No Terrorists in Afghan?? Coakley Aide Assaults Reporter;VIDEO…Democrats in Massachusetts Panic

Weekly Standard Reporter Shoved Outside of Democratic Fundraiser

The rough-and-tumble world of politics was on full display Tuesday night when longtime Democratic strategist Michael Meehan was caught on videotape shoving a reporter for the Weekly Standard into a metal railing, reportedly giving him a large tear in his pants.

The incident occurred outside of a Washington fundraiser for Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate in a competitive race to fill the seat of the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy.

The trip has drawn criticism, since Coakley, the state attorney general, was in Washington seeking money from lobbyists while polls show a tightening race.

In a written statement, Meehan said he apologized to Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack for the incident.

“I clearly did not intend to cause John McCormack to trip and fall over that low fence,” he said. “As the video shows and he confirms in his blog, I stopped to help him up and make sure he was OK.”

McCormack, in his account of the incident published on the conservative magazine’s Web site, wrote that he had been trying to ask Coakley about a remark she’d made in a debate with Republican opponent Scott Brown in which she said there are no terrorists in Afghanistan and they’re all in Pakistan and Yemen.

McCormack said Coakley blew him off, and then he followed her for a few blocks until he was shoved by Meehan, who had attended the fundraiser and worked previously on a Democratic opponent of Coakley in the primary.

“I ended up on the sidewalk. I was fine,” McCormack wrote in the Weekly Standard. “He helped me up from the ground, but kept pushing up against me, blocking my path toward Coakley down the street.”

McCormack later told the Boston Herald that the incident left him with a 10-inch rip on the right leg of his suit pants and a tiny bruise on his right leg.

When McCormack asked the man whom he worked for, he replied, “I work for me,” demanding to see McCormack’s credentials on a public street. After McCormack showed him his ID, he said he met up with Coakley halfway down the block, asking her question that she declined to answer.

In Meehan’s account to Fox News, he said a scrum of reporters was chasing Coakley and “in the confusion the reporter fell over the fence.” Meehan said he thought McCormack was a Brown campaign operative.

“Four Scott Brown guys were out there,” he said. “I thought he worked for Brown.”

Meehan said he helped McCormack up and asked who he was because McCormack had not shown his media credentials. When told he was caught on video shoving McCormack to the ground, Meehan said, “It wasn’t my intention to knock him on the ground.”

Coakley blamed GOP “stalkers” for provoking tensions outside the fundraiser. She told the Boston Herald she is not “privy” to the facts surrounding the incident.

“I know there were people following, including two from the Brown campaign who have been very aggressive in their stalking,” she said. “I’m not sure what happened. I know something occurred, but I’m not privy to the facts. I’m sure it will come out, but I’m not aware of it.”

But McCormack isn’t completely buying Coakley’s explanation. McCormack told the Boston Herald that he met Coakley after a radio debate earlier this month in which he asked her four questions.

“She saw me get knocked to the ground and kept walking,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised. … She’s decided she’s entitled to the seat without answering questions on issues that are of national importance.”

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