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American Politics in 2016



So this happened:

Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields has filed a criminal complaint against Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, the Independent Journal reported Friday.

Citing an anonymous source, the news site reported Fields filed assault charges with the Jupiter, Florida police after Lewandowski allegedly roughed her up after a Trump press conference there.

Fields alleges Lewandowski grabbed her arm and nearly knocked her to the ground after she tried to ask Trump a question after presser had ended, an account which audio of the run-in published Thursday by Politico seems to support.

To be Scrupulously Fair, Lewandowski is apologetic that he assaulted the wrong kind of reporter:

Lewandowski’s explanation to Boyle, said these sources, was that he and Fields had never met before and that he didn’t recognize her as a Breitbart reporter, instead mistaking her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.

Prediction markets estimate that Donald Trump has a roughly 70% chance of being the Republican nominee.

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  • keta

    Second link goes to the “Wounded Warrior” clusterfuck. Which would make a nice post on its own.

  • Todd

    Eventually the brown shirts will have to be dealt with permanently. But not today. Not yet.

  • JL

    As Vox’s Zack Beauchamp noted, Breitbart Media is siding against their own reporter.

    Even the Daily Caller, hardly known for their integrity, isn’t that low. When one of their reporters was beaten by the NYPD (and rescued by OWS protesters) while covering OWS, they ran her account, and video backing it up, even though it went totally against their political agenda. Don’t worry, that’s a link to ThinkProgress linking to the Daily Caller, in case you’re worried about mangos.

    Edited to add: Wait wait wait, I just noticed that the reporter in both stories was named Michelle Fields. The same Michelle Fields? Jesus, she has shitty luck at these things. Wonder what she thinks of how Breitbart Media is treating her vs the Daily Caller.

    • Shalimar

      The same Michelle Fields. And there is audio and 2 other reporters backing up her story this time.

      • Lee Rudolph

        Deep-cover false flag!!!

    • Rob in CT

      That’s… interesting.

      • NonyNony

        I’m sure there will be Trump supporters who figure she must be running a false flag operation to lure innocent right-wingers into beating her up to make them look bad.

        In reality it looks like she’s the kind of reporter who wants to be involved in reporting on dangerous situations but maybe somehow “looks” like a liberal reporter that right-wingers think is against them. If I had to guess I’d suggest that it’s either because a) she’s a reporter and they’re so trained to believe in the media as “the enemy” that even a conservative reporter is going to get abused or b) because she’s a woman and therefore must be a liberal if she’s working as an actual reporter and not behind a desk at Fox News as a newsreader.

        • Rob in CT

          but maybe somehow “looks” like a liberal reporter that right-wingers think is against them

          Woman, yeah.

    • Pat

      It’ll be interesting to see if calling for people to attack other people at your campaign rally is as toxic as making dick jokes.

      By interesting, I mean unfortunately, ironically, not the case.

      • muddy

        I keep asking this, but if Trump is literally saying, “Get him” like he’s siccing a dog, and he offers to pay their legal bills if they get in trouble for it, how is he not guilty of some kind of conspiracy or aiding and abetting assault or something. Clearly IANAL. But he’s doing it right on camera.

        That “get him” stuff isn’t just a one off momentary aside, I saw long clips on TRMS and he was going on and on for a long time with it, to the point where I had to mute the tv I felt so sick.

        • muddy

          Again, IANAL but there seem to be many here to answer, please, how does this work when he clearly shown on video doing these things?

          It’s not a rhetorical question, I would really like to know. TIA.

          • so-in-so

            “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

          • Pat

            I can’t tell you. I know that Rubio started losing ground in the polls, and in the primaries, when he started making dick jokes. In the words of my spouse, “Thank God!”

            Trump has not seen changes in his metrics since he started encouraging his followers to attack people. I agree with you wholeheartedly that it’s entirely unpresidential and should be disqualifying in the eyes of the electorate.

            I can only hope that we will get Democratic campaign ads featuring people who were attacked talking about the event, then showing the footage, then describing what Trump said over a still image of him.

            • muddy

              I don’t even mean or care what do the electorate think about it.

