Is a Horrific, Politically Motivated Beating Newsworthy?
Depends on whose bones were broken. (Also read Roger Kimball: "Haters on the march in Arizona — newsworthy?")
April 27, 2010 - 12:00 am
The following is, of course, satire — though the author continues to wait for the AP, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Anderson Cooper, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and the rest of the MSM and political class to give the New Orleans beating the coverage it deserves.
(AP) BOSTON – Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s chief campaign fundraiser is recovering from injuries she suffered in a Friday night altercation with a group of people in Boston’s Back Bay, the governor’s office said Monday.
Bautsch Allee suffered a broken leg and her boyfriend suffered a concussion and a fractured nose and jaw in the incident, which happened after a fundraising event at Bouchee restaurant on behalf of the Massachusetts Democratic Party on Friday evening.
Patrick was at the fundraising event at the restaurant, but was not present when the incident occurred.
Pyle Klotkin, a Patrick spokesman, said Allee had surgery during the weekend and is facing a recovery time of two to three months.
The Democratic fundraiser coincided with a rally for the so-called “tea party” movement in the Boston Commons. The rally was led by former Alaska Governor and unsuccessful vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
According to police and governor’s office sources, Allee and her boyfriend were accosted by individuals who may have been among a group of conservative activists protesting outside Bouchee during the fundraiser. Sources described the assailants as “middle-class white people” wearing “chinos and polo shirts.”
Response to the horrific outbreak of political violence was swift. The White House released a statement from President Barack Obama, a close friend and political ally of Gov. Patrick, stating:
As president, I condemn this outrageous attack in the strongest possible terms. While political dissent has a storied place in our nation’s history, outright violence against political opponents has no place in our society. I call on the leaders of the Republican Party to denounce this terrible attack, and I am ordering Attorney General Holder to place the full powers of the federal government at Governor Patrick’s disposal. We must and we will find the criminals responsible for this atrocity, and we must all work to silence the voices that oppose our nation’s transformation into a new and better place.
Attorney General Eric Holder, also responded swiftly, ordering the FBI to assist in the investigation. Holder also activated lawyers in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to initiate an investigation into possible violations of civil rights laws.
Members of Congress also voiced their condemnation of the attack. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement calling the attack “the predictable result of these so-called ‘tea parties’ and the anti-government rhetoric they spout.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke briefly to reporters, saying, “I hope every American is made aware of this terrible attack, and learns just how far the right wing is willing to go to meet its political ends.”
Media condemnation of the assaults was also swift. All three broadcast networks broke into prime-time programming with coverage of the attacks, and the cable news networks have carried wall-to-wall reporting and analysis since the news first broke.
CNN on-air personality Anderson Cooper defended the 24/7 coverage by noting:
We’re a news organization, and when the aide of a prominent governor is beaten nearly to death within a few yards of an opposing political group’s protest … well, if that’s not news, I don’t know what is.
MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow were more direct. “This may be the greatest outrage in American history,” Olbermann said on his Countdown program. “The president would be completely within his rights to order a severe FBI crackdown on these ‘teabaggers.’” Maddow called for the immediate arrest of Palin on suspicion of fomenting treason and a second civil war.
Author’s note: The preceding story is, of course, fictional — with a few exceptions:
The first four paragraphs are copied from a news story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune from April 12, 2010, with a few changes. The location of a vicious assault on Governor Bobby Jindal’s aide Allee Bautch and her boyfriend, Joe Brown, was changed from New Orleans to Boston, and Bautch’s name was reversed. I apologize in advance to the owners, employees and patrons of Boston’s Bouchee restaurant for using Bauchee as a stand-in for Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans; certainly Bouchee holds no more responsibility for the fictional attack than Brennan’s does for the real one. I also apologize to Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin for re-spelling his name in the fictionalized story.