WPXI is reporting that the story of a politically motivated attack against a McCain supporter in Pittsburgh is a hoax. Ashley Todd made up the story of mugging that turned into a political attack after the mugger noticed a McCain bumper sticker on her car.
A police source told the television station that she had made the whole thing up. It is likely that her injuries including a B carved into her cheek were self inflicted. As a Western Pennsylvania, this story sounded dubious from the beginning. It didn’t make sense why she was not on the ATM video. In fact, if you know the area, the whole story didn’t make much sense. Pittsburgh isn’t known for violence, much less politically motivated violence.
Either Ms. Todd is a Republican who was trying to help McCain/Palin in the state, or she is just a desperate attention seeker who was looking for a little fame. What troubled me was the racial element and implications in her story. A tall black man attacked her and told her that he was going to make her an Obama supporter. The whole idea of trying to fuel a racial divide either to help a presidential campaign or as a stunt to get attention is sick and sad.
Maybe this stuff plays in Texas, but in Pennsylvania, this stuff isn’t going to fly. I don’t know maybe this was a designed appeal to the racist redneck vote. Pittsburgh has its racial problems, but I don’t believe that there are politically active muggers roaming the streets of Bloomfield. Pittsburgh is a city that prides itself on friendliness and its small town feel.
If this was a political stunt, it sounds like it was thought up by a dumb college Republican. Of course, the police would take such an allegation seriously, because if true, it would give the whole city a bad name. Pittsburgers are very proud of their city, and I hope that Todd either gets the mental help she needs or gets sent to jail.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association