This still from Pittsburgh television station KDKA’s report on the alleged attack shows Ashley Todd with a shiner and a backward “B” carved in her cheek.
A story that Matt Drudge seized upon Thursday with his usual subtlety (headline: “SHOCK: MCCAIN VOLUNTEER ATTACKED AND MUTILATED IN PITTSBURGH ...”), about a 20-year-old McCain campaign volunteer who claimed she was assaulted near a Pittsburgh ATM by a large African-American man who took $60 from her and then carved a “B” into her face after noticing a McCain sticker on her car, was fabricated by the alleged victim, according to police. Part of the problem with her story was fairly obvious from the get-go: The “B” was backward on her cheek, indicating that she may have done it herself in the mirror. The Associated Press article below doesn’t explain how she came by the shiner on her left eye.
Update: According to Talking Points Memo’s follow-up about the Ashley Todd story, the news director of Pittsburgh TV station KDKA relayed to TPM’s Election Central that a local chapter of the McCain campaign “told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established.”
AP via Google News:
Ashley Todd, 20-year-old college student from College Station, Texas, admitted Friday that the story was false and was being charged with making a false report to police, said Maurita Bryant, the assistant chief of the police department’s investigations division. Police doubted her story from the start, Bryant said.
Todd, who is white, told police she was attacked by a 6-foot-4 black man Wednesday night. She now can’t explain why she invented the story, Bryant said.
Todd also told police she believes she cut the backward “B” onto her own cheek, but she didn’t explain how or why, Bryant said.
Todd initially told investigators she was attempting to use a bank branch ATM when the man approached her from behind, put a knife with a 4- to 5-inch blade to her throat and demanded money. She told police she handed the assailant $60 and walked away.
Todd told investigators that she suspected the man then noticed a John McCain sticker on her car, became angry and punched her in the back of the head, knocking her to the ground and telling her “you are going to be a Barack supporter,” police said.