Randi Rhodes Mugging Story

Randi Rhodes Mugging Story Blog Reaction The hot story around the blogosphere today is the alleged mugging and beating of Air America’s Randi Rhodes. After several hours of hyperbolic venting about an “attempt by the right-wing, hate machine to silence one of our own,” her own staff reports that she wasn’t mugged at all but “was injured in a fall while walking her dog.” This, naturally, has led to hyperbolic venting on the right wing blogs about the left wing smear machine’s rush to judgment. (I should note that quite a few, on both sides, merely wished Rhodes a speedy recovery and cautioned that we should wait for me details before flying off the handle.)

I didn’t bother to post on the story when it broke earlier because Rhodes isn’t a household name and speculating about the perpetrator in a vacuum seemed pointless. Saying that I wished her a speedy recovery, while true, seemed incredibly trite since I was previously aware of her existence only because she is constantly mentioned in press accounts about Air America.

That it now seems that Rhodes was merely the victim of an accident (she says “she’s not sure what happened”) is a cautionary tale about getting ahead of the facts, certainly, but hardly an indicator of a tendency peculiar to the Left; I suspect we’d have seen the same happen in reverse if Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity had been injured.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Eneils Bailey says:

    I hope the dog is OK.

    Any word on Rover yet?

  2. yetanotherjohn says:

    she says “she’s not sure what happened

    Curse you Karl Rove and you evil mind control ray.

  3. David Nick says:

    Randy Rhodes? Who’s that?

    James, didn’t you know that all we care about is what happens at OTB?


  4. Triumph says:

    Is Air America STILL in business?

  5. jpe says:

    This is one of those story cycles that makes me things blogs are bad for civilization.

  6. bruhaha says:

    I suspect we’d have seen the same happen in reverse if Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity had been injured.

    Nice dodge, lousy argument. Can you give us one example of such behavior?

    Oh, and it won’t do to dig up some random crackpot somewhere. Doubtless you can find one of those for any conspiracy theory at all. But that wasn’t what happened here. The Daily News article you cited specifically notes that it was fellow host Jon Elliott who began the conspiracy theorizing and hate-mongering.

    Elliott claimed on the liberal radio network that Rhodes had been mugged . . . said Rhodes lost several teeth . . waxed about a possible conspiracy.

    “Is this an attempt by the right-wing, hate machine to silence one of our own?” he asked on the air

    So, where’s your parallel to that on the right?

  7. OhGrover says:

    HA HA HA…. Liberals caught in another lie… HA HA HA HA
    That dog must be a republican
    HA HA HA

  8. markm says:

    Odd…the story I heard was that a flock of right wing anti bi-pedal extremists rolled up on her 10 deep screaming “WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY Randi?!?!?” and she hooked a heel in a gutter grate and spun in.

    Crazy interweb.

  9. John Cunningham says:

    For what its worth, Gawker claims that Rhodes may have been a bit impaired by 14 bloody marys–

    it was reported that a couple of hoods had jumped Air America talk show host Randi Rhodes and knocked out some of her teeth, leftists and wobblies cried foul. “Right wing hate machine!” said John Elliot, a fellow host on AAR. Maybe there is one of those but Air America has retracted its claim that she was mugged at all. “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.” Poor Randi! But maybe, suggests a reader, it was an alcohol crime?

    Our own commenter GBH writes:

    Randi Rhodes was no more assaulted by a right-wing fanatic on Monday than Dick Cheney was. She, in fact, fell down and injured her teeth outside of a Midtown Irish bar at around 6 o’clock Sunday evening after downing about fourteen Ketel One Bloody Marys. She was abusive to the barstaff and generally gross, crass, loud, and pretentious. I genuinely hope she has a speedy recovery. I never would’ve disclosed this (I believe that anyone should feel free to hang out at Irish pubs at any time and not be concerned about someone publishing their behavior) if Air America hadn’t grossly interpreted a drunken indiscretion and allowed it to be morphed into some bullish rhetoric on air. Whatever journalistic integrity the station may have ever had is now completely compromised. The manipulation of the public diminishes any cause, whether just or fabricated.

  10. rodney dill says:

    Rhodes may have been a bit impaired by 14 bloody marys–

    …but Bloody Marys were invented by Karl Rove.

  11. John425 says:

    I’m gonna have to tune in to her show for upcoming chnages in her philosophy. Everyone knows that a conservative is a liberal who was mugged. Way to go, Rhodes–welcome to the “right” side!!

  12. Patrick Powell says:

    We shouldn’t jump to conclusions…

    Especially not the conclusion that this sort of hysteria is peculiar to the left……..

    because you’ve already jumped to the conclusion that the right would do exactly the same thing.


    How does that work? Your warning only counts when there are actually facts to get ahead of?

  13. Sounds to me like somebody quickly and forcefully pushed Randi from behind, after hearing her on Air America.

    She is a fighter. So glad you’re back, Randi! My one source of truth every day.