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THE ONLY PROBLEM WAS, this hadn’t actually happened. As the New York Daily News soon reported, not only had Rhodes “never filed a report and never claimed to be the victim of a mugging,” but her own lawyer insisted the talk show host’s injuries were the result of a fall, not a “hate crime.” (A fall outside a bar?) Air America followed this up with a short statement, which read in part: “The reports of a presumed hate crime are unfounded.”
End of story, right?
Despite the contentions of Rhodes’ own lawyer and Air America Radio — not likely members in good standing of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy — Rhodes’ fans refused to let the hate crime narrative give up the ghost. “We are likely to be more accurate on this board than the entire domestic news industry,” one aficionado declared at Rhodes’ official site. Another seconded that dismissal: “Unfortunately the AAR statement was so vague it only worsened the situation.”
Vague? The reports of a presumed hate crime are unfounded seems to be the sentence-length antonym of vague. And even leaving aside whether a person whose profile lists his location as “The 13th Floor of the Tower of Terror” and auto-signs every post with the refrain, “Republicans will never be happy until they have completely destroyed the earth and ended all life as we know it” is going to be more accurate than the entire domestic news industry, is he going to be more accurate than Rhodes’ lawyer and uber-liberal employer?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say…probably not. There is, however, something bigger going on here, encapsulated in the determination of Rhodes’ fans, against all facts to the contrary, to hold-tight to the pipe dream of right-wing fanatics hiring Blackwater agents to beat her as she walked her dog: They so wish it were true. As with global warming alarmism, these sorts of messianic martyr fantasies about neo-Nazi conspirators aligned against liberals’ salvation program for the masses are delusions designed to assure people clearly desperate for meaning in their lives that they are historically significant figures living in historically significant times. History, sadly, is not made within the virtual walls of online echo chambers.
NOT LONG AFTER the first (erroneous) report of an attack, a Rhodes fan let it be known that she hoped police would find the attacker and somehow induce him to “explain what circumstances in his background led to his rage.”
“This knowledge may help us all avoid attacks on the street in the future,” she wrote.
At the time, no doubt, the expectation was the explanation would be Rush Limbaugh or College Republicans. Now that the culprit is nonexistent or inanimate, depending on how one classifies culprits, the question of what caused “his” rage is moot. Or, considering the complete psychological profile our left-wing friends had already worked up, is it more a case of an answer looking for a question?
Either way here’s wishing Ms. Rhodes a speedy recovery and here’s hoping her supporters find a way to get to the bottom of their own rage, which they so adeptly project on others.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?