As of Monday, the number one political video on YouTube was Rep. Bob Etheridge's (D-NC) infamous June assault of a college-aged kid who asked about Obamacare. The video shows Etheridge grabbing the young street interrogator by the wrist and neck* and demanding the boy reveal who he worked for:
For months, no one has come forward to answer that question. Not surprisingly, Democrats labeled the video and ambush a Republican "operation." And while rumors swirled that Republicans were at least in the know, they never fessed up.
Until now -- kind of.
In a story in Thursday's New York Times detailing how Republicans won so handily on Tuesday, the paper includes this nugget:
They also tried to push Democrats into retirement, using what was described in the presentation as “guerilla tactics” like chasing Democratic members down with video cameras and pressing them to explain votes or positions. (One target, Representative Bob Etheridge of North Carolina, had to apologize for manhandling one of his inquisitors in a clip memorialized on YouTube. Only this week did Republican strategists acknowledge they were behind the episode.)
Details about the video end there. No explanation regarding who the "strategists" are or what exactly they "acknowledged."
Either way, if the video was part of a larger Republican plan, it worked. Etheridge lost his election on Tuesday (although he's demanding recount).
*Changed from "throat" to "neck."