Remember this nonsense:
It took a St. Louis County jury less than 50 minutes to return a not guilty verdict in the assault trial featuring Kenneth Gladney and two union members who were charged with attacking him outside a two hall event during the tumultuous summer of 2009.
The altercation itself was regrettable and was over almost before it began: the type of heated scuffle that happens countless times everyday in this crowded country, and everyday people move on with their lives.
But because this particular clash was captured on tape, and because Tea Party members went bonkers hyping it, and because right-wing media carnival barkers like Dana Loesch and Andrew Breitbart operate with no moral compass, the Gladney story blew up overnight and became a (demented) cause celebre among hardcore conservatives who hatched a weird fantasy about run-away union violence in America, not withstanding what was captured on the Gladney tape.
It’s difficult to capture just how madly the right-wing media overreacted to this story, doing its best to blow it up into a seismic, Rodney King-type of event. Fox New aired at least 20 segments mentioning Gladney, according to Nexis. Glenn Beck obsessed over the story. Breitbart penned a “I Am Kenneth Gladney” column in solidarity for the Washington Times. And CNN’s Lou Dobbs played dumb on the massive scale while hosting Gladney.
In the end, all the right-wing press had to show for their efforts were not guilty verdicts stemming from misdemeanor charges.
Indeed, the glaring problem with the Gladney tale was that rather than being savagely beaten and kicked, which is how right-wing bloggers breathlessly relayed the “brutal” tale, if you watched the videotape, Gladney appeared unharmed from the one or two seconds he was on the ground. He quickly sprang to his feet and was seen calmly discussing the aftermath of the scuffle with a police officer. (It was actually one of the “union thugs” who suffered a fractured shoulder during the dust-up.)
Someone ready some thorazine for Dana Loesch and Jim Hoft.