Friday, October 24, 2008

An Obligatory Post

Yes, I saw this:

Pittsburgh police are still questioning a 20-year-old woman who said she was robbed and assaulted at an ATM in Bloomfield because of her political views.

Ashley Todd, of College Station, Texas, said she was using an ATM at Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street just before 9 p.m. Wednesday when a man approached her and put a knife to her throat.

Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said the robber took $60 from Todd, then became angry when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the victim's car. The attacker then punched and kicked the victim, before using a dull knife to scratch the letter "B" into her face, Richard said.

My initial reaction is to be skeptical about the authenticity of this report. In spirit The Anchoress sums up my thinking exactly:

I did not jump on the story because I’m a New Yorker and my first thought was: Tawana Brawley.

I'll let police do their job. If there is a there there, I'll have plenty of time to be smug and hysterical.


Well, that didn't take long:

Police sources tell KDKA that a campaign worker has now confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter “B” in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.

Ashley Todd, 20, of Texas, initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield and that the suspect became enraged and started beating her after seeing her GOP sticker on her car.

You could just feel this one coming.

Shooting up yard signs I could buy. Nut job tearing up McCain signs and hitting McCain supporters with them I could buy. But this always sounded fishy.


Merge Divide said...

From the perspective of a Pittsburgh local, this looks like more race-baiting from the GOP:

Read About It.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

Well, if you mean this in the sense that this is part of some "GOP conspiracy" I'd be just as skeptical. I certainly think it would be dumb to accept this at face value right off the bat.

If untrue, it seems much more likely that we are dealing with a deeply troubled young lady...or an out and out opportunist. Jumping to conclusions about "rovian plots" would be just as wrong.

Anonymous said...

Was there really any doubt that this one was gonna end up being BS? The "B" was carved backwards for goodness sake!! Not that I don't believe that these zealots could stoop to carving the Chosen’s One's initials into the non-believers.

Merge Divide said...

No. I don't think that this was some black ops operation by Steve Schmidt. It lacks the basic level of sophistication that an adult could muster. But having said that, I think this is an inevitable result of the kind of fear-mongering going on in and around the GOP about what America might be like under an Obama presidency. There are no doubt psychos on both side- no reason to encourage the kind of tension that makes unstable people go over the top.

Merge Divide said...

Ummm... yes, there was plenty of doubt. I wonder how many "conservative" blogs you frequent... I actually saw one blogger post his belief that what had happened to poor Ms. Todd was like what Hitler did to the Jews. And that was a mainstream-Right blogger.