As Media Matters noted earlier today, after she reportedly tried to give Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul a fake award last night, MoveOn activist Lauren Valle was wrestled to the ground by Paul supporters and repeatedly stomped on by one of them, later identified as Rand Paul campaign volunteer Tim Profitt. The incident quickly started a blame war in the conservative blogosphere.
Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit called Valle an "unhinged leftist" and blamed her for having "stalk[ed]" Paul, later acknowledging that it was "over the line to put a shoe on her head and shoulder." Both Hoft and Sweetness and Light offered flimsy opposition research on Valle, pointing out her appearance at protests and her Gulf oil spill activism on behalf of Greenpeace.
Today on his radio show, Rush Limbaugh also shifted the blame onto Valle and MoveOn, asking "What if somebody from MoveOn had tried to move through the crowd and give something to President Obama? What would the Secret Service have done?" Limbaugh called Valle a "professional agitator," and claimed that reports of the assault were exaggerations, saying: "Her head was not stepped on, her shoulders were." Limbaugh also made sure to note Valle's activism with regards to Citibank, Tibet, and the Gulf oil spill.
Big Journalism.com editor Dana Loesch has also chimed in, tweeting: "So let me get this right. Another paid Soros activist tries to incite violence at debate, was restrained. MoveOn owes apology."
The right-wing media bluster comes despite a consensus among those involved that the assailants acted in the wrong. Profitt has apologized; the Paul campaign removed him from his volunteer position as Bourbon County campaign coordinator; Paul himself today appeared on Fox News, saying, "I don't want anybody to be involved in things that aren't civil."