Candidate Bachmann Aids Gave Journo 'Mafia-Style Beating'

Michele Bachmann's alleged migraines were an issue during 2011 run.

Here's an early story written for this blog. Back then we attempted to cover use of words like "mob" and "Mafia" in the general media... (We also thought Ms. Bachmann was a hottie...)

Here's how politicians are beginning to deal with the timeless proverbial problem of the nagging reporter:

Reported The Atlantic Wire: "At a campaign event in Aiken, South Carolina, bodyguards of Michele Bachmann reportedly gave ABC News chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross one of the roughest manhandlings the 62-year-old reporter's ever gotten..."

Ross was trying to query Bachmann about a story published regarding supposed debilitating migraines she suffered from allegedly following the departure of her then-communications director, Dave Dziok (who had accepted an enviable position in public relations, where journalists generally go when they're ready to make real money).

Bachmann, during her 2011 presidential campaign, tried to ignore the media’s "intense interest" in a report regarding the crippling migraines she allegedly suffered from.

At the event, she, and everyone else, eventually noted the "ominous presence" of ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross. As if to preempt him, after finishing her speech, Bachmann read a statement. Here's an excerpt:

Since entering this campaign for the presidency, I have maintained a full schedule between my duties as Congresswoman and as a presidential candidate traveling across the nation to meet with voters … I have prescribed medication that I take on occasion whenever symptoms arise and they keep my migraines under control. But I’d like to be abundantly clear: My ability to function effectively will not affect my ability to serve as commander in chief. [Update: Bachmann’s campaign later released her complete statement. She appears to have misread the last line above, which I transcribed verbatim.]

As Time magazine's Michael Crowley observed at that event:

"Ross dashed after Bachmann, repeatedly asking whether she had ever missed a House vote due to a migraine. She ignored him. Ross pursued her into a parking area behind the stage. Her aides grew alarmed. When Ross made a beeline for the white SUV waiting to carry Bachmann away, two Bachmann men pounced on him, grabbing and pushing him multiple times with what looked to me like unusual force. In fact, I have never seen a reporter treated so roughly at a campaign event, especially not a presidential one. Ross was finally able to break away and lob his question at Bachmann one more time, but she continued to ignore him.

"Afterward, I asked Ross — a hard-nosed pro who nevertheless seemed slightly shaken — whether he had ever been treated so roughly. “A few times,” he told me. “Mostly by Mafia people."

Was Ross really manhandled by mobsters? Was he exaggerating?

Since he became a working journalist during the mob's Golden Age of the 1970s (all way through to the present) it's extremely likely.

Ross has been a point man in terms of the coverage of Donald Trump's alleged Mafia ties. We laugh at those allegations, but Mr Ross focuses on the Russian mob, and uncovered the one thread we consider plausible.

True investigative journalists are a rare breed. Less successful ones may be available for hire, but very few would willingly sell their souls to become paid propagandists. Or worse, weaponize their skill set in a vendetta.

But, getting back to Ross, here's the lead to a story co-reported by Mr Ross for ABC News:

Though he touts his outstanding memory, when Donald Trump was asked under oath about his dealings with a twice-convicted Russian √©migr√© who served prison time and had documented mafia connections, the real estate mogul was at a loss. 
Even though the man, Felix Sater, had played a role in a number of high-profile Trump-branded projects across the country. 
“If he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn't know what he looked like,” Trump testified in a video deposition for a civil lawsuit two years ago.