So, in case you haven’t heard yet, Ashley Todd is the McCain staffer who reported being robbed and then attacked in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last night because she had McCain sticker on her car . I covered the attack and subsequent reactions here.
Not surprisingly there are some new developments this morning. From everything credible I can gather there isn’t anything that has changed my mind one way or the other. I am still giving her the benefit of the doubt on this because I still haven’t seen anything to disprove her story beyond speculation but you be the judge.
Here are some updates:
Video of Pittsburgh Police spokesman talking about the case, she says there are some inconsistencies but they are still taking the claims very seriously.
“Investigators also say they are looking at some inconsistencies in her story, but they said that can happen in incidents such as an attack.”
Police spokesman reports the attacker used a dull knife to scratch a “B” into her face. Makes more sense with the picture and it lines up with the first credible media report on this (before the picture was released), which used the word “scratched” to describe he facial injury.
Looks like the latest reports indicate the attack isn’t on surveillance video.
“She also indicated she was sexually assaulted as well. She indicated that when he had her on the ground he put his hand up her blouse and started fondling her. But other than that, she says she doesn’t remember anything else. So we’re adding a sexual assault to this as well,”
“Meanwhile, according to authorities, Todd did take a polygraph test; however, those test results were not released.” (there is some conflict over the polygraph, the first report I saw said she volunteered but some others have said the police wanted her to take the polygraph to clear up inconsistencies)
“[Police Cmdr Larry Ross] said the description of the robber as a 6-foot 4-inch, 200-pound black man is similar to that of a man who robbed a Liberty Avenue bank in recent weeks.”
So, yes, there continues to be room for reasonable doubt and “healthy skepticism”. However, there is certainly nothing here that proves anything. Yes, her story has changed some from her initial report but I certainly hope that isn’t the test for whether an attack happened or not. After all if you’re beaten up and even knocked unconscious, as Ashley Todd claims, there are bound to be some inconsistencies. It happens quite often as the Pittsburgh Police have noted. And beyond that I don’t see any more credible information that should lead to more doubts.
But beyond all of this it seems to me that Michelle Malkin has moved beyond the area of “healthy skepticism”, as Ed Morrissey calls it (he has been the most balanced on this by the way), into the area of bad speculation.
Let me just say that I understand Michelle’s initial caution and if this turns out to be a hoax I will condemn this woman in the harshest way. However, Michelle Malkin is reaching in a way that disturbs me. She now seems to be implying that the fact that Todd is either making her Facebook, twitter, and myspace accounts private or deleting them all together adds to doubt. Which is insane, I mean, I know that Malkin is used to getting lots of Hate mail but, if what Todd is saying is true and were in her situation I would delete or make private my online accounts to so that I’m not flooded with nut jobs threatening me.
Plus Malkin is now linking to a site which implies that a song lyric from a popular song on Ashley Todd’s myspace page (from the 17th) somehow proves she made the whole thing up. Right…
I guess the lesson we should all learn from this is that if you are attacked you’d better be in front of a video camera (and it should probably be 4 or 5 HD cameras just to be sure), you’d better take detailed notes of everything that happens (and you should probably make sure a notary is there to authenticate them), you’d better make sure your assailant beats and cuts you in a way that will seem appropriate to bloggers (in fact you should probably have a blogger check your wounds before the attacker leaves in case you need the attacker to cut you or hit you in a more “believable” way), you’d better make sure and get at least 5 doctors to look at you on the scene and probably about 10 more at the hospital (oh and make sure the blogger from earlier is there to check you out too), and, of course even after you’ve done all these things, you’d better expect the bloggers to say you liar anyway.