I Think I’ll Go For A Walk

Unless Karl Rove secretly trained her dog, it looks like Randi Rhodes simply fell:

On Sunday evening, October 14, Air America host Randi Rhodes experienced an unfortunate incident hindering her from hosting her show. The reports of a presumed hate crime are unfounded. Ms. Rhodes looks forward to being back on the air on Thursday.

All the hysterical over-reactions about right wing hit jobs should now stop. And look, folks, these hysterical snap judgements are no more charming coming from the left than they are from the right (BUT THEY GO TO PRIVATE SCHOOL AND LIVE IN A MANSION), and actually do a disservice to the work folks like Dave Neiwert and the SPLC do documenting actual hate crimes. I guarantee that, in the future, a real crime will take place, and it will be snidely dismissed with a reference to this Randi Rhodes non-event.

And if you can’t understand how unhinged you look when a guy whose trademark is ‘Hot Air and Ill-Informed Banter’ feels it necessary to tell you to calm down, all is lost.






59 replies
  1. 1
    jcricket says:

    I agree the reactions from some on the left were conspiracy-theorist worthy. My first assumption was that she was mugged, or worse, sexually assaulted, but that it was likely random (based on nothing other than my assumption that lots of things turn out to be random).

    But equally (or more) disturbing is the “I doubt it’s true, but if it is she deserved it” thread running through the right-wing counter-commentary. It’s either “she deserves it” or “she’s faking it” with the right.

    How about “the initial reports” (not made by her) were incorrect and over-blown. The official statement by her employer (and hence by her) clears the matter up.

    Nutbags.

  2. 2
    chopper says:

    too many paranoid people in this world.

  3. 3
    chopper says:

    apparently, a host of another show on air america said that she had been attacked and had the crap kicked out of her. dunno, that would lead people to believe a hate crime may have occured, given those facts.

    nice link, jcricket. gotta love the ‘moderate voices’ out there.

  4. 4
    Gus says:

    I expect to see the Rick Moran-like, “what does the fact that I thought it was a right wing hit job say about the right” kind of commentaries in some of the lefty blogs.

  5. 5
    Rick Taylor says:

    I make the rounds of a few lefty blog sights (Atrios, Talking Points Memo, Daily Kos, Matt Y), and this is the first I’ve heard of this. Looking through the links you gave, there’s a reference to Jon Elliot, an Air America commentator who seems to have badly over-reacted, saying she was assaulted and speculating it was by right wingers because of her politics, but unless I’ve missed something it seems like it doesn’t go much beyond that.

  6. 6
    Pb says:

    too many paranoid people in this world

    Is it still paranoia when they are monitoring your phone calls and internet traffic?

  7. 7

    Looking through the links you gave, there’s a reference to Jon Elliot, an Air America commentator who seems to have badly over-reacted, saying she was assaulted and speculating it was by right wingers because of her politics, but unless I’ve missed something it seems like it doesn’t go much beyond that.

    That’s exactly the way the story was framed over at Shakespeare’s Sister–that someone on the air had put a story out there and that no one should jump to any conclusions about it.

  8. 8
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    And look, folks, these hysterical snap judgements are no more charming coming from the left than they are from the right (BUT THEY GO TO PRIVATE SCHOOL AND LIVE IN A MANSION), and actually do a disservice to the work folks like Dave Neiwert and the SPLC do documenting actual hate crimes.

    Exactly. The immediate leap to “it was a hate crime!” damn near made my eyes roll out of my head. Get a fucking grip, people.

  9. 9
    Krista says:

    Can I assume that you’re speaking to the folks at Memeorandum and not us? ‘Cause this is the first I’ve heard about Randi Rhodes falling or any resulting kerfuffle…

  10. 10
    Jake says:

    Huh? What?

    Once again all I know is THAT X IS OVER REACTING AND NEEDS TO CtFD!1!

    Oh well, back to the Pit of Oblivion.

  11. 11
    John Cole says:

    Yar. Follow some of the links at memeorandum. All sorts of “I hope this wasn’t right wing blah blah blah”speculation.

