Losing it: Hinchey allegedly assaults reporter

posted at 7:11 pm on October 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Bill Kemble of the Kingston Freeman found out that when Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) tells you to shut up, he’s not kidding. Last night, according to YNN’s Capital Tonight blog, Hinchey erupted after Kemble tried to get Hinchey to answer a question regarding allegations of conflict of interest between Hinchey’s earmark requests and his own financial interests the Partition Street Project, a story covered by the Freeman last May. Hinchey refused to answer, at one point telling Kemble to “shut up!” while on YNN’s camera:

Last night, he said he has “no financial interest” in the project, and pointedly told Kemble:

“What are you talking about…Are you trying to give the same phony stuff that are you put in the Freeman so many times. Are you still as deceptive as you always have been? Are still you a manipulative guy? You’re full of baloney. You’re full of baloney.”

At this point, another reporter tried to break in to ask a question, and Hinchey said: “Yeah, please ask me something. This guy is just full of baloney.”

When Kemble persisted, Hinchey told him: “Shut up!”

That would certainly be an interesting story on its own, but it gets worse for Hinchey. Later, when the debate concluded and reporters had begun to pack up their gear, Hinchey went looking for Kemble — and allegedly got physical:

After the shooters turned off their cameras and started to break down, Hinchey made a beeline for Kemble and got in his face, according to a YNN videographer who was on the scene. The congressman poked Kemble in the chest aggressively, according to the YNN staffer.

I spoke with Kemble briefly this afternoon, and he told me Hinchey “put his hand on my throat” and then “realized what he had done and walked away.” The YNN shooter told me he did not witness this part of the altercation.

When asked for a comment by Hot Air while Republican challenger George Phillips campaigned in Kingston, New York, Phillips offered a brief statement:

“This isn’t an issue to me. There was a brief disturbance as reported, but it didn’t result in any physical damage. I’m very pleased with the results of the debate and I’m focused on victory in Nov.”

Phillips also authorized the campaign to confirm that Phillips personally witnessed the incident, as well as confirming that Hinchey pushed Kemble backwards into Phillips himself.  Phillips didn’t witness the hand going to Kemble’s throat, however.  The YNN reporter who witnessed this was the other person asking questions in the video above, and not Kemble, who doesn’t work for YNN; some commenters at YNN’s site seem confused by the difference.

YNN has requested a comment from the Hinchey campaign; I have a request in for a comment or statement as well.  I’ve also left a message for Kemble for more details, and will update this post as details arrive.  Assuming this is fully accurate, Hinchey may have just written an embarrassing end to his Congressional career.

Update: Looks like I played Name That Party! Affiliations have now been noted.

Update II: The Hinchey campaign more or less confirms the incident, in an update to YNN’s post:

“Mr. Hinchey and Mr. Kemble have had a longstanding antagonistic relationship. Last night, Mr. Kemble rudely badgered Mr. Hinchey during an ongoing taped interview in an attempt to evoke a reaction,” said Liam Fitzsimmons, campaign manager for Rep. Hinchey.

“Following the taped interview, Mr. Kemble continued badgering Mr. Hinchey and took an aggressive step toward him in an attempt to provoke a further argument. Nevertheless, the congressman regrets he didn’t walk away from Mr. Kemble sooner in order to end the heated argument.”

So the reporter “took an aggressive step” towards Hinchey, and Hinchey responded by shoving him?  And that excuses it?  The YNN videographer’s version has Hinchey making a “beeline” for Kemble after the debate.  At the very least, I think this statement allows us to call the story confirmed.

Update III: I forgot to include the link to YNN’s Capital Tonight story.  My apologies; please make sure to read the whole article at the link.


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Typical sore loser reaction– make it so!

leftnomore on October 15, 2010 at 7:13 PM

A Weigel hug.

MayBee on October 15, 2010 at 7:14 PM

To paraphrase Professor Reynolds, the country’s throat is in the very best of hands.

mikefln on October 15, 2010 at 7:17 PM

dang, not cool at all.

upinak on October 15, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Democrat??

DL13 on October 15, 2010 at 7:19 PM

To paraphrase Professor Reynolds, the country’s throat is in the very best of hands.

mikefln on October 15, 2010 at 7:17 PM

The best of haaaaaaaands! The best of hands!

Inkblots on October 15, 2010 at 7:22 PM

The democrats are guilty of what they accuse the Tea Party/Paladino/Christie of being.

portlandon on October 15, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Hinchey’s hand or Obama’s boot? Both with the same suffocating results.

fourdeucer on October 15, 2010 at 7:23 PM

The people who are going to vote for him will vote for him, regardless, probably thinking he was justified in getting angry.

Bob's Kid on October 15, 2010 at 7:25 PM

I spoke with the George Phillips campaign. When asked for a comment by Hot Air while Phillips campaigned in Kingston, New York, Phillips offered a brief statement:
“This isn’t an issue to me. There was a brief disturbance as reported, but it didn’t result in any physical damage. I’m very pleased with the results of the debate and I’m focused on victory in Nov.”

Phillips may think he took the high-road with that response, but the even higher-road response — the one that would have at the same time left a mark — would have been if he said:

“This clearly is a matter for law enforcement. I will have no further comment on my opponent’s potential criminal liability in this incident until all the facts are in and the district attorney has announced whether my opponent will be prosecuted.”

FlameWarrior on October 15, 2010 at 7:26 PM

I breaka yo face.

davidk on October 15, 2010 at 7:27 PM

shut up I explained….

Dr Evil on October 15, 2010 at 7:31 PM

It’s Etheridge and Hinchey on Tag Team Reporters!

They will stop at nothing to show how much they just love hands-on with reporters…

ajacksonian on October 15, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Nuff said.

thekingtut on October 15, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Boots… necks… so? What’s the problem?

BKeyser on October 15, 2010 at 7:33 PM

George Phillips is the Republican candidate who is running against Democrat Rep. Maurice Hinchey in New York’s 22nd District.

Learn more about George Phillips at his campaign website:

http://electgeorgephillips.com/

According to the FEC.gov website http://www.fec.gov/DisclosureSearch/HSRefreshCandList.do?category=disH&stateName=NY&congressId=22&election_yr=2010 George Phillips is running behind Hinchey in fundraising.

As of 8/25/10

George Phillips Cash on Hand = $267,106

Rep. Hinchey Cash on Hand = $34,727

It is time to vote BULLIES like Rep. Hinchey OUT OF OFFICE!

wren on October 15, 2010 at 7:35 PM

As the thread of November looms ever closer the Democrats begin to lose their sanity as well…

Cookies Mom on October 15, 2010 at 7:36 PM

Phillips may think he took the high-road with that response, but the even higher-road response — the one that would have at the same time left a mark — would have been if he said:

“This clearly is a matter for law enforcement. I will have no further comment on my opponent’s potential criminal liability in this incident until all the facts are in and the district attorney has announced whether my opponent will be prosecuted.”
FlameWarrior on October 15, 2010 at 7:26 PM

I like his answer because this is going to blow up through the blogosphere and cable news the same amount regardless.

redeye on October 15, 2010 at 7:39 PM

wren on October 15, 2010 at 7:35 PM

OOPS!!! Big TYPO!! I reversed the dollar amounts for Hinchey and Phillips. Sorry!!!

Here are the correct figures as of 8/25/10:

George Phillips Cash on Hand = $34,727

Rep. Hinchey Cash on Hand = $267,107

http://www.fec.gov/DisclosureSearch/HSRefreshCandList.do?category=disH&stateName=NY&congressId=22&election_yr=2010

Vote for Republican George Phillips!

wren on October 15, 2010 at 7:41 PM

To paraphrase Professor Reynolds, the country’s throat is in the very best of hands.

mikefln on October 15, 2010 at 7:17 PM
The best of haaaaaaaands! The best of hands!

Inkblots on October 15, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Post of the month.

The Reasonable Man on October 15, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Liberalism is truly a mental disorder. One by one they are exposing their insanity in ways they cannot control. The hatred spewed by Eugene Robinsin and Richard Cohen in the Washington Post is so despicable that their attacks have become irrational. Look up the word BIGOT in the dictionary. It describes a liberal perfectly. All of the hateful attacks on those who disagree with them cannot change that.

volsense on October 15, 2010 at 7:42 PM

The heat is on!!!!

capejasmine on October 15, 2010 at 7:47 PM

see ya…

cmsinaz on October 15, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Hinchey has more ego than brains. Keep digging, you lying sack of diseased oxen night soil. You need to get buried DEEP.

Harry Schell on October 15, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Self destruction is such a beautiful thing when these corrupt, lying marxists are cornered.

And it’s poetic justice since they destroy everything that they get involved in.

I almost forgot, we need them to save the world before they go, because they’re the only ones that can do it.

What rotten, mindless and soulless zombies.

ontherocks on October 15, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Which is worse, Chicago thuggery or New York mafiosoism?

madmonkphotog on October 15, 2010 at 9:05 PM

He looks like that really old guy from Prizzi’s Honor.

LASue on October 16, 2010 at 12:21 AM

if Mr. Hinchey doesn’t have the wherewithal to keep his hands off of other people’s throats, then he won’t have the wherewithal to keep his hands out of other people’s pockets.

Fire him, NY.

please.

ted c on October 16, 2010 at 7:17 AM

It takes a corrupt politician to represent a corrupt people.

MNHawk on October 16, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Which is worse, Chicago thuggery or New York mafiosoism?

madmonkphotog on October 15, 2010 at 9:05 PM

And the distinction is………..What?

iurockhead on October 16, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Which is worse, Chicago thuggery or New York mafiosoism?

madmonkphotog on October 15, 2010 at 9:05 PM
And the distinction is………..What?

iurockhead on October 16, 2010 at 11:17 AM

NY mafiosoism has the better pizza (IMHO)

DrAllecon on October 16, 2010 at 12:28 PM