On Friday, Sen. Rand Paul was attacked by a neighbor as he mowed his lawn. The senator suffered six broken ribs and pleural effusion, which is excessive fluids around the lungs, after he was tackled from behind.
The motive is still not clear. There was some speculation that the vicious attack was political — Paul is Republican and his neighbor is a Democrat, but Matthew J. Baker, a lawyer for the alleged attacker, Rene Boucher, said there there was merely a dispute over a “trivial” matter and that it had "absolutely nothing to do with either’s politics or political agendas."
By Monday, The New York Times had all but concluded that the attack was not political. "Is Landscaping Drama at the Root of Rand Paul’s Assault?" the paper wrote. D'oh! Landscaping! Of course!
"Competing explanations of the origins of the drama cited stray yard clippings, newly planted saplings and unraked leaves," the paper of record wrote.
GQ magazine used the Times story as a vehicle to write a piece titled: "Rand Paul Sounds Like the Worst Guy to Have as a Neighbor."
"Well, it turns out that Rand Paul is a bit of an asshole about his yard," the Gentlemen's Quarterly author wrote (not so gentlemanly).
So now the recurring theme is Paul's a bad neighbor who — at least in the eyes of GQ — might've deserved a beat down.
But a new report says all that might be all wrong.
"The Bowling Green, Ky., neighbor who allegedly attacked Sen. Rand Paul last weekend, causing six broken ribs, was aggressively anti-Trump and anti-GOP in his social media, calling for the impeachment of the president and urging Russia investigator Robert Mueller to 'fry Trump’s gonads,'" the Washington Examiner wrote, noting Boucher was also a fan of the #NeverTrump movement.
What's more, author Paul Bedard interviewed residents and wrote that lots of neighbors said Paul's a good member of the community, respecting the rules and regulations set by the home owner's association. Some said the reports otherwise are hogwash.
Seven neighbors in the Rivergreen gated community told Secrets Wednesday that the Pauls are friendly homeowners who kept their property tidy.
“The Paul’s landscaping looks just like everyone’s place in Rivergreen. Wish I could get him to cut my lawn,” said neighbor Robert Warner. “As a friend, neighbor and senator, Rand has been first class in every way. What I find amazing is the fact that he cuts his own grass. Our neighborhood is fortunate that the Paul’s live here,” he added. ...
“The stories of a ‘landscaping dispute’ or a dispute of any sort between Rand Paul and Rene Boucher are erroneous and unfounded. The reason for Mr. Boucher’s bizarre attack is known only to him. Statements to the contrary are irresponsible and unnecessary,” said neighbor Travis Creed.
He added, “Speculation regarding Boucher’s motive has led to an unfair characterization of the Pauls and their home. The Pauls are and always have been great neighbors and friends. They take pride in their property and maintain it accordingly. Rand has enjoyed working on and maintaining his lawn for as long as I have known him.”
Another neighbor, Alicia Stivers, questioned why the media is calling the brazen attack — which left Paul with serious injuries — an "altercation."
"Is it an altercation when no words are exchanged and one person is attacked from behind with no warning? I must check my dictionary,” Stivers said.
But for The New York Times and GQ, the matter is concluded. Paul is an *sshole" homeowner who upset his neighbors by flouting the HOA rules, and one of them simply delivered a message.
Although, stop for a second and let's play this game — what if this had been Sen. Charles Schumer, attacked while mowing the grass at his home? Do you think the mainstream media would have disposed of the story so quickly, blaming the Democratic leader for being a bad neighbor who (c'mon, let's face it) just needed a little bit a bashing over his lawn care transgressions?
If it was Schumer, there'd be a front page story on the Times every day for a week. And they wouldn't blame him for being attacked.
Sad what the once great Gray Lady has become.