  12. 12
    Rick Taylor says:

    I think you’re over-reacting John, as are some right wing commentators. Unlike the Frost case where right wing bloggers were uncritically passing along comments about the Frost’s assets (including more responsible ones like the Captain and Rick Moran), the prevailing attitude in the left blogosphere has been fairly responsible; we don’t know what happened. A single radio commentator over-reacted with baseless speculation, though in his defense he was a personal friend of Randi who didn’t know what had happened and was understandably highly stressed. I’m not saying left wingers are incapable of being irresponsible, but with the exception of the Air America commentator I don’t see it in this case. I’m sure one could troll through the comments in Democratic Underground and find highly charged statements, but that doesn’t mean much (and I find it an equally annoying tactic when done by those on the left to comment sections on the right).

    So when someone like the Captain writes

    Earlier today, the port side of the blogosphere erupted in righteous indignation as reports that Air America radio host Randi Rhodes got mugged began to swirl. Many bloggers started blaming a nameless conservative mugger, and then began extending the indictment to the entire conservative movement. It served their prejudices to think that conservative meanies would lay in wait for Rhodes just to keep her from speaking Truth to Power, etc etc etc.

    I’d like to know who the “many bloggers” are here. Maybe I’ve missed them and I’m ready to be proven wrong, but at this point to me it looks more like the right wing is distorting things to fit their prejudices about left wingers rather than the other way around.

  13. 13
    KCinDC says:

    I spend far too much time reading blogs, but somehow I missed seeing anything about this, so I suspect the hysteria wasn’t quite at the Graeme Frost level. It does sound stupid, though.

  14. 14
    Jay says:

    I will admit that I jumped to conclusions regarding this story. And now that it has been clarified, I’m willing to say that I overreacted.

    But with Malkinites stalking 12-year olds, Ann Coulter wanting to “perfect” Jews and Rush Limbaugh referring to anti-war veterans as metaphorical suicide bombers, it’s really throwing my bullshit meter out of whack.

    And in either case, I would still wish Randi Rhodes a speedy and full recovery.

  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    I spend far too much time reading blogs, but somehow I missed seeing anything about this, so I suspect the hysteria wasn’t quite at the Graeme Frost level. It does sound stupid, though.

    It wasn’t ANYTHING near that level of stupid.

  16. 16
    neil says:

    I wonder how the guy who said she was attacked got his information in the first place?

    Right now the pattern of facts looks consistent with Rhodes being attacked but deciding not to go public with it; her colleague under this scenario would’ve found out about the attack without finding out that he’s supposed to keep quiet about it.

    This wouldn’t show that she was attacked over politics, of course. I can easily imagine it being a fight with an ex-lover who she doesn’t want to be charged. But right now it’s obvious that someone is hiding something.

    For what it’s worth, when I saw the Kos diary this morning I was almost certain it was going to end up making them look stupid.

  17. 17
    Sarah says:

    Unfortunately, the Randi Rhodes kerfuffle has finally given Michelle Malkin a way to duck out of the SCHIP debate and divert attention from her continued mis-steps. I was hoping she would continue on her rather frantic downward rush to the bottom.

  18. 18
    John Cole says:

    For what it’s worth, when I saw the Kos diary this morning I was almost certain it was going to end up making them look stupid.

    A reasonably safe assumption with most of the diaries.

    Hell. It is a reasonable assumption with most of my posts.

  19. 19
    Punchy says:

    With a name like “Randi Rhodes”, you’d think she’d know something about bad streets….

  20. 20
    Cyrus says:

    I wonder how the guy who said she was attacked got his information in the first place?

    Well, he was reportedly her friend and co-worker. He presumably would have been one of the first three people or so told, and if he didn’t hear it directly from her, being a bit paranoid is understandable, even if incorrect.

    But right now it’s obvious that someone is hiding something.

    It is? Based on what? I’m not seeing it.

  21. 21
    neil says:

    Punchy, that pun is a hate crime.

  22. 22
    Face says:

    She was doomed from the minute she stopped playing lead for Ozzy.

  23. 23

    A few people jumped to conclusions on this story, but the majority of bloggers that I read either (1) reserved judgment or (2) never said anything about it (either because they hadn’t heard or because they thought staying mum was the best policy until they heard more).

    There was one recommended diary on this on dailyKos, but anyone who follows that sight regularly knows that stories like this can get bounced up quickly and are not really indicative of the opinions of a lot of people on that site.

    All-in-all, I think most people on the left treated this story correctly. The exceptions know who they are and should apologize (starting with the Air America host who got the whole mugging story started).

