Did the Carnahan camp know this possible truth and consent by silence to the media’s attempt to trump this up as a tea party incident? If this is true, doesn’t this make the fourth incident in which people associated with the Carnahan campaign have run afoul of the law and have engaged in illegal behavior? Why didn’t the Russ Carnahan campaign correct the narrative of the local alternative weekly and Jake Wagman’s subtle suggestion that it was a tea partier? Because he’s in the campaign of his life and is desperate for anything, even the sympathy vote?So, a little context. First of all, no credible media outlet has reported the information about who the suspect is (see update): only Jim Hoft. Hoft also claimed last week that he had "inside information" that it was a burglary, which was false. Second, even if Hoft's information is true, the information was really only about a suspect. Recall that the person who was originally picked up by police was released because of a lack of evidence that he did anything. In other words, as far as any responsible agency or entity knows, there is no credible evidence who did it yet.
The alternative weekly’s heinously irresponsible “blogger” – who once admitted, in print, his inability to vet his posts because he lacked the skills to write ten posts a day and be accurate – and the daily’s Jake Wagman need to issue retractions and clarifications, respectively, and the Russ Carnahan campaign needs to issue an apology for allowing this charade to be pinned on the very people whom he seeks to represent.
So the tea party better hope they're right, because some of them have flat out said that the "liberal operative" committed the crime, despite the fact that so far no charges have been filed and he was released due to a lack of evidence. Dana Loesch at least is smart enough to use the word "allegedly," but others like Jim Hoft are not as careful:
(By the way, I'm not using the person's name since I don't want to falsely smear him based on tea party rumors.)
In other words, it seems to me, if these rumors by the tea party aren't true, then the person they are accusing has a potential case of libel against many of them.
Loesch and Hoft hilariously claim that Jake Wagman and Chad Garrison should apologize for accusing the tea party of setting of the firebomb. Unfortunately for them, neither Wagman nor Garrison did anything of the sort. Unlike the St. Louis tea party, they did not actually accuse people of committing a crime before the evidence was in. Here's what Garrison said:
Perhaps, he joined his fellow "patriots" earlier this year when they burned Carnahan's photo in effigy or placed a coffin on the sidewalk outside his home. On second thought, maybe he's not a Tea Party member. Firebombing your opponent's office seems a little too, um, sane for that group.This is a pretty far cry from saying: "the tea party did it!" Wagman's post was even more benign:
Apart from Martin, Carnahan is weathering a tumultuous political environment. A year ago, several people were arrested at a Carnahan town hall forum after a fracas broke out between protesters and Carnahan supporters.Neither of these statements remotely call for an apology, even if it turned out that President Obama personally firebombed the office , because neither accused the tea party of committing the crime. Wagman said that it was a "tumultuous political environment," and Garrison simply pointed out some past extreme antics from the tea party. If they don't like their extreme antics being pointed out, then they shouldn't engage in extreme antics.
Speaking of which, I should note that I also did not ever accuse the tea party of committing the crime. I did point out the past extreme actions of the tea party, but I did not claim at any point that they were responsible for this incident:
I have to say, though, that if, and so far it is a big if , the man in custody is a right-wing activist, no responsible reporting on the matter would ignore the following facts:And later:
So, as I said above, I have no idea if today's incident is directly linked to any of those incidents or to the St. Louis Tea Party.In a later post, I said:
Just to reiterate: I have no idea who firebombed Russ Carnahan's office and have no particular reason to believe it was a member of the St. Louis tea party or an Ed Martin supporter. All I know is that the police arrested a man a couple days ago and then released him citing a lack of evidence to file charges.
What about Loesch's ridiculous claims about "consent by silence:"
Did the Carnahan camp know this possible truth and consent by silence to the media’s attempt to trump this up as a tea party incident? If this is true, doesn’t this make the fourth incident in which people associated with the Carnahan campaign have run afoul of the law and have engaged in illegal behavior? Why didn’t the Russ Carnahan campaign correct the narrative of the local alternative weekly and Jake Wagman’s subtle suggestion that it was a tea partierUm, the Carnahan campaign, like any responsible entity, did not comment on an ongoing investigation. And they would have looked pretty bad if they had, considering that the man who was originally arrested was released due to a lack of evidence. Gee, you think the tea party would have attacked the Carnahan campaign if they had said something about the suspect and then the suspect was released without charges?
Anyway, hard to know what will happen in the next few weeks. I hope whomever bombed the office, whatever his or her political persuasion is, is brought to justice so that the campaign can work without fear of attack. And I hope that the media reports responsibly on the incident. But one thing I'm confident of: it will be pretty hilarious watching the St. Lous tea party try to lecture others on "journalism ethics," particular when it relates to falsely accusing people of committing crimes.
Update: As a couple angry attempted commenters pointed out, I left out a relevant portion of Chad Garrison's post:
Given what we know of him -- 50, white, angry -- he certainly fits the demographics of a Tea Party member.Still not the same thing as claiming the tea party committed the crime, which is what Loesch is accusing him of.
Update #2: It was confirmed that the suspect was a former employee at a press conference today by Representative Carnahan, according to the RFT, but nevertheless charges have still not been filed.