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Obama Gets Heckled, Occupy-Style

Here's what it sounds like when protesters use the Occupy Wall Street "human microphone" technique to heckle the commander in chief.

As President Obama was talking earlier today at a high school in Manchester, N.H., a voice was raised — and then echoed by others in the style used by Occupy protesters in New York when they aren't allowed to use bullhorns or microphones but want to pass messages along in a large crowd.

"Mr. President!" a voice shouted. "MR. PRESIDENT!" others repeated.

"Over 4,000 peaceful protesters." "OVER 4,000 PEACEFUL PROTESTERS!"

"Have been arrested!" "HAVE BEEN ARRESTED"

As those voices were trying to call attention to the Occupy movement, others started to counter with chants of "Obama!" and "fired up, ready to go!"

The president, meanwhile, paused and said "no, no, no; that's OK." And when things calmed down a bit he told the protesters that "I appreciate you guys making your point. Let me go ahead and make mine. I'll listen to you and you listen to me."

Expect to see more of this sort of thing on the campaign trail. And Occupy protesters have heckled Republicans, such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, as well (he's been "mic-checked at least once too).

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.