CBS Interviews Assaulted MoveOn Protestor, Never Covered Man Who Had Finger Bitten Off at 2009 MoveOn Event

[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 2009 the 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.   

In addition, on Wednesday, Smith did not report the fact that a Rand Paul supporter was assaulted by a Jack Conway supporter at the very same debate rally on Monday. As Emily Maxwell reported on KYPost.com, "...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." NewsBusters' Matthew Balan highlighted the same omission during CNN Tuesday coverage of the event.

In his interview with Valle, Smith allowed the left-wing activist to tout her political message, asking: "You are a political activist, you were hired by MoveOn.org, were you not?" Valle responded: "Yes, I've been in Kentucky for the past two weeks working on a project called 'Republicore,' which is a satirical conglomeration between the Republican Party and corporate America. So we're pointing out the impact that corporate spending has been having....I wanted Rand to see my sign. I had an 'employee of the month' award from Republicore, and I was dressed as a Republicore executive." Smith didn't challenge Valle's argument.

Smith later urged Valle to deny making any threatening gestures toward Paul :"Some accounts of this says that you were forcing your way through the crowd, that there was some – some of you were trying to get to the candidate in some way. Can you disabuse us of that notion?" Valle replied: "Yeah. What happened was when they realized that I was there, they actually formed a circle behind me....This was premeditated. My partner, Alex, heard them say, just before this, 'we're here to do crowd control and we might have to take someone out.'"

[Update: New video obtained by RedState.com shows Valle run up to Rand Paul's car and shove a sign in his face.  That runs contrary to Valle's assertion to Smith that she was "simply there to hold a sign."] 

Smith wrapped up the segment by wondering: "What does this tell you about the intensity of the emotions that are out there this campaign season?" Valle explained: "I think that what happened to me is just a symptom of the agitation and the division that this country is experiencing on a mass scale..."



Here is a full transcript of the October 27 interview:

7:10AM ET

HARRY SMITH: And joining us exclusively now from Louisville, Kentucky, is Lauren Valle. Ms. Valle, good morning.

LAUREN VALLE: Good morning, Harry.

SMITH: How are you feeling?

VALLE: Feeling pretty stiff but a night's sleep was a great idea.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Political Pressure; Woman Assaulted by Rand Paul Supporters Speaks Out]

SMITH: Alright. Let's talk a little bit about the origin of all of this. You are a political activist, you were hired by MoveOn.org, were you not?

VALLE: Yes, I've been in Kentucky for the past two weeks working on a project called 'Republicore,' which is a satirical conglomeration between the Republican Party and corporate America. So we're pointing out the impact that corporate spending has been having.

SMITH: So you were there with a wig on and a sign and hoping to what? Get in camera range or get close to Rand Paul in some way?

VALLE: Yeah, I wanted Rand to see my sign. I had an 'employee of the month' award from Republicore, and I was dressed as a Republicore executive.

SMTIH: As it was coming closer to the time that he was going to arrive, was there not some awareness of your being there and concern from some of the Rand Paul supporters?

VALLE: They did become aware that I was there but I think they knew who I was from the past two weeks of me being in town. And they didn't like my – my message, they didn't like what I was there to say and I was simply there to hold a sign. But, that wasn't – wasn't okay with them.

SMITH: Let me just get this straight. You say 'simply there to hold a sign.' Some accounts of this says that you were forcing your way through the crowd, that there was some – some of you were trying to get to the candidate in some way. Can you disabuse us of that notion?

VALLE: Yeah. What happened was when they realized that I was there, they actually formed a circle behind me and then as the car pulled up, before Rand was even out of the car, he was, you know, still with the windows up, the car was driving, they stepped in front of me. So, I stepped off the curb and around them. And then they actually pursued me around the car. This was premeditated. My partner, Alex, heard them say, just before this, 'we're here to do crowd control and we might have to take someone out.'

SMITH: What does this tell you about the intensity of the emotions that are out there this campaign season?

VALLE: You know, I think that what happened to me is just a symptom of the agitation and the division that this country is experiencing on a mass scale and I think that I experienced the physical violence but – and violence is never the answer, but still-

SMITH: Yeah, which is what Rand Paul, you know, said in a statement, as well. This fellow, Tim Profitt, said that he was concerned for Rand Paul's safety. Do you think you posed a threat to Rand Paul?

VALLE: I certainly don't think so. I believe strongly in non-violence. I believe in peaceful protest. I believe in my right to carry a sign. I am a 23-year-old woman with only the intention to hold a sign. So, I had no – no bad intentions, only wanted to be there, like everyone else, with a sign.

SMITH: Lauren Valle, thanks very much for sharing your story with us this morning. We do appreciate it.

VALLE: Thanks for having me.

SMITH: Alright, take care now.

—Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC