The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

16 October 2007

Alleged Attack On Randi Rhodes, Media Response, Air America Response

HOLD YOUR HORSES!

False Rhodes Attack Rumors Spark Instant Finger-Pointing







Almost as fast as an unconfirmed report surfaced that libtalker Randi Rhodes had been attacked and injured on the streets of New York City spread across the Internet, dishonest finger- pointing against conservatives had begun.

In the end, however, the focus of this story may well prove to be Matt Drudge more than anyone else. More on that below.


First, before these liberal blogosphere- generated rumors spread any further, here's the closest we have to the real story, from David Hinckley and Tina Moore of the New York Daily News:


Air America radio host Randi Rhodes is temporarily off the air, but claims she was brutally attacked near her Manhattan apartment are bogus, her lawyer and a police source said today.

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?"

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."


From what we've been able to gather today, the rumor did indeed begin with Jon Elliot last night, then was picked up by a tiny blog whose author has been a frequent critic of this site. At that point, Matt Drudge ran with his ill- considered headline, which sparked a wild frenzy of conspiratorial rants from the left:


(Watching The Watchers) "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," Elliott told his listeners this morning on Air America.

The attack took place near the corner of 39th Street and Park Avenue, Elliot said.

Because Rhodes was wearing a jogging suit and had neither a purse nor 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 on the air. "Are we threatening them? Are they afraid that we're winning? Are they trying to silence intimidate us?"


(Think Progress Comments) Air America radio host Randi Rhodes was mugged on Sunday night while walking her dog nearby her Manhattan apartment. “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.”

How much you wanna bet it was an O’Reilly listener (or a deranged idiot-there’s really not much difference..)

:)

Comment by whiteyfresh — October 16, 2007 @ 9:11 am


Cripes, I wondered why Lionel was covering Randi’s show yesterday. I read the link to the story - very unsettling.

Jon Elliot: 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.”

Thom Hartmann found bullet holes in his car recently.

We may have another freeper nut on the loose.

Comment by Candyce — October 16, 2007 @ 9:14 am


(Monsters and Critics) Radio personality Randi Rhodes was allegedly mugged on Sunday night on 39th Street and Park Ave, nearby her Manhattan apartment, while she was walking her dog Simon.

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."

Several liberal blogs, including the Randi Rhodes Message Board and Democratic Underground have logged numerous posts on the Rhodes alleged mugging with most of the posters expressing concern about the condition of the popular liberal talker.

Morning talk host, Lionel filled in for Rhodes on Monday, but did not say anything about why she wasn’t on hand to do her show. The Randi Rhodes board reports that Sam Seder, who does a Sunday afternoon show for AAR, will be filling on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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."


(The Miami Herald) Randi Rhodes, the Air America radio host who began her talk-show career on South Florida's WIOD 610-AM, was injured Sunday night when she was assaulted near her apartment on Manhattan's East Side, according to other hosts, who discussed the incident Tuesday on their shows.

Rhodes, 48, was walking Simon, her Yorkshire terrier, when someone attacked her. She reportedly lost at least two teeth. It was unclear if Simon was injured.

Nicole Sandler of Miami's WINZ 940-AM and Stephanie Miller, whose Jones Radio Network show is carried by WINZ, reported that Rhodes was wearing sweats and wasn't wearing jewelry or carrying a purse.

They said she was recovering at home.

Rhodes, an outspoken anti-war, anti-Bush administration progressive, is a regular target of right-wing blogs. Sandler and Miller said it's not clear if the attack had anything to do with her politics.


(Gawker) Reports are filtering in that Air America host Randi Rhodes was severely beaten Monday night while walking her dog on 39th and Park. "Rhodes was beaten up pretty badly, losing several teeth and will probably be off the air for at least the rest of the week," writes Talking Radio. Air America, when reached for comment on the listener call-in line, said, "We don't want to feed the inaccurate rumor mill. Also, we don't know." Though the attacks haven't been reported elsewhere, Rhodes' website does mention that she isn't feeling well and has gone as far as creating a little church sign to that effect. Sam Seder is filling in for her. Murky!


Want more?
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of additional examples out there.


Again, this comes back to Drudge: here's a guy who has fought conservative blogs for years, refusing to link to them no matter how important their coverage might be.

In addition, he rarely acknowledges liberal blogs either, but in the few times he has, the particular stories (from Think Progress, Politico and now Talking Radio) have quickly beem proven untrue. What gives, Matt?

