Hinchey repeatedly said "what are you talking about" when he knew full well what the reporter was talking about, and then told the reporter to "shut up":
When this conversation was over, Hinchey pursued the reporter and initiated a physical altercation by repeatedly pushing his finger into the reporter's chest. As reported by the Capitol Tonight website:
After the shooters turned off their cameras and started to break down, Hinchey made a beeline for [reporter] Kemble and got in his face, according to a YNN videographer who was on the scene. The congressman poked Kemble in the chest aggressively, according to the YNN staffer.This was Hinchey's Bob Etheridge moment.
I spoke with Kemble briefly this afternoon, and he told me Hinchey “put his hand on my throat” and then “realized what he had done and walked away.” The YNN shooter told me he did not witness this part of the altercation.
This video and news report should go viral. Hinchey epitomizes the arrogance of entrenched Washington, D.C., politicians, who feel that they have the right to physically assault reporters in a public place asking legitimate political questions.
Hinchey is feeling political pressure for the first time in memory, and clearly it is getting to him. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch has endorsed Hinchey's opponent, George Phillips, and outside groups have started running ads attacking Hinchey's ultra-liberal voting record and wacky antics (such as pushing for impeachment of George Bush just a few months before the end of Bush's second term).
The reporter should file a criminal complaint against Hinchey for assault and battery, to show that Hinchey is not above the law.
You can support George Phillips here. I already have.
Update: As noted by reader uncledan, HotAir has more on the story, including that the newspaper is sticking by the reporter's account of the assault, and again raising the questions Hinchey refused to answer regarding Hinchey's possible conflict of interest.
Reporting From Ithaca: Is Maurice Hinchey Really In Trouble?
Now You Can Feel Sorry For Me
A Place Where Only Liberal Speech Is Protected
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube