn’t seriously hurt, thankfully. But how long until someone does end up badly hurt? Or worse? This stuff is out of control, and getting really really ugly.