First article hitting the airwaves? Randi Rhodes "mugged" in NYC, walking her dog. This was posted on TalkingRadio blog. Stellar excerpts?
According to Air America Radio late night host Jon Elliott, Rhodes was beaten up pretty badly, losing several teeth and will probably be off the air for at least the rest of the week. At of late Monday night we have not able to locate any press accounts of the attack and nothing has been posted on the AAR website.
Elliott was extremely agitated when he reported on the incident. He opened his show by saying "it is with sadness that tonight I inform you that my Air America colleague Randi Rhodes was assaulted last night while walking her dog near her New York City home."
Pointing out that Rhodes was wearing a jogging suit and displayed no purse or jewelry, Elliott speculated that "this does not appear to me to be a standard grab the money and run mugging."
"Is this an attempt by the right wing hate machine to silence one of our own," he asked. "Are we threatening them. Are they afraid that we're winning. Are they trying to silence intimidate us."
Some of blog posters also expressed concerns that the attack on Rhodes was hate crime. Other posters warned that we need more facts before any judgements are made.
Apparently, some right-wing critics of lib talk aren’t happy that conservative talk only accounts for 90% of the programming on talk radio. These whack jobs appear determined to whatever it takes to silence the opposing point of view.
Not surprisingly, the only talk radio host killed for his political views was a liberal. In 1984, two right wing extremists gunned down Denver talk show host Alan Berg. Berg’s tragic murder was memorialized in a chilling movie Talk Radio
Hours later, the NY Daily News comes out with "Air America host Randi Rhodes wasn't mugged". No reason given how Ms. Rhodes managed to lose a few teeth walking her dog, save she somehow fell down and hit the sidewalk. Okay....
A police source said Rhodes never filed a report and never claimed to be the victim of a mugging. Cops from Manhattan's 17th Precinct called her attorney, who told them Rhodes was not a victim of a crime, the source said.
Rhodes' lawyer told the Daily News she was injured in a fall while walking her dog. He said she's not sure what happened, and only knows that she fell down and is in a lot of pain. The lawyer said Rhodes expects to be back on the air Thursday. He stressed there is no indication she was targeted or that she was the victim of a "hate crime."
Shoved into a corner, Elliott backpedals furiously...
Air America released a statement saying that "the reports of a presumed hate crime are unfounded." Elliott followed that up with a retraction.
"I shouldn't have speculated based on hearsay that Randi Rhodes had been mugged and that it may have been an attack from a right wing hate machine. I apologize for jumping to conclusions based on an emotional reaction," he said in a written statement.
Ahhh... a day in the life of Air America. No wonder these "new" bozos have few listeners and the station is in bankruptcy...