              I mean, what does the law have to say about urging people to do violence, and joining their cause by paying for their eventual legal bills. All on video.

              Doesn’t it make him a party to the assault?

      • efgoldman

        It’ll be interesting to see if calling for people to attack other people at your campaign rally is as toxic as making dick jokes.

        This is the second person charged in two days at a Trump and the opossum on his head event (cowboy hat guy discussed a couple of threads below).
        Another eight or ten, or maybe somebody getting killed or put into a coma, and people might start paying attention. Although the slavering red meat mouth breathers think it’s a feature not a bug.

        • Hogan

          “That’s our Donald, always whuppin on folks.”

        • ThrottleJockey

          The violence of Il Douche’s Brownshirts is very disturbing, but what’s even more disturbing is the nonchalance, acquiesence and even support of the law enforcement officials in attendance. Why didn’t the cop arrest the man for assault (who later said, “next time we might have to kill him.”) This includes the Secret Service agent who took down the Time reporter just last week.

          Also disturbing is the refusal by the future Democratic Presidential Nominee (whether Sanders or Clinton) to call out Trump as a racist when directly asked. Even very conservative evangelicals, like Russell Moore, have done that:

          Beyond that, Trump’s vitriolic — and often racist and sexist — language about immigrants, women, the disabled, and others ought to concern anyone who believes that all persons, not just the “winners” of the moment, are created in God’s image.

          Our political class needs to recognize what time it is.

          • Why didn’t the cop arrest the man for assault (who later said, “next time we might have to kill him.”)

            He was arrested for assault.

            If I was those cops, I’d get those protestors the hell out of there as quickly as possible for their own good, before the crowd attacked them as a mob.

            • CD

              That was the reason cops used for removing me from multiple (peaceful and legal) protests when I was a younger person — we got some calls; this is for your own safety.

              It’s not totally unreasonable, especially if you’re a cop, but let’s not gloss over its role in stifling protest.

            • ThrottleJockey

              He was arrested the next day after a huge yuuuge media outcry. The punch was thrown within just a few few feet of multiple cops. Why didn’t one of them arrest the assailant?

  • Matt

    BTW, 2nd link doesn’t seem to link to the right place.

    The truly epic highlight has been Trump publicly gaslighting the reporter, insisting the whole thing was “made up” even after his goon’s been making excuses for doing it…

    • Scott Lemieux


  • Shalimar

    She pretty much had to file a complaint after Trump and his stooges tried to destroy her reputation and career. I assume she would have accepted an apology if one had been offered. Instead, they insisted she was a liar and that it didn’t happen.

    There is audio. It pretty clearly happened. No idea why Lewandowski thought he could get away with the smear after admitting the assault to Boyle the previous day.

    • sparks

      At Breitbart News. Reputation. Career. I’m seeing more a petty vandalism case here than any type of felony.

      Of course, the A&B is different.

      • Gregor Sansa

        The right not to have your reputation trashed and a target painted on you by hateful misogynists should not be conditional on your being a feminist in good standing or indeed being right in your outlook in any way shape or form.

        • rea

          Exactly. That we think thiss way, and they don’t, is why we’re the good guys, and they aren’t.

  • tsam


    • Pat

      It’s not a dick joke, tsam, so he’ll get it by.

      Actually, come to think about it, Trump’s dick references don’t seem to hurt him, whereas other people making references to Trump’s dick have problems. Go figure.

      • tsam

        Beating up a white woman might turn into a problem for him.

        • NonyNony

          Why would it? Is she somebody’s sister or something?

          You think the 45% or so of the GOP care that a woman they don’t know got beat up? Plus she’s a reporter – that makes her even less sympathetic.

          I think if Trump himself went out and punched the mother of each of his supporters his support would drop to 25% or so of the GOP. But punching some “woman reporter” that none of them know or care about? Feh – it’s not going to move the needle.

        • N__B

          She’s not blond, so I don’t expect coverage on CNN or Fox.

          • JL

            She’s a former Fox contributor, which might or might not be a reason for them to pay attention.

