Keene NH

It was a bizarre scene in Keene, New Hampshire over the weekend as the town’s annual Pumpkin Fest descended into chaos, with rioting, injuries, arrests, and tear gas. Even weirder was when the festival’s organizer accosted a local reporter for reading a statement from the Keene State College president about the riots. It was reminiscent of the movie Animal House – “Remain calm, all is well!

Watch the hilarious video where organizer Ruth Sterling tries to grab the microphone and accuses reporter Jared Goodell of self-promotion and trying to incite people, while he attempts to stand up for the freedom of the press:

Shockingly, after the video of her making a fool of herself went viral, the organizer doubled down on her actions to Boston.com:

“I needed to keep 80,000 people safe. And one self-promoting punk could help me do that or TRY to impede me from doing that. I never regret when I try. Last night I was trying. I was not surrendering to fear, intimidation, threats,” Sterling wrote.

Goodell said Sterling approached his director about ending the broadcast but ultimately gave up trying to shut the show down.

“I would say over eight hours [of coverage] it was probably 90 percent about the festival, just talking to the families and kids with costumes, about the pumpkins, talking to local non-profit leaders,” Goodell told Boston.com “We talked about the riots in a safe way because we’re playing to viewers at home and we want to let the viewers at home know what the safety concerns are.

“Cars were being turned over, fires were being set, a mass casualty [incident] was announced,” he added. “I’d say we underreported on the riots.”

I’d say the Pumpkin Fest organizer had MUCH bigger issues to deal with than harassing local reporters for reporting the news.