Fishbowl5 With John McCormack : the Victim of Coakley Campaign Warfare

The Weekly Standard’s Deputy Online Editor John McCormack has had a wild couple of days after getting pushed to the ground Tuesday night by Massachusetts Democratic Senate hopeful Martha Coakley’s crisis communications specialist Michael Meehan of the DSCC. McCormack asked Coakley about her comment that there are no terrorists left in Afghanistan. She refused to answer. Then Meehan came after him. To be fair, Meehan has apologized. But McCormack has ripped trousers and a bruised thigh. We chatted with him by phone late last night. He has been on a whirlwind media tour – Fox News’s Neil Kavuto and “Hannity” Wednesday night, “Fox & Friends” at 6:45 a.m. Thursday morning and “every radio show in Massachusetts.”

1. What were you trying to do? I was trying to ask a question. I was trying to be a reporter. She’s been avoiding press and the only chance to ask her a question is when you know she’s going to be at some public event. She’s not going to return phone calls to The Weekly Standard. She wasn’t mean here. She just didn’t want to talk to me.

2. Were you startled when Meehan came after you? I thought at best I’d ask her my question and she’d ignore it. Oh yeah, you’re startled whenever anyone is that stupid. I was startled by the act that a guy who gets paid six figures for crisis management creates a campaign crisis. Yes, that was surprising.

3. Do you often get in fights with people? I do not. I do not get in physical fights. Despite my ethnic proclivity toward being a fighting Irishman, I am a man of peace.

4. When was your last fight? My most famous fight was in third grade and it was over football. I don’t think any punches landed on any faces, but it was a pretty good wrestling match. I think I was eight years old when I got in my actual fight.

5. Were you at any point afraid? Afraid? No, I was worried that this thing didn’t get taped. Fox News and CNN had gotten their questions in. Nobody was there to back up my side of the story. I was never afraid. He ripped my suit pants that my brother handed down to me that he wore for three or four years. It’s basically my only intact dark gray suit. It’s like a huge tear. I didn’t notice it for three hours. I didn’t want to say anything. It just sounded like someone who was crazy and lying. If you do the forensic examination you can see it [the tear]. I have a small bruise on the back of my thigh.

Read McCormack’s blog post [“We Report, We Get Pushed”] and watch the video here.

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