  24. 24
    neil says:

    I’d think it was obvious that they are hiding something; they’re not saying how Rhodes was injured, for one thing, only how she wasn’t. And the one guy who reported that she was assaulted wasn’t just passing on some wild Internet rumor; he is her friend and coworker.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think there’s any point to speculating about this as there’s no way to know anything more until the people involved say something. And if they don’t want to, that sounds like their prerogative.

  25. 25
    Rick Taylor says:

    I sampled some of the memorandum links mostly in order. Here are the first few liberal ones:

    It is important to remain calm and not jump to conclusions. Just because randy was attacked, doesn’t mean that any Republicans were involved in it.Thoughts and Best Wishes to Randi Rhoads for a speedy recovery.

    Chuck Adkins

    I would, of course, caution anyone to jump to any conclusions, good or bad, at this point. There are potentially a lot of reasons to withhold information that would speak definitively to a sexual assault or a robbery or political retribution, so what it sounds like at this point doesn’t necessarily in any way reflect what it actually is.

    Right now, I just want to wish Randi a speedy recovery.

    Shakesville

    Get well soon, Randi Rhodes. I don’t usually have time to listen to her show but I tend to leave AAR on when I’m in front of my computer – but when I heard Lionel sitting in for her, I just turned it off. Sorry, I just can’t listen to him. But right now I’m listening to John Elliot and he says Randi was attacked last night while she was walking her dog. She wasn’t carrying a bag and was just in sweats, and she was beaten up pretty badly and had some teeth knocked out. Elliot is saying it sounds like it was neither a sexual assault nor a robbery and he suspects it was political. The way things are going, he could be right.

    The Sideshow

    It now seems that Air America firebrand Randi Rhodes may have been the latest victim to pay the price in a very real way for daring to oppose the status quo.

    Brilliant at Breakfast

    After seeing the comments there and sampling comments on blogs left and right, several points come to mind:

    1) Jumping to conclusions about it being politically motivated advances nothing but fear.

    2) There’s some pretty hateful folks around, eager to add insults to Randi’s injuries.

    3) Despite #1, the online violence and sociopathy women are subjected to makes it prudent to recognize there are sickos afoot who should be institutionalized. Sadly, they can’t turn to standard social ‘protectors’ with confidence anymore, as police forces and the military – because of their authoritarian positions – draw too many sickos like magnets to their ranks.

    American Street

    There’s a lot of speculation why this happened, because evidently she wasn’t wearing jewelry and was in a jogging suit. I have no idea why it happened and neither does anyone else at this point, but the link above offers some ideas, one of which is that she was targeted because she’s a liberal radio host. In New York City that is harder to believe than if she was in Alabama. We just don’t know right now. It’s simply horrific. Prayers for her speedy recovery go out to Ms. Rhodes.

    Taylor Marsh

    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.- talking radio

    i’m hoping, not to be crass, that this is just an average nyc mugging and not a targeted attack from someone who disagrees with her “lefty” opinions.

    get well soon, randi. we need your voice now more than ever.

    Skippy

    Of all of these, only one I’d classify as a hysterical over-reaction: Brilliant at Breakfast. There are two others that are maybe borderline objectionable, along the lines of lets hope this isn’t a targeted attack. The rest unequivicollay condemn jumping to such conclusions.

    Most of the links are right wingers talking about how left-wingers over-reacted. Some are reasonable (the ones who stick to talking about the Air America host); others, not so much.

    Imagine if the right wing operated like this. We would have gotten posts like, “I would caution people from from jumping to conclusions that the Frosts are somehow gaming the system. There are such things as mortgages, and there’s no reason to assume they’re paying full tuition for the private schools.”

  26. 26
    Rick Taylor says:

    I put the authors name for each quote beneath the quote, which doesn’t look right; sorry for any confusion.

  27. 27
    canuckistani says:

    How do we know she didn’t fall on Republican cement?

  28. 28
    whippoorwill says:

    Let’s see, we’ve gone from “an unfortunate incident” stated by Air America to her lawyer allegedly saying she fell down and hurt herself. Looks like we got us a real Gotham city potboiler in the making. Maybe Randi will give us the whodunnit when she comes back on Thursday. I’m just glad she’s okay.