            • N__B

              The Fox memory bole is big enough for Palin and Trump, so I expect it’s big enough for Fields.

        • Captain Splendid

          Nah, the commenters at Breitbart are finding every single excuse they can to blame her and not the Trump operation.

          • tsam

            Bleah. Guess I should have seen that coming. Fucking assholes. I’m sure they’re staying above rank misogyny though, right?

    • ThrottleJockey

      LOL, Tsam, I’ve been thinking the same damn thing…How can he be this close and risk screwing it up over such small screw ups?

      • tsam

        I know–watching these establishment type Republicans stoically standing on the pier, watching the flaming ship sink, a single tear streaking their ghostly white, pallid faces is giving me a shadengasm from hell.

        • N__B

          They could row out to join the flaming wreck, but they. don’t. even. try.

  • Avattoir

    I suppose it’s possible candidate Donald J. Trump will suffer in the eyes of the voting public for his publicly and publicly-recorded statements on the day after in which he has asserted that he was present at this incident where “nothing happened”, to witness that “nothing happened”, which he disctinctly remembers since “nothing happened”, and that the female reporter who has made the complaint is “delusional”, and that U.S. Secret Service detail officers were present “all around” who “said that nothing happened”, and other assertions and statements which are materially contradicted the complainant herself, the third party witness, the audio tape and the criminal complaint itself … nah: that could never happen.

    • Shalimar

      Zack Beauchamp links a Breitbart article where they try to prove that it happened but a security guard injured Fields, not Lewandowski. They do this by linking video of where everyone was standing, that stops before the actual assault. They insist Terris mistook Lewandowski for this other man who is sort of similar looking but not really.

      It stretches credulity that 2 reporters who have been covering the campaign for months and who both referred to Lewandowski as “Corey” got him confused with someone else, but this is Breitbart. They have an employee to discredit.

      You would think they might get their cover story straight with the campaign, which still insists there was no assault. This is a criminal investigation now, after all.

      The important point from the Breitbart article imo is that the networks cut away before the assault but their cameras were still filming. There is video, once the networks pull their heads out of their ass and realize this is an important story.

      • Pat

        It may not be important to the Breitbart editors, however.

      • JL

        It stretches credulity that 2 reporters who have been covering the campaign for months and who both referred to Lewandowski as “Corey” got him confused with someone else, but this is Breitbart. They have an employee to discredit.

        It also strains credulity that Lewandowski is going around confessing to senior Breitbart people that he did something he didn’t do.

        Like I said above, the frickin’ Daily Caller has more integrity than this. They supported Fields back when she was their reporter and attacked by someone they supported politically.

      • timb


  • DAS

    Doesn’t this

    he didn’t recognize her as a Breitbart reporter, instead mistaking her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.

    also touch on the “how much will a ‘protected’ person really get hurt by a GOP presidency anyway?” question addressed in a thread a few days back?

    For example, I argued that a Trump presidency wouldn’t harm the DAS family (outside of Trump accidentally triggering WWIII or tanking the economy as a whole) because we are generally “protected” people: we’re Jewish and Christian, and even the African-Americans in my family are generally the “right” kind of African-Americans (upper-middle class, if not all securely so; immigrants on my FIL’s side and my MIL’s side includes people who are essentially among the gentry of the rural South). However, what happens if a racist, feeling empowered by Trump’s political ascendance, doesn’t take the time to ascertain that we are “protected”?

    • Hogan

      Did you see the discussion yesterday about segregation vs. “safe spaces”? It’s kind of like that.

    • Bill Murray

      well it definitely goes to the idea that being an “adversarial member of the mainstream media” makes one OK to get a beat down

    • SNF

      Wait, you have Jews, immigrants, and African-Americans in your family and you thought your family was safe from Trump/GOP policy?

      • ThrottleJockey

        What is going through Carson’s mind. Does he think that because he endorsed Trump that he’s going to be safe from Il Douche’s Brownshirts? How’re they to recognize him? He’s not widely recognizable nor is Ann Coulter. They’re going to beat his butt same as they would Trayvon Martin’s corpse.

