The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at WSJ written by the editor, James Taranto.
Bottom Story of the Day
“Harry Reid on Jeb Bush: ‘I Hope He Loses’ ”—headline, Politico, March 31
Can Anyone Beat Harry Reid?
Just after the New Year, Sen. Harry Reid turned up with what Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel calls “gruesome facial injuries,” including to his right eye, reportedly suffered during a workout. Weigel reports that Rush Limbaugh the other day “expressed something other conservatives had only whispered,” to wit:
“I don’t believe for a minute that whatever happened to Harry Reid has anything to do with an exercise machine unless somebody repeatedly threw him into it,” said Limbaugh. “Harry Reid looks like and is acting like—and now with this announcement, behaving like—somebody who may have been beaten up. Nobody. . . . I’ve never seen anybody have an accident with an exercise machine that ends up suffering symptoms much like Harry Reid’s for as long as Harry Reid has.”
The official story actually involved exercise bands, not a machine. As for the rumor, blogger John Hinderaker elaborated:
A friend of mine was in Las Vegas a week or two ago. He talked to a number of people there about Reid’s accident, and didn’t find anyone who believed the elastic exercise band story. The common assumption was that the incident resulted, in some fashion, from Reid’s relationship with organized crime. The principal rumor my friend heard was that Reid had promised to obtain some benefit for a group of mobsters. He met with them on New Year’s Day, and broke the bad news that he hadn’t been able to deliver what he promised. When the mobsters complained, Reid (according to the rumor) made a comment that they considered disrespectful, and one of them beat him up.
Weigel thinks this is bunk:
All jokes aside, the people who cover Reid can’t understand what makes his story so incredible. Not all injuries are dignified. Far from it—the columns of “oddly enough” news brim with tales of men paralyzed by dumbbells, drowned by swimming pools, or sucked into hot tubs. The “what really happened?” question about Reid assumes that a man who has never tired of telling the story of his near-miss brushes with mafia justice would cover up the story of how he survived a brutal attack—and instead, had to go on TV telling people his “big rubber bands” broke. It would be like Clark Kent telling colleagues that he was out of the office when Superman visited because, well, he had to empty his colostomy bag.
We’re not sure what to believe, but just to be safe we’re going to stay away from both organized crime and exercise.
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