    And John didn’t wingnut Strata send you a comment last week that his world was getting even crazier than usual and he was concerned about you over the Frost affair.

  29. 29
    John Cole says:

    According to Gawker, the culprit was 14 ketel one bloody marys

  30. 30
    whippoorwill says:

    After 14 bloody Mary’s of the ketel kind {?} I’d say a fall would be a possible culprit, provided she was able to stand up first.

    Anyway, I’m filled relief that Gawker and their anonymous commenter have solved this surly affair. We can all rest easy tonight and not fear the hateful wingnuttia orgyist moonbat muggers.

  31. 31
    jcricket says:

    How do we know she didn’t fall on Republican cement?

    Has anyone checked if Halliburton had the contract for that particular sidewalk?

    Blackwater patrolling the streets? Maybe they tripped her first.

  32. 32
    MNPundit says:

    I didn’t even know she had fallen–which should give you an inkling of how much voice the conspiracy mongers on the left actually have.

  33. 33
    Zifnab says:

    Class.

    Via Sadly, No!

    I know this is hardly the time for cruel honesty, immediately after a brutal assault. But when you work for Air America, muggers are going to pretty much assume that you walk around unarmed.

  34. 34
    The Stranger says:

    OK..lemmee get this straight.

    An hysterical, shrieking, lying leftard propagandist gets so shit faced that she face plants herself onto 38th street…

    …and the story that the leftist media puts out is that she was beaten up by some conservatives?

    You people are beyond paraody.

  35. 35
    Sarah says:

    “Leftard”, now there’s a word for you, manages to insult two groups of people at once. Nice. Do people feel especially cool and swaggering when they use it?

  36. 36
    Tsulagi says:

    Well, maybe those few lefty blogs that jumped a little quickly could use the Right Wing Nut Job CYA line of defense when stupid…”Then again, what does it say about the Stalkin’ Malkins I saw no reason they couldn’t have mugged Randi?”

    You know, blame the other guys for your acts of stupidity. Smart, strong.

  37. 37
    whippoorwill says:

    Sarah Says:

    “Leftard”, now there’s a word for you, manages to insult two groups of people at once. Nice. Do people feel especially cool and swaggering when they use it?

    Naw Sarah, Name calling is all they have, especially now days when their sacred “conservative movement” is disintegrating around them. The fear of loss of power and control is too much and they send out devil dog trolls like Stranger ” as a last gasp effort to turn the tide. If we do one more smear, one more hatchet job then maybe, just maybe things will get better.

    Now we see stranger relying on gossip rags like Gawker to find the truth that suits them. How sad.

    Just kidding, it’s not a bit sad, it’s absolutely wondterrifical!

  38. 38
    neil says:

    I think there’s something funny about the ‘sphere turning to a Gawker commenter as a credible source after Rhodes’ friend and coworker is discarded as unreliable.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Peter Johnson says:

    An hysterical, shrieking, lying leftard propagandist gets so shit faced that she face plants herself onto 38th street…

    BDS + BYOB + PMS = SOL.

  41. 41
    Peter Johnson says:

    Has anyone checked if Halliburton had the contract for that particular sidewalk?

    Blackwater patrolling the streets? Maybe they tripped her first.

    Do you have any idea how paranoid you sound? There are no Blackwater employees patrolling Manhattan.

    Maybe there should be though, given what’s happened with the crime rate since Giuliani left.

  42. 42
    whippoorwill says:

    Do you have any idea how paranoid you sound? There are no Blackwater employees patrolling Manhattan.

    Not nearly as stupid as you sound ,johnson. You don’t know the difference between spoof and real. Either that or your just here to cause as much chaos as you can. Who’s bidding do you do?

  43. 43
    jcricket says:

    Do you have any idea how paranoid you sound? There are no Blackwater employees patrolling Manhattan.

    Do you have any idea how stupid you sound when you mistake obvious sarcasm for a real post?

    Welcome back, Darrell.

  44. 44
    Fledermaus says:

    But when will congress pass a meaningless law condemning muggings and assault in general!

    This vital issue must be addressed through a non binding bipartisan David Broder approved resolution of stern disapproval. It’s what the founders would have wanted.

  45. 45
    Fledermaus says:

    Imagine if the right wing operated like this. We would have gotten posts like, “I would caution people from from jumping to conclusions that the Frosts are somehow gaming the system. There are such things as mortgages, and there’s no reason to assume they’re paying full tuition for the private schools.”

