October 24th, 2008
08:37 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Assault Hoax, Double Murder & More

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer
Whew! With that title for a blog I bet you can tell it's a busy night here in the 360 newsroom.  We're following several different stories.


I'm a bit crunched for time with just 30 minutes until the newscast begins, so let me just list them for you.

1) In a few minutes, the GOP campaign worker who made up a story about being attacked by a man upset by a John McCain bumper sticker on her car will be arraigned in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-area courtroom. We'll have the latest on this bizarre case.

2) A shocking story out of Chicago. The mother and brother of actress-singer Jennifer Hudson have been found dead in their home. And, police are searching for a 7 year old boy who they believe was abducted from the home. We'll have the breaking developments.

3) Gov. Sarah Palin has finished giving three hours of depositions to the Alaska Personnel Board, which is looking into whether she unfairly fired the state's top cop this summer.

4) Michelle Obama filled in for Sen. Barack Obama on the trail today, while he visited his ailing grandmother in Hawaii.

Like I said, it's a busy night.

We'll have all these stories and more tonight on 360.
Hope you can join us at 10pm ET.

And, hey, have a great weekend!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (30 Responses)

    As an African American male, these issues are not new, from Willie Horton, to the husband who shot his pregant wife in Boston, to the young mother to drowned her children – (although false), the reality is the exposure given by the media, followed how the media in turn downplays the matter is very disturbing. However, when we're falsely accused, our white acusers are then deemed to be either confused, mentally ill or it was just a joke and we told to get over it, with no regard to re-tracting (or admitting to making) false statements, or the hatred spewed as a result of the false acusations. This election is a reminder that until this county takes it's head out of the sand of bigotry (and racism) we as a society will never progress. Racism in this county, has always turned the bravest men into cowards!

    October 24, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  2. eva ritchie

    re Ashley on tonight's air- David B said "forgive her & forget her"– yes, forgive her but do not forget her. She did the "girlie" thing of hurting herself rather than donning a trenchcoat & opening fire at the nearby school. This ridiculous 2 yrs of election & her frustration with who knows what all... I doubt she is the only one teetering at this edge, you may see more. It is pathetic what she has done to herself and, probably inadvertently, to others with this stunt.... she is so on the edge she cannot cope. She wants to be noticed, to be heard, to be understood, oh- just plain listened to by somebody; desperately wants it., just for once. As the sister,/niece,/aunt/cousin & even just acquaintance of several people who cried out and nobody heard/understoood, so they hung themselves, jumped off bridges, crashed their cars/motorcycle, I can only say ... do not just "forget" her... I doubt very much that she is not the only one feeling like she does.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  3. Marlena

    I am saddened by the news of Jennifer Hudson, she seems like such a nice and humble person. I am just saddened, it's like a part of my family. RIP to the Hudson family.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  4. Casse

    The story about the campaign worker who was attacked at an ATM disturbed me a lot, immediately. It did not require flogging by conservative media.
    The implied hatred, the violence against one person by another for her political position; especially disturbing was the idea that this young woman's face would be scarred forever; that she would always be reminded of it each time she met a new person glancing long, staring, feeling free to ask "How did that happen?" And she would say " a black man cut me for supporting McCain". How much ugly freight would that carry for how many years?
    Now it turns out to be a hoax; her own racist attitude laid out in the vicious lie she concocted to permanently scar a political candidate. Now the feeling is contempt, and anger that she would try to advance McCain's cause by appealing to racial fears. She is a miserable person; but don't suggest the first story, if it had been true, held no weight on its own, outside of conservative circles praying for a miracle to salvage their candidate.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  5. Kathy

    John McCain owes the Barak Obama and his supporters an apology for the way he rushed to judgment in that supposed face carving incident!!! It was a strange story to begin with and as usual McCain doesn't do any research and floods the news with LIES...

    October 24, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  6. Diane in Athens, GA

    The young college student's hoax of the "attack of the big black man" only attests to the messages that are transmitted covertly and sometimes overtly in our society. Although most American citizens are emotionally balanced and in no way fall into the category of demented, this case is a commentary on what happens when select members or segments of our society promote negative stereotyping of anyone but especially those who are perceived to have less power. There is a moral to this story, however, is we each have a responsibility to take a long honest look at initial gut feelings that are evoked by these "played out" stories designed to depict minorities (e.g., racial or otherwise) as inhumane, inferior brutes who cannot be trusted and therefore must be restrained or constrained in some manner. Regardless of the presence of such feelings, we have control over our thoughts and behaviors. We can empower ourselves to think and behave in a manner that is fair, respectful, and rational. A failure to engage in such introspection only leaves the door open for the perpetuation of an undercurrent of ugliness, fear, ignorance, injustice, and social alientation.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  7. Denyce

    It was obvious to me from the beginning that this was a hoax. This young lady is emotionally unstable, but who gave her the black eye? Well anyway it shows that racism and prejudice is alive and well in this country.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  8. Andy

    Whether the origin of the Mccain supporter's encounter was a calculated stunt, or merely a consequence of her possible mental disturbance, the characterization of the "attacker" as an angry and violent African American male is very disturbing. The conservative campagin has played to the worst fears and prejudices of our country, and this is a prime example of what could happen.

