There ought to be a support group called “I Was Bullied By Rahm Emanuel.”
NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern could join. So could the hapless White House underling who was told to “take your f---ing tampon out and tell me what you have to say.” And Chicago Teachers Union President Karen “F--- You” Lewis. And the classmate who was body slammed by the Emanuel brothers when he visited their fathers’ house for doctors appointment.
The latest bullying story comes from journalist Michael Hastings, who is best known for writing the Rolling Stone that got Gen. Stanley McChrystal fired from commanding the war in Afghanistan. In an interview on Current TV’s The Young Turks, Hastings claims Emanuel grabbed him by the arm during an interview about President Obama’s re-election campaign. Emanuel has not commented on the allegation, and Ward Room has not verified Hasting's story.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that from an American public official,” Hastings said. “He grabbed me by the arm and wouldn’t let go, while his bodyguards approached me, clearly trying to intimidate me with a threat of physical violence. It was abusive.”
Hastings added that, “What I saw in his eyes when he was doing this, he did not seem like a gentleman who was in full control of what he was doing.”
Here’s the exchange that led to the arm lock. You’ll see that both the mayor and the reporter are confrontational.
Emanuel: Yeah, the president is worth re-electing.
Hasting: Yeah, we’ll see.
Emanuel: What did you just say to me?
Hastings: You insulted me. I came up to you. I’m a journalist…I came up to you to discuss…There was no ground rules there…There was videotape…I was asking you politely a question. That’s my job.
Emanuel: And I’m being polite to you, on the record to you. I’m not gonna let you do what you did to Stanley McChrystal.
Hastings: I didn’t do anything to Stanley McChrystal. You guys shouldn’t have escalated in Afghanistan.
Hastings: Four Americans died this week there, buddy.
“He’s notorious for this kind of abusive and bullying behavior,” Hastings said, “and he gets away with it again and again and again.”
Hastings said he has intereviewed terrorist leaders and dictators who have been less aggressive.
Of course, there is a measure of self promotion for Hastings. He has a new book out called "Panic2012: The Sublime and Terrifying Inside Story of Obama's Final Campaign."
This month, Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland’s Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President will be available on Kindle for $9.99. Tracing Obama’s career in Chicago from his arrival as a community organizer to his election to the U.S. Senate, Young Mr. Obama tells the story of how a callow, presumptuous young man became a master politician, and of why only Chicago could have produced our first black president.