We're glad to hear Randi's okay. The next step is to learn more about how a phony story could so quickly take on a life of its own.


HERE'S how conservatives have tackled this story: Michelle Malkin here, Blogmeister USA, lgf, Riehl World View, NewsBusters, Captain Ed

FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site.


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17 Comments:

  • mmmmmmmm, remember Alan Berg anyone? Murdered by radical right wing extremists, who read the favorite book among wing nuts, Turner diaries.

    So now you know why rumors like this occur..... The right has a history of Nazi like violence against those they disagree with.

    What is so fascinating is the Anti-Semetic history of the radial right and how the MSM ignores it.

    Coulter had a recent appearance where she called for perfecting Jews (CNBC) not a peep from ANYONE about this, yet question the Isreali government and their tatics of collective punishment and your an Anti-semite!!

    Radical moon bat wing nuts, only have use for Jews if they are neo-cons, otherwise they need to be perfected or killed like Alan Berg.

    Debbie Schlossel rushed to the defense of Coulter "shes no Anti-semite", than she attacked all liberal jews including BOO!!! George Soros!!


    Cons attacked the Frost family, attacked soldiers they disagree with , now they are attacking a 2 year old Bethany Wilkerson and her family for using S-chip!!!!

    sick, degenrate, vile, violent and Anti-American, they atrtack the messanger, all the time

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 16 October, 2007 14:26  

  • The right has a history of Nazi like violence against those they disagree with.

    "The right" doesn't act with one unified will any more than the left does.

    And attempting to link mainstream conservatism (a view abandoned by a lot of the Republican Party) to a group of white nationalists is simply beyond the pale.

    And what's up with Matt Drudge? He certainly presented the Rhodes attack story as a known fact. Is he that desperate for something "sensational" that he can break to a waiting nation?

    By Blogger Snowed In, at 16 October, 2007 16:00  

  • Oh, and regardless, I hope Ms. Rhodes is okay, even if I disagree with her on pretty much everything I've heard her say.

    By Blogger Snowed In, at 16 October, 2007 16:00  

  • Oooh, another vast wight wing conspiwacy! Huh huh huh huh. The left are adept at storytelling, 'interpreting' and 'feeling', not reporting. (That's why the predominantly left-wing media is such a mess.)

    This was nothing more than Air America trying to call attention to itself. So few hear Rhodes and her l'il network, that it's unlikely she would have been attacked based on her politics. Is it any less likely that she was blind drunk and tripped?

    By Blogger Sign Of The Times, at 16 October, 2007 16:01  

  • Sign of the retarded posted

    This was nothing more than Air America trying to call attention to itself


    mmmmmm, AA put out a press release saying she fell down, freak. John Elliot made a speculation, AAR clearified the issue
    Many people hear Randi Rhodes, she has 12 new affiliates over the last month alone, many non "lib talk" stations. She has 2 million listeners on far far fewer affiliates than the pig man, who has thousands of affiliates

    do the math
    she has more listeners per affiliate than the pig man. FACTS. The math is called division, do it, you will see she has more listeners per affiliate than Rush. Rush as 12 million on over 600 stations, Rhodes has over 2 million on maybe 60 affiliates. Thus , she has more listeners per station, douche bag

    This is the harsh truth, the pig man has fewer listenrs per station than the average lib talker, who has far fewer affiliates.

    Deal with it freeper, moonbat, wing nut, "R" over USA hack, the EIB network is not what it used to be.

    and again Ask the widow of Alan Berg, what wingnuts do to people they disagree with. your side has always been the parrty of The Turner Diaries, murder and violence.

    Now sign of the retarded, go beat up on a 2 year old with Malkin

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 16 October, 2007 16:26  

  • snowed:
    And attempting to link mainstream conservatism (a view abandoned by a lot of the Republican Party) to a group of white nationalists is simply beyond the pale.



    I respectfully disagree, if Limbaugh can make $40 million a year, calling people like me "anti-troops", or compare them to Stalinists, I can indeed practice the same art of painting the broad brush

    they do it
    I do it

    this is how I was raised, I do not turn the other cheek, I hit back, only harder. Call me a Stalinist, or "anti-american", I call you a Nazi, along the lines of the freaks who killed Byrd

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 16 October, 2007 16:28  

  • I don't think we have enough clear information either way to draw any sort of conclusion, but it says a lot about the climate of our country that you have sneering neocons gleeful at the idea of one of those "lefties" from EVIL Air America being beaten and left for dead on a quiet city street.

