Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley was in DC last night for a fundraiser at Sonoma, a wine bar/restaurant a few blocks from the Capitol, and what followed was one of those campaign moments where a reporter tries to ask some challenging, confrontational questions...and gets shoved by a zealous staffer.
The journalist was Weekly Standard reporter/blogger John McCormack; the zealous staffer appears to have been Democratic consultant Michael Meehan, whom the AP reported was dispatched by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to help Coakley. Here's McCormack's own account, and here's the (sensationalistically titled?) YouTube video:
The staffer sort of checks McCormack into a metal railing, and McCormack falls over; when he gets up, the staffer won't let him by on the sidewalk, bumping into McCormack as he tries to follow Coakley down the street to question her.
When McCormack asks the staffer whom he works for, the staffer replies, "I work for me"...which would be a sweet line if delivered by Clint Eastwood or a member of organized crime.
And, in fact, it pretty much encapsulates one half of the dynamic that leads to these seldom, unfortunate encounters between campaigns and the press: the quasi-mob mentality and power trip of political operations. That's not to say the badgering from confrontational reporters doesn't sometimes have something to do with it...
The Atlantic Wire's Heather Horn runs through reactions to it: conservatives are outraged, and liberals accuse McCormack of stalking and harassing Coakley and of trying to get attention.