    After the dust of the election has settled, Americans need to take a hard look at ourselves, and why the the public and especially the media have given a free pass to those who would use racism as a political tool. As Americans we are better than this.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  9. Lisa

    I don't think that the gal from Pittsburgh is very stable... I have a hard time believing that the republican party is Abe Lincolns party. Was there a party switch somewhere in past history???
    Another thing, when Sarah Palin called the "sexual assult" victim did she tell her she'd have to pay for her own rape kit?

    October 24, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  10. Bob

    Being from Pennsylvania I am proud of the way our police do not rush to judgement but examine in detail all such cases.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  11. Alicia

    I just wanted to point out that if she were a African American woman accusing a white man there would have been little or no news of this. I personally feel sorry for people like her.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  12. Michael Knight

    The Ashley Todd claim sadly reminds me of the early days of America when many black men were wrongly accused of rape when the only proof was the word of a white woman.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  13. Gas guy

    Race baiting from the far right. Poor woman needs help, but then someone on the McCain campaign took advantage of her by pushing the story when they didn't even know if it were true.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  14. Frances L. Nebraska

    What is sad about this whole hoax is there are so many girls who have a hard time reporting sexual assaults and get ridiculed and revictimized when reporting it and or during prosecution. Secondly, apparently someone in the McCain campaign fed this to news organizations and Fox VP saying if this is a hoax, McCain's campaign is toast or something to that affect, it would be like race baiting. Shameful.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  15. Jim Miller

    The fact that the GOP campaign worker felt compelled to use the "black man did it" and that that charge is still considered credible shows just how much work we still need to do in the area of race relations.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  16. Peggy, Kansas City

    Isn't racism ugly!

    October 24, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  17. Rebecca K from Colorado Springs

    I can't believe people are still supporting McCain/Palin after everything we've heard on them these past couple weeks. I think she was wrong on firing the cop.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  18. Patrick

    The Hoax being uncovered really speaks to the Police force doing a very good job in this hostile and charged environment.
    Kudos to the Police and Kudos to CNN for remaining above the fray, unlike some other stations who saw this as a Juicy Morsel for the McCain campaign.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  19. ChristianChristopher

    I am appalled by Ashley Todd's accusation that she was assaulted by a black man. The politics don't matter as much as the racism. For years this kind of behavior has gone unchecked and uncondemned. The only good thing that has come out of this scenerio is that another black man was not wrongfully incarcerated on the words of a crazy white woman. People are trying to minimize the gravity of her actions by saying that she has mental problems. Believe me, she is very sane and knew exactly what she was doing.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  20. Stephani

    I am just so sick of the fact that it is acceptable to say you were attacked and to blame it on a Black man. It underscores this sick idea of racial stereotypes which is right below the surface in so much of our society.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  21. Andrea

    Why did the GOP jump on this quicker than the police? It makes the McCain/ Palin look really bad..

    October 24, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  22. Betty, Virginia

    Good evening. The lady who carved a backward "B" in her face is obviously not okay. It's very sad to watch. I hope she gets the help she needs.

    On the flip side, I must say I'm happy to hear her story was not true. I'm tired of hate, racism, meanness and anger.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  23. gopal

    Ashley Todd shows a serious blemish in her character. The GOP leadership that prides itself on the character of its presidential pick should immediately clarify why such blemished supporters were allowed to go so far as to continue dividing this country. I shudder to think of the consequences of the racial divide that still exists- were our founding fathers wrong about us being the greatest "one" country under God?

    October 24, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  24. Betty-IN.

    The poor soul who made up the story about being attacked while working on the McCain campaign is clearly very deranged, but none the less the Obama camp will try to blame the McCain campaign for what happened! I for one am sick of hearing all this " blaming" the other side for every problem that comes along. Both camps should be called Mud Slingers 1 & 2. Neither one of these men are putting the People First by acting like Capable & Honorable Leaders.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  25. karen nc

    well lets see 6 of the last 8 years the republicans has had full control and see what a mess we are in .. time for change

    October 24, 2008 at 10:05 pm |
  26. kathy nc

    they should put the full weight of the law on this girl.. but i put the blame on Palin, she started all the hate build up.. McCain needs a new running mate if he even has a chance to win

    October 24, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  27. Carol,

    The way the McCain campaign pushed that story about the attack of the campaign worker, without checking the story first, is blatant racism.
    As soon as I saw the picture, I knew it was fake. The McCain people couldn't figure it out?

    Now we can add the fake attack story to the fake plumber story to the fake Governor story , what's next?

    October 24, 2008 at 9:58 pm |
  28. karen

    all of the hate seemed to have started with Palin's remark about the "palling" around comment..

    October 24, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  29. Why McCain? Why


    People believe that this HOAX was another tatic designed by John McCain and the Republican Party

    October 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm |
  30. nsikak

    Both candidate have to address their campaign over this issue of race and misbehavior of their supporters,this shouldn't be happen and should not repeat it self

    October 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm |