Via Nice Deb and Ace, who aptly characterizes this as a “Say It Don’t Spray It Class D Felony.” Skip ahead to around 1:20. A protester has his hands cupped around his mouth to yell something and it looks like some spittle hits Cleaver, who later accused the guy, and I quote, of having “allowed his saliva to hit my face.” Voila — a racial incident worthy of national headlines capped by a congressional press release noting that the spitter/spittler had been arrested. Except that he wasn’t: He was briefly detained and then let go. This was supposedly also around the time that tea partiers were shouting racial slurs at Cleaver, John Lewis, and other black congressmen. Listen closely and you … won’t hear any. Although if you do, or if you were there and have some tape lying around that captured them, you can make a cool ten grand from Andrew Breitbart. “Is it really possible that in 2010,” writes Breitbart, “in a crowd of 30 or 40 thousand people — at the center of a once-in-a-lifetime media circus — not one person’s flipphone, Blackberry, video recorder or a network feed caught a single incident?” E-mail him if you’ve got the smoking gun!

Incidentally, this is now the third incident involving alleged political intimidation that appears to have been blown out of proportion. The casket that so frightened Russ Carnahan was part of a prayer vigil meant to symbolize the death of liberty. And the bullet that broke that window in Cantor’s campaign office was, according to preliminary investigations, not fired directly at the building but up in the air, suggesting that it landed through the window through happenstance. Let’s all take a deep breath. Please?

Update: If you’re troubled by this alarming episode involving spittle unintentionally striking a Democrat, assuage your guilt by donating $5 to Obama’s money machine.

Tags: Barack Obama