    It's even more revealing to note that liberals, leftists, Greens, etc. have become so conditioned to the reality of violence from right-wing thugs, that they'll simply accept the a mere radio mention of yet another example of it as completely believable and expected.

    If the dark forces that really govern this police state cannot silence you by making your only outlet of expression vanish, of course the next step is a tire iron to the chops...

    To a certain extent, just the fact that such a thing COULD have happened, may have happened, and most likely will happen, over and over, is really just another reminder of the climate the right has created, and a deadly talisman of how the carnage we have spread around the world is destined to find its way home once again.

    To Randi, a speedy recovery.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 16 October, 2007 16:31  

  • One more thing:

    AAR?

    Pathetic press release, that created more speculation than answers.

    Typical. And disturbing.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 16 October, 2007 16:33  

  • Any stations left for Jon Elliot
    to be on? KLSD in San Diego
    switches to sports on Oct 28.
    Buy an HD radio and you can
    still hear it, though, on
    one of the FM stations' HD sub-signals.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 16 October, 2007 16:56  

  • error in previous post, I mean Berg, not Byrd


    Hash,

    Of course, my first reaction was a moonbat wing-nut attacked her, the first thing that came to my mind was indeed Alan Berg. They earned this reputation by their actions. Attack the messanger. This is what they are good at, attacking families, soldiers, "libs", and in the past talk show hosts.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 16 October, 2007 16:57  

  • to the aptly named minister of propaganda:

    Alan Berg has been dead for over 20 years. If those sorts of violent attacks were as commonplace as you so desparately want them to be (how many left-wingers are depressed that Randi Rhodes wasn't mugged?) you might have been able to come up with an example from, oh, this century.

    Nice try though, skippy.

    By Blogger The Den Mother, at 16 October, 2007 17:20  

  • Fun with Facts!

    Does MiniProp think that Rush Limbaugh is on:

    a) thousands of stations?
    b) 600 stations?
    c) both of the above?

    Answer: c) both of the above!

    See the 5th comment.

    By Blogger Missouri Show Me, at 16 October, 2007 19:31  

  • I think the better part of valor would be to wait until Rhodes herself clarifies in a statement what happened.

    Only the neocon smear machine would take a horrible event like this, regardless of cause, twist what little we've actually been able to learn about it, and paint themselves as victims of social and political persecution in the process.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 16 October, 2007 22:59  

  • MoP:
    they do it
    I do it


    Two wrongs don't make a right.

    Hash:
    it says a lot about the climate of our country that you have sneering neocons gleeful at the idea of one of those "lefties" from EVIL Air America being beaten and left for dead on a quiet city street.

    That it does...some of the comments I read on the blog which originally "broke" the attack story were downright embarrassing.

    Back to MoP:
    and again Ask the widow of Alan Berg, what some wingnuts do to people they disagree with.

    There, fixed that for you.

    By Blogger Snowed In, at 16 October, 2007 23:41  

  • This could have been a right-wing attack, and that's all that matters.

    P.S. Jon Elliot has apologized.

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 17 October, 2007 00:10  

  • It COULD have been any number of things. It could have been an attack in which she was targeted for who she is, it could be a random attack, or it could very well be an accident.

    In my opinion, Mark Green's "Air America 2.0" has done a pathetic
    job of keeping Ms. Rhodes' fans and the press informed regarding her condition, and what was known about the circumstances of this incident.

    AAR's lack of transparency fed all sorts of ugly rumors and revealed them for the atrocious employers they have allowed themselves to deterioriate into.

    Governments, men of power, commanders of military might, etc. are not the only authorities to be held accountable for their mishandling of regrettable circumstance.

    Sometimes the "watchers" and wielders of judgement, in the name of "progressive values", yet mired in avarice and greed, need their feet held to the fire as well, lest they become carried away with the self-indulgences and delusions such credit often brings.

    Neocons have no monopoly on incompetence.

    We need to expect more of ourselves, as we demand more of one another.

    Thursday may well be an interesting day on Sixth Avenue.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 17 October, 2007 01:44  

  • If it turns out this was a publicity scheme by AAR, I will no longer listen, that would be as low as the Morton Doweny Jr "nazi" attack

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 17 October, 2007 10:41  

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