    Well now you’re just talking crazy talk.

  46. 46
    daniel rotter says:

    The Stranger, do you have any example of the “leftist media” claiming that Rhodes was attacked by conservatives (and no, left-wing blogs, or any blogs for that matter, don’t count as “media”).

    As for your use of the “leftard” label, that sounds like a taunt coming from a grade schooler. Grow up.

  47. 47
    Zuzu says:

    whippoorwill Says: Either that or your just here to cause as much chaos as you can.

    Chaos? I thought it was the entertainment.

  48. 48
    skippy says:

    you people are beyond paraody.

    and you people are beyond spell check.

  49. 49
    Jess says:

    Wow–first Paul (the other day) and then Peter reveal their critical irony deficiency. I’m waiting for someone with the handle “Mary” to explain to John that the blog name Balloon Juice implies a lack of serious discourse. Boys, this is just pathetic–can’t you come up with better arguments than this? We miss having even marginally worthy opponents.

    And Stranger, as usual, is so lost it isn’t even worth pulling out a map…

  50. 50
    The Stranger says:

    The Stranger, do you have any example of the “leftist media” claiming that Rhodes was attacked by conservatives (and no, left-wing blogs, or any blogs for that matter, don’t count as “media”).

    As for your use of the “leftard” label, that sounds like a taunt coming from a grade schooler. Grow up.

    Hows about Air America?…you silly leftard

  51. 51
    chopper says:

    so what you meant to say was, “and the story that one dude at a leftist media outlet puts out is that she was beaten up by some conservatives?”

    unless you really think that one dude at air america is “the leftist media”.

  52. 52
    Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop says:

    But equally (or more) disturbing is the “I doubt it’s true, but if it is she deserved it” thread running through the right-wing counter-commentary. It’s either “she deserves it” or “she’s faking it” with the right.

    Did anyone on that page say “she deserved it” or “she’s faking it?” Or did you learn this at the Glenn(s) Greenwald(s) School of Irrelevant Linkage and Sockpuppetry?

    What I think is sad is that some lefties clearly wanted the “Attacked By Conservatives!” story to be true, just so they could have a “They Do It, Too!” counter to the reports of insane lefties murdering strangers and attacking their neighbors because they don’t agree about the war.

  53. 53
    whippoorwill says:

    lambchop

    What I think is sad is that some lefties clearly wanted the “Attacked By Conservatives!” story to be true, just so they could have a “They Do It, Too!” counter to the reports of insane lefties murdering strangers and attacking their neighbors because they don’t agree about the war.

    More news from fevered wingnut minds. Provide evidence pea-brain. What insane lefties murdering what neighbors?

  54. 54
    chopper says:

    counter to the reports of insane lefties murdering strangers and attacking their neighbors because they don’t agree about the war.

    which as we all know, are legion. why, it’s happened three times this morning in my neighborhood.

    those silly leftists. far more dangerous than the timmy mcveighs of the right(tm).

  55. 55
    tBone says:

    which as we all know, are legion. why, it’s happened three times this morning in my neighborhood.

    I’ve personally murdered 73 people this week who disagreed with me about the war. I would have attacked some of my neighbors, too, but they don’t come outside any more. Stuck-up bastards.

  56. 56
    OniHanzo says:

    What I think is sad is that some lefties clearly wanted the “Attacked By Conservatives!” story to be true, just so they could have a “They Do It, Too!” counter to the reports of insane lefties murdering strangers and attacking their neighbors because they don’t agree about the war.

    What a bargain! Two scenes of baseless histrionics for one!

    Priceless, EEEL.

    I’m dying to see this bloodbath sourced.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    daniel rotter says:

    I find it ironic that the Stranger implies I’m stupid (“leftard”) when he implies that one source (that Air America idiot) is synonymous with a term that clearly is meant to indicate multiple sources (“the leftist media”).

  59. 59
    whippoorwill says:

    Jay says

    will admit that I jumped to conclusions regarding this story. And now that it has been clarified, I’m willing to say that I overreacted.

    And in either case, I would still wish Randi Rhodes a speedy and full recovery.

    I missed this earlier . Classy comment Jay. We may convert you to one of John’s minions yet.

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