June 14, 2010

A Democratic congressman from North Carolina is coming under fire after a conservative Web site released video that appears to show him roughing up a college student.

Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com posted the video of Rep. Bob Etheridge Monday. In the clip, the congressman is met by several young men who claim to be working on a college project.

"Do you fully support the Obama agenda?" asks one student.

"Who are you? Who are you?" demands Etheridge as he pushes the camera away.

The congressman takes a tight hold of the student's wrist and won't let go.

"Tell me who you are," he continues to demand.

"We're just here for a project, sir," the student responds but refuses to identify himself. "We're just here for a project. Will you please let go of my hand?"

"I have a right to know who you are," says Etheridge.

The congressman grabs the student by the neck and pulls him close. After a minor protest, he lets the student go.

The video was posted to YouTube by DCCameraGuy Friday. The poster described confrontation as an "attack."

Even liberals have condemned Etheridge's actions. "Rep. Bob Etheridge should be arrested for assault," wrote Salon's Glenn Greenwald.

But Mediaite's Colby Hall suspects that the congressman may have come out on top. "Yeah -- he comes off as a jerk, but…when in Rome. It will be interesting to follow how this story plays out in the news media. Will it be a big story? Probably not, but apparently being prepared for ambush interviews from eager college kids is the next phase of media training for many on Capitol Hill," wrote Hall.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.