Tags: Reporter | Roughed-Up | Outside | Coakley | Affair

Reporter Roughed Up Outside Coakley Affair

Wednesday, 13 Jan 2010 10:49 AM

A Weekly Standard reporter says he was roughed up last night outside a Washington, D.C. fund-raiser for Attorney General Martha Coakley by someone he believes is associated with her U.S. Senate campaign.

John McCormack, the magazine’s deputy online editor, writes about the incident outside the Sonoma restaurant in an online dispatch entitled: “We Report, We Get Pushed.”

According to McCormack’s account, Coakley took two questions from reporters after the event, but declined to respond to his question. McCormack wrote he asked Coakley whether she stood by statements she made during Monday’s debate about terrorists in Afghanistan.

He provided the following transcript of what happened:

“TWS: Attorney General Coakley, you said last night that there are no terrorists in Afghanistan--that they’re all in Yemen and Pakistan. Do you stand by that remark?

COAKLEY: I’m sorry, did someone else have a question?

GRIFF JENKINS, Fox News: I did. Why are you in Washington tonight?

COAKLEY: We planned an event after the primary that would be a unity event in Washington. We’re also in the middle of a very intense campaign ...”

McCormack wrote after Coakley finished her answer he followed her and asked her why health care industry lobbyists were supporting her at the fundraiser. He said she did not reply.

As he continued to walk down the street, he said a man who appeared to be associated with Coakley’s campaign pushed him into a freestanding metal rail.

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

McCormack said the man asked him whether he was with the media and he responded he works for the Weekly Standard.

His online entry includes a YouTube video of the incident, in which you can hear a man ask McCormack if he’s OK after he fell. The reporter then tangles with the same man, showing him a press credential as he tries to make his way around him.

McCormack wrote he eventually caught up to Coakley, who declined to answer his question.

He said Coakley staffers informed him they don’t know who pushed him. In an updated blog post, McCormack writes he believes he was pushed by Michael Meehan, president of Blue Line Strategic Communications in Washington, D.C. The Associated Press also identifies the man as Meehan, based on photos and videotape of the incident.

A Coakley spokeswoman could not provide an immediate response to a Herald inquiry about McCormack’s account. Meehan did not immediately return an phone message or e-mail.

A message left for McCormack was not immediately returned.

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