Another Fabricated Political Hate Crime?
The media have jumped all over the story of Ashley Todd, a McCain campaign volunteer in Pittsburgh who claims she was attacked because she supports Sen. John McCain.
Todd alleges that a mugger, upon spotting her McCain-Palin bumper sticker, assaulted her and carved a “B” — for “Barack” — into her cheek. Both campaigns have condemned the attack and expressed their sympathy for Todd.
But police have begun to question the validity of her story. According to Salon, various elements of her account of the attack don’t add up. For starters, she’s changed her story several times. The “B” on her face is backwards (as if she cut her own face using a mirror). And her story conflicts with evidence at the crime scene. Police administered a polygraph test this morning but have not released the results.
While it’s too early to pass judgment on Todd — who might truly be the victim of a terrible crime — the incident brings to mind a controversy at Princeton University in December, when a student claimed to have been attacked by liberals for his conservative views.
Ashley Todd (hotair.com)
As it turned out, Francisco Nava, a member of Princeton’s socially conservative Anscombe Society, subsequently admitted to police that his injuries were self-inflicted and that he had fabricated hateful and threatening emails sent to fellow Anscombe members and to Professor Robert George, a conservative leader on campus.
The Princeton incident led some to wonder whether the collapsing popularity of President George W. Bush and the conservative movement was causing some conservatives, particularly on left-leaning campuses, to feel sufficiently threatened to invent stories of hate crimes perpetrated by liberals against them, in an effort to discredit the notion that liberals are tolerant.
If Todd’s claims turn out to be spurious, we can only hope that these incidents do not constitute the beginning of a trend.