Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What 'really' happened to Randi Rhodes?

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.


raccoonradio said...

I doubt it's a publicity stunt. It's just a false report gone haywire. This is what happens in our cyberworld. People need to check out things first, get the facts straight, don't jump to conclusions.

Kind of like what happened when collage band Negativland cancelled their tour when it appeared it wouldn't make any money, and spread a false report/hoax that a Minn.
teen had killed his family after hearing their song "Christianity
Is Stupid". It became
the top story on a local
and then spread like wildfire to other outlets who
didn't bother to vet the story.

And this was way before the Internet.

ltr said...

Keep in mind, that's the type of stuff Negativeland did. They were basically artists who's canvas of choice, besides sampling, was manipulating the media. And I have to say, they did a good job at it.

Back to the Rhodes thing, as I said, it wasn't a publicity stunt. Just a game of telephone gone haywire. Kinda fun to see how fast this cyberspace thing goes.

NeoconNews.com said...

Thank you for the kind mention in your previous post, though I have to say that I am very disappointed in how quickly the left side of the blogosphere is to dismiss the seriousness of unfounded conjecture that got this terrible accident pointed toward the conservative side with daggers.

I would've simply done a trackback, but blogspot doesn't seem to like me. Here is a follow up link, if you'll allow it through.


ltr said...

Right back at 'ya, neocon.

Though the point I tried to make in the follow-up entry is that this kind of thing can happen, regardless of political orientation. There is no such thing as ideological purity.

After all, you guys did fall for that WMD gag a few years ago. Or that whole 'Saddam lets al Qaeda run amuck in Iraq' nonsense. Funny thing is, I have yet to see a retraction from anyone on that. At least in Ms. Rhodes' case, nobody was killed.

Craig C Clarke said...

Liberal radio personalities have been attacked and one was killed by right-wingers in the past, and all of them get death threats, so while it sertainly WAS a huge jump to an incorrect conclusion, and a lesson needs to be learned from that, it's still very understandable.

The right has used threats and intimidation as a weapon. Their talking heads use eliminationist rhetoric, some actually call for for the killing of those they don't agree with.

If you speak in violent tones, if you follow blindly those who advocate violence, who state that a two year old is "fair game," don't come crying when your years of talking like a thug and consorting with thugs makes people think you might be a thug.

  © Blogger template Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP