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    Day 5 Of NY Times Cone of Silence On Maurice Hinchey Assault

    Day 5 Of NY Times Cone of Silence On Maurice Hinchey Assault

    The NY Times continues its cone of silence regarding Democratic Congressman Maurice Hinchey’s (D-NY22) assault on a reporter for the Kingston (NY) Daily Freeman who questioned Hinchey’s possible conflict of interest in obtaining federal earmarks for a property partially owned by Hinchey.

    The reporter is standing by his story:

    “All of a sudden, I see Hinchey moving towards me and coming directly at me, face to face,” Kemble said. “I remember fingers around my neck.”

    Kemble said that Hinchey held his fingers there for a few seconds.

    Kemble said he recalled thinking to himself to “just breathe” and, then Hinchey must have realized “what he was doing and just stopped.”

    Hinchey denies assaulting the reporter, or even telling the reporter to “shut up,” but the original pre-assault video shows Hinchey telling the reporter to shut up:


    I noted the other day that The Times was scooped on this by the Poughkeepsie Journal

    Now The Times, the paper of record, has been scooped by Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record, Hinchey on defensive after fight with reporter:

    Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, wanted to talk about health-care reform before a group of seniors in Kingston Monday morning.

    Instead, he found himself defending himself on charges that he told a newspaper reporter to “shut up!” under persistent questioning last week and later, during a heated confrontation with the same reporter, he either poked or put his hands on the reporter’s neck.

    Hinchey’s Republican opponent, George Phillips, said Monday that he witnessed Hinchey physically shove the reporter into Phillips’ path minutes before a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters in Saugerties.

    A video of Hinchey telling Kingston Daily Freeman reporter William Kemble to shut up went viral over the weekend.

    Nevertheless, Hinchey on Monday initially denied telling Kemble to shut up, then backtracked by saying he was responding to being badgered by the reporter. He accused Kemble, a Freeman correspondent, and Kemble’s editor, Tony Adamis, of conducting a long-standing effort to hurt him politically.

    What will it take to get The NY Times to report on a senior New York Congressman who physically assaulted a member of the press who was asking tough questions about possible conflicts of interest in federal funding of a project?

    How about this.  Let’s pretend Maurice Hinchey had Tea Party support.  Page One above the fold, here we come.

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    The pigs are upset because we'e started taking pictures of the rules on the barn… And no, Democrats are not more equal than the rest of us…

    I was present at the debate, and did not witness the confrontation but know people who did. There is nothing alleged about it, although it doesn't sound like assault. Hinchey very definitely lost it over a question from a reporter on a topic Hinchey has consistently refused to discuss or acknowledge. I was at George Phillips' Saugerties campaign office on Saturday, 2 days after the debate (I am a volunteer and have been for over 6 months) and the Partition Street Project (which is a block or 2 from Phillips' office) was the main topic among the locals. Many are outraged over it. It also involves a site contamination and a demolition that was illegal – of a property that has Hinchey's investment involvement.

    Incidentally, Hinchey pushed Kemble INTO George Phillips. I know folks who saw this and Phillips has stated it in an interview. That might be assault!

    By the letter of the law, I'll grant finger poking and pushing are both assault and battery. But here are my points:
    1. Do you want Hinchey prosecuted for a finger poke and a push? Is there any chance he would be convicted? And if you've ever used the phrase "man-up", then you should drop complaining about this.
    2. Should the NYT be shamed for not covering this? Is it really that big a deal? The local press has covered it, but is there even state-wide, much less national significance? I know you likely don't read the NYT, but outside the tri-state area, it takes quite a bit of newsworthy-ness to make the paper.
    3. The accusation in this post is that Hinchey choked Kemble. Is there a shred of evidence of this? Does Kemble still claim Hinchey even touched his throat?
    4. Comparing this event to false-imprisonment – oh, I'm sory, a citizen's arrest – is ludicrous. Which would you be more pissed about: getting poked in the chest and pushed, or being hand-cuffed for any length of time.

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