The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Hey, Don’t Punch That — Wait, He’s With Your Opponent? Swing Away!


Up in New York’s 26th congressional district, local media — and Dave Weigel — believe that it is a grand revelation to learn that the cameraman in this video, who appears to be punched or slapped by Jack Davis, is the chief of staff of Republican candidate Jane Corwin.

Weigel adds, “If this backfires on Corwin, I think she’s a victim of newfound media skepticism about video ambushes that are made to go viral. Local reporters in North Carolina felt just a little burned after 2010, when despite multiple denials it turned out that the ‘students’ who turned Bob Etheridge into the Incredible Hulk were working for the GOP.”

Er, why does the affiliation of the cameraman matter? Is there some perception that punching people is wrong, but if it’s a staff member of the opposing campaign, then it’s understandable?

“Hey, how could you punch that guy? What? He’s with the opposing campaign? Oh, it’s okay then.”

The cameraman in the infamous “macaca” incident of George Allen was working for the Jim Webb campaign. I certainly don’t remember that being a major issue in the coverage, nor any suggestion that the cameraman’s affiliation with with Webb somehow justified Allen’s reaction. Watching the video again, five years later, it’s remarkable how tame Allen’s foul looks compared to what we’ve seen in recent years. Sure, it’s snide; yes, the obscure term “macaca” has a racial context (one that Allen said he was unaware of), and the “welcome to America,” directed at an Indian-American at a campaign stop in southwest Virginia, can easily be interpreted as xenophobic.

But it’s remarkable to watch people who were furious over that shrug off Davis’s recent actions, or Etheridge’s reaction, or the Coakley associate shoving the Weekly Standard’s John McCormick over a metal railing.

Tags: Bob Etheridge , George Allen , Jack Davis , Martha Coakley


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