        • tsam

          Yeah, that’s a pretty dangerous guy to hitch your wagon to if you’re not the right kind of people. Of course the Kapos didn’t have it nearly as bad as the regular inmates, did they?

          I also thought Carson’s speech about there being “Two Trumps” was strange. Are you calling him a big fat faker, Ben?

          • N__B

            As I remember The Two Trumps, Golem ends up dying in the fires of Mount Secaucus.

  • Randy

    I have read in some articles that the Chumps for Trump are explicitly instructed at the beginnings of rallies that they are not to get violent with protesters.

    I have been to many rallies and political meetings in my day. Never once have I been at one where it was thought necessary to remind attendees not to beat on someone.

  • DrDick

    Any of this surprises anyone? Why?

    • IM

      I am not surprised that reporters of whatever political persuasion are attacked at Trump rallies and the Trump campaign is trying to brazen it out

      I am surprised by the Breitbart operation; shouldn’t were be an minimum loyalty to your own reporters?

      • DrDick

        That is an awfully high bar for the (not very)Breitfart gang to clear.

      • Warren Terra

        Yeah, if there’s one thing I expect of the Breitbart crew it’s a rigid adherence to ethical principles.

  • Morbo

    Prediction markets estimate that Donald Trump has a roughly 70% chance of being the Republican nominee.

    If his opponents can’t be bothered to attack him on people getting assaulted at his events then the prediction markets are understating his chances.

    • Matt McIrvin

      If I were playing the primary prediction markets, I think I would buy both Clinton and Trump right now. These markets have a habit of underestimating the probability of the most likely thing to happen, calling it 60% or 70% when it should probably be more like 95%.

      (The pattern might change when the probability gets really close to 100%; I think when it comes to politics we generally underestimate the probability of really bizarre things happening, but overestimate the probability of things that seem unlikely-but-basically-normal, like candidates coming from behind very late in a campaign.)

    • NonyNony

      If his opponents can’t be bothered to attack him on people getting assaulted at his events then the prediction markets are understating his chances.

      But how, exactly, do you think an attack like that would work? As in how do you attack Trump for this in order to reduce his support? Do you think that the people supporting Trump aren’t aware that he’s saying that reporters and protesters should be beaten? I don’t. It isn’t like Trump has broad GOP support – he’s winning these elections with a minority of GOP voters because of the split field. It’s very likely to me that he’s winning with voters who approve of punching protesters and reporters and that this kind of information just makes them like him more. I don’t see how you make an attack stick with an electorate like that.

  • timb

    Today, at 12:40 EST, Rush Limbaugh let loose an impassioned racist defense of the violence at Trump rallies, where he connected the “them = protesters” to the “them” who “rioted in Baltimore, Ferguson, and,(most interesting — ed), the campus of Mizzou.”

    I kept wondering why he just didn’t say it. It’s Trump world now, baby, you don’t have to be circumspect. Damn RINO

    • so-in-so

      “Damn Politically Correct RINO.”

    • Rob in CT

      Dr. Limbaughstein. Trump is his, as much as anyone’s, monster.

      Goddamn, I hate that man. I really don’t usually do hate. Limbaugh is fucking evil. I hate him with a passion.

    • JL

      I saw someone on Twitter comment that there’s now a phenomenon where any black person protesting anything is presumed to be a Black Lives Matter protester.

      Not that there would be anything wrong with Black Lives Matter protesters, from Baltimore, Ferguson, Mizzou, or anywhere else, protesting Trump. But it’s interesting how the protesters are widely assumed to be Black Lives Matter protesters even in the absence of any evidence.

      • so-in-so

        “BLM” is shorter than “n_clang”.

      • tsam

        Is this getting worse in the last year? I feel like it’s getting more and more vicious all the time.

        • so-in-so

          A major political party candidate is campaigning against “political correctness” for the party that thought the height of humor after 2008 was a picture of watermelons growing on the white house lawn.

          What did you expect?

  • The term “Arm-Grab-Gate” has been coined. Shirley they mean Vulgate.

    • N__B

      “Arm-Grab-Gate” is a corruption of Meddigo when translated from English into Moron.

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