Anatomy of a spin job gone bad. First, McCormack gets shoved — on video, with a photo showing Coakley standing right there. The Democrats’ Senate campaign arm then issues a statement calling it, surreally, some sort of Republican “dirty trick.” The AP duly answers the call of the home team by putting out a whitewashed account of what happened, insisting that McCormack merely stumbled before being helped to his feet by the kindly Democrat looming over him. Then it’s Coakley’s turn to insist that she’s “not privy to the facts” of what happened despite the photo showing her looking right at McCormack as he hit the ground.

Finally, inevitably, with all spin angles crushed by the documentary evidence, the obligatory apology is issued.

Last evening I was a little too aggressive in the confusion of trying to help the Attorney General get to her car and catch a flight.

I clearly did not intend to cause John McCormack to trip and fall over that low fence. As the video shows and he confirms in his blog, I stopped to help him up and make sure he was OK.

I talked with Mr. McCormack this afternoon and apologized for my part.

Here’s McCormack’s brief account of their chat. Good enough to save Meehan’s job with the Obama administration, presumably. If you’re starved for an exit question, Time’s got you covered. I’ll just leave you with this.