Lefty Outrage Du Jour: Bachmann's Staffers Manhandle Reporter

-By Warner Todd Huston

ABC’s Brian Ross claimed that Michele Bachmann’s staff pushed him around on July 19 at a campaign appearance. I know, I know, you are waiting for the pity party to start.

In a fit of wild hyperbole, Ross called his treatment by Bachmann similar to the treatment he’s received “mostly by Mafia people.” The left-o-sphere has taken up Ross’ banner, of course, but one can only laugh at Ross considering the ho hum treatment that the media gave back in January of 2010 when a Democrat accosted a different reporter.

In truth, what happened to Ross is fairly mild and all his fault. Bachmann’s staff told the press that she was moving on and would take no further questions but Ross, being the uncouth sort of fella he is, broke away from the other reporters and ran pellmell at the candidate screaming questions anyway. He tried to follow Bachmann into the parking area and at that point her aides stepped in and blocked him even pushing him away a few times.

ABC claims it has video of this altercation, but has yet to post it.

If you listen to the silly hyperbole from the far left blogrags, the media is being treated like the Egyptian protesters in Tahrir Square by Bachmann’s campaign staff. Another lefty site says that Bachmann is indulging in “open conflict” with the press. Neither characterization is even close to the truth.

Jeffrey Schneider, a senior vice president for ABC news, denounced the incident saying, “He was certainly shoved around and pushed. It’s unfortunate when physicality is involved. He was just doing his job.”

I remember members of an army sometime in the mid 1940s saying that they were innocent because they were just doing their jobs, too.

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake’s Twitter feed had the following message from the Bachmann campaign in explanation: “We didn’t have time for any questions and we made it clear … he disregarded repeated requests to stay back.”

So, as we can see, it was Ross’ fault, really. He ran off like a fool trying to accost the candidate as she was getting ready to leave and after he was told the press availability was over. What did he expect to have happen?

Still, we can only laugh here because in Ross’ case he was only blocked from reaching the candidate. Considering his behavior, he was not treated too harshly. With all this hyperbole and gnashing of teeth by the left over the Bachmann incident, one would think that they would be upset any time the press was restrained from pursuit of a story. But back in 2010, the lefties were not so inclined to outrage when a reporter wasn’t just body blocked from a candidate but actually attacked and thrown to the ground.

In January of 2010 during the special election for the senate in Massachusetts that brought us Republican Senator Scott Brown, a reporter from the Weekly Standard was body blocked, pushed into a rail and knocked to the ground by an operative for Democrat candidate Martha Coakley.

The attacker was long-time Massachusetts Democrat Party political operative Michael Meehan.

As to how the left-o-sphere treated an incident where a reporter was actually knocked to the ground, well they either blamed the reporter or lionized the attacker. One even said that reporter MacCormak was somehow a stalker and not a reporter.

But there was not an ounce of outrage that a reporter was attacked by a candidate’s staff.

So, let’s compare and contrast. In 2010 a reporter was actually thrown to the ground by a political campaign staffer. Result = guffaws and snickering. In 2011 a reporter was simply blocked from getting to a candidate but not thrown to the ground. Result = outrage and hyperbole.

So what were the differences? Ah, it is plain. The 2010 incident featured a reporter from a conservative news magazine — therefore the left doesn’t care about his being attacked. On the other hand, in 2011 it was a left-winger that was blocked from a candidate. And so, it is to be reported as some sort of violation of the sacred right of the press to be as obnoxious as they want.

Not much hypocrisy and bias there, eh?

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