UPDATE: Ashley Todd admits making up the whole story to Police (click here for more)
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 told police the man then sat on her chest, pinning both her hands down with his knees and used what she believed was a dull knife with a roughly 5-inch blade to carve the B…”(via Hotair)
“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.
10 thoughts on “The Ashley Todd attack, some updates. Malkin goes beyond “healthy skepticism””
From the perspective of a Pittsburgh local, this looks like more race-baiting from the GOP:
Read About It.
A Pittsburgh police commander says a volunteer for the McCain campaign who reported being robbed and attacked near a bank ATM in Bloomfield has confessed to making up the story. Police say charges will be filed. More details to follow. Link http://kdka.com/
Looks like the “lesson we should all learn from this is” that you shouldn’t make up stories unless you have your act together. Right wing racists fanatics and their wild imaginations are dangerous, kudos to the Pittsburgh police for wrapping up this inane story so quickly. I imagine you will find a way to still say we should give deranged wannabe victims the benefit of the doubt regardless of whether their story is true or not, but fortunately that is really not the case otherwise we should expect a tsunami of October surprises involving fabricated black youth attacking McCain campaigners and make-believe KKK clansmen on horseback lynching Obama staffers. I hope The College Politico has the honor to feel a little bit of the shame you so liberally heaped on those who had the chutzpah to question a story early on when it had obvious inconsistencies.
Well – I hope that you update your post since Ashley Todd has recanted her story and she will likely face charges. I don’t think that this should reflect on McCain the man but I do think that it should reflect on the McCain/Palin campaign which has been encouraging some of the worst examples of race and red baiting that I have seen in politics. Here is the MSM link to the latest
Actually, I guess the lesson we should all learn from this is that some people will fall all over themselves to believe an implausible, racially motivated lie, if believing the lie happens to reinforce their political leanings.
“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”
Or you better not come up with such an obviously fake story!
I missed the part where you condemn Ashley Todd, criticize the McCain campaign for creating a climate and culture which encourages people to do crazy and hateful things, and promise that you will be a little more temperate before you attribute and generalize based on the this thready evidence. Perhaps an apology? I know that you will do the honorable thing.