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Friday, October 19, 2007

The "Mugging Meme": Randi Rhodes from Air America, Started It.

I was going to leave this alone after my initial post, but I find after hearing Randi Rhodes attempt to explain what might or might not have happened, I just have to.

Speaking on her radio show today, Air America Radio's Randi Rhodes spoke about her supposed mugging. She said she was watching football in an Irish pub and went outside for a smoke. The next thing she knew she was on the ground, having fallen or been pushed into a metal grate. She also said she hadn't eaten all day, and she's been to a series of doctors and dentists to fix her injuries and they've also been unable to determine a medical reason for the incident. She also says she sent a two sentence email to AAR's management telling them that she had been mugged; when right-wingers were blamed for the incident she decided not to speak out because she had doctor's appointments.

There is so much wrong with this, on so many levels, I almost do not know where to start.

First off it seems that initial comments saying she was in a pub prior to the "accident", which I did not put in my original post because I wasn't sure if it was true or not, has now been verified by her.

Randi Rhodes was no more assaulted by a right-wing fanatic on Monday than Dick Cheney was. She, in fact, fell down and injured her teeth outside of a Midtown Irish bar at around 6 o’clock Sunday evening after downing about fourteen Ketel One Bloody Marys. She was abusive to the barstaff and generally gross, crass, loud, and pretentious. I genuinely hope she has a speedy recovery. I never would’ve disclosed this (I believe that anyone should feel free to hang out at Irish pubs at any time and not be concerned about someone publishing their behavior) if Air America hadn’t grossly interpreted a drunken indiscretion and allowed it to be morphed into some bullish rhetoric on air. Whatever journalistic integrity the station may have ever had is now completely compromised. The manipulation of the public diminishes any cause, whether just or fabricated.

Next point, her claim that she either fell or was pushed... helllloooooo???

Was she pushed or did she fall, that isn't a difficult question. Either you feel someones hands on you, pushing you hard enough to make you fall, or you don't... one or the other.

Was she drunk enough to not remember whether she felt someone push her? Her statement leaves us with more questions than it does answers.

Then she says she sent a two sentence email to Air America saying she was "mugged", hence the mugged meme that instantly got picked up on.

Mugged: to assault or menace, esp. with the intention of robbery.

Was she robbed? Did anyone attempt to steal her purse? Or did she not want to admit that she had a few, fell down and hurt herself?

The she says that when right-wingers were blamed for the incident she chose not to take a few seconds, call her own show, (who was the source of the right wing attack accusations) and tell them the truth?

Fellow host Jon Elliott claimed on the liberal radio network that Rhodes had been mugged while walking her dog, Simon, on Sunday night. Elliot, who said Rhodes lost several teeth in the attack, waxed about a possible conspiracy.

"Is this an attempt by the right-wing, hate machine to silence one of our own?" he asked on the air, according to Talking Radio, a blog. "Are we threatening them? Are they afraid that we’re winning? Are they trying to silence intimidate us?"

So her false claim of being mugged started a firestorm, where her colleague from Air America made accusations about it being a right wing attack on Rhodes and she didn't take the moments it would have taken to clear it up and now she is complaining about the media's conduct?

(Addition thought: She complains about the media's conduct, but what about her conduct? What about Jon Elliott's conduct? What about Air America's conduct?)

Typical Air America.

Lies and accusations with no facts to back them up.

Radio Equalizer
has some of those very questions that I just posed:

1. Why did she send an email to Air America staffers claiming to have been mugged if there was no indication one had occurred?

2. Why has host Jon Elliot been forced to apologize for simply relaying Randi's note to network listeners? Is he the fall guy for her dishonesty?

3. Since there was never any evidence to support an attack claim, why did she even suggest this possibility in a way she knew would reach the press?

4. Why won't she tell us how much she'd had to drink before she'd stepped out of the Irish pub?

5. And perhaps most importantly, why doesn't it bother her that the phony mugging story was quickly turned into a chance to beat up on conservatives, who were actually blamed for the incident?

BoreAmerica provides us with a YouTube video of her "statement", ask yourself if any of the questions listed above are answered. (Here's an edited recording of the start of her show. Bear in mind that about five minutes of the beginning was edited out for brevity.)

Who knows, maybe this was simply Air America's pathetic attempt to get some attention so they didn't end up in bankruptcy yet again.