Maybe we are all guilty of jumping the gun.
Many reports claimed that Air America Radio host Randi Rhodes was a victim of a horrible assault Sunday night near her home on Manhattan's East Side. Nighttime radio host Jon Elliott was first to break the news, claiming that she was mugged. From there, it spread like wildfire across the internet, and especially the blogosphere, like a cyberspace version of the children's game telephone. Now, the story is evolving. It may not have been a mugging after all.
The New York Daily News has just put up a story, citing law enforcement officials and Rhodes' lawyer, claiming that there was no mugging or attack. Newsday also chimed in. What it appears to be now is Rhodes merely fell while walking her Yorkshire terrier, Simon. The fall does appear to be rather serious, she was knocked out and lost a few teeth.
A source from the NYPD claims that Rhodes never filed a report and doesn't intend to, and never claimed to be the victim of a mugging. Authorities from Manhattan's 17th Precinct then 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." Air America Radio also tried to play it down earlier this morning, in an official release:
October 16-NEW YORK-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.I mentioned earlier about the fingers of blame being pointed about, with insecure right-wing bloggers getting hot and bothered about one of their own being fingered for the alleged crime. As I said earlier, when we were all convinced there was a crime, trying to play victim when something like this happens is pretty shameful.
Evidently, what you'll all be seeing now is a parade of right-wing shriekers claiming it was all some sort of publicity stunt, or some sort of conspiracy to demonize their ilk. I have Google Blogsearch open in another tab, and notice hostile shrieker Michelle Malkin has just weighed in. Like anyone cares about the rantings of a hostility-filled psycho house-frau. Sorry, you're not as ideologically pure as you may think.
Still, the speed at which this story spread, in exaggerated fashion, proves just how fast word travels in the age of the internet, blogs, and other modern day communication methods. Yes, and I admit, I was certainly part of it. Welcome to Web 2.0.
Irregardless of what happened, again, best wishes to Ms. Rhodes and a speedy recovery.