With news that the campaign of Delaware Republican, and Tea Party favorite, Christine O'Donnell threatened to not only sue a local radio station but crush it, it's probably time for a friendly round for I-told-you-so's. I warned reporters that the Tea Party movement is not playing around in terms of targeting the working press.
This is not you're father's that-darn-liberal-media-won't-treat-conservatives-fairly type of right-wing attacks on the press. This is more of a we're-coming-to-take-you-out approach. Not content to contemptuously snub the press during a campaign and reject the notion that independent journalists play a vital role in terms of informing the electorate. More Tea Party candidates and their campaigns are actively lashing out at reporters.
On Tuesday, O'Donnell told a WEDL host that she'd sue the radio station if a videotape of an on-air interview she had given were not turned over to the campaign so it could be destroyed, rather than posted on the station's website.
According to the station's report [emphasis added]:
O'Donnell's campaign manager, Matt Moran, called WDEL and demanded that the video be immediately turned over to the campaign and destroyed. Moran threatened to “crush WDEL” with a lawsuit if the station didn't comply.
The campaign soon relented.
Don't forget that when confronting a newspaper columnist jaw-to-jaw, New York Republican gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino threatened to “take out” the journalist.
And most recently, annoyed by a local journalist who was aggressively asking too many questions, the private security detail (don't ask) for Alaska Republican Joe Miller performed a citizen's “arrest” and handcuffed the reporter following a town hall forum, lodging a phantom charge of “assault.” The reporter was quickly released when actual police arrived on the scene.