While all three broadcast networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS, highlighted MoveOn.org protestor Lauren Valle being stepped on outside Monday's Kentucky senate debate, only CBS reported new video showing Valle running up to Rand Paul's car and trying to shove a sign into the Republican candidate's face.
The morning and evening newscasts on Tuesday all pointed to the scuffle as evidence of the 2010 campaign getting "ugly." On ABC's Good Morning America, correspondent Jake Tapper declared: "In the Kentucky senate race, the bitter and heated contest between Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Rand Paul, continued in a debate...The tensions spilled into the crowd, when Rand Paul supporters attacked a Jack Conway supporter wearing a Rand Paul wig." On CBS's Early Show, correspondent Nancy Cordes remarked: "...there was an ugly scene outside the debate, when what appeared to be Rand Paul supporters grabbed a protester from the liberal organization MoveOn.org. After wrestling her to the ground, one of them stepped on her head."
[Update: New video Shows Lauren Valle shoving sign into Rand Paul's face.]
On Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith interviewed MoveOn.org protestor Lauran Valle, who was stepped on during a protest outside of the Kentucky senate debate on Monday: "Less than a week before election day, the races are heating up, some even turn ugly. We'll speak exclusively with a woman who was stomped on the head during a campaign melee."
While CBS was eager to talk to Ms. Valle, in September 2009the network failed to give any coverage to a man having his finger bitten off by a MoveOn.org supporter at a California ObamaCare rally. At the September 2 event, 65-year-old William Rice, an ObamaCare opponent, got into an altercation with an unidentified MoveOn protestor, who proceeded to bite off the tip of Rice's left pinky finger. Not only did CBS not interview Rice about the violent attack, but it offered no mention of the incident at all.
[Update, 12:15 pm Wednesday: See below on CNN's additional coverage of the assault.]
CNN devoted seven news briefs on Tuesday to an assault on a MoveOn.org employee by Rand Paul supporters caught on camera outside the Kentucky Senate debate on Monday evening, but failed to mention a second assault on Rand Paul supporter by a booster of Paul's opponent, Jack Conway. Most of the briefs also omitted how the MoveOn employee was trying to get an embarrassing picture of Paul.
Emily Maxwell of KYPost.com reported late on Monday how "tensions flared at he senatorial candidates' debate here Monday night in two confrontations between Conway and Paul supporters, Lexington police reported. The first involved a woman who is a member of www.moveon.org and who was determined to pose in front of Rand Paul holding a sign that read 'Rand Paul Republicore: Employee of the Month.'" After detailing this first incident, Maxwell continued that "the second occurred after a Conway supporter stepped on the foot of a female Rand supporter, who recently had foot surgery, according to police. The woman was wearing a surgical boot, but after the injury, her incision was cut open. Police say she refused medical treatment and also filed an assault report."
Anchor John Roberts set the example for CNN's coverage of the incidents in his news brief six minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of American Morning, as the video of the assault on Lauren Valle, the MoveOn.org employee played: