An alleged dispute over lawn clippings led to US Senator Rand Paul breaking five ribs with lacerations to his lungs after his neighbor attacked him. But even after this serious event, Gannett news outlets, including the Journal Sentinel are seemingly taking the attacker’s side or, at the very least, downplaying the incident. While there was reported tension between the neighbors, the violence between them should have been condemned by the media, rather than justified by the fact that they reported that Paul “is not a perfect neighbor.”
Senator Rand Paul was seriously injured after his neighbor Rene Boucher reportedly “tackled” him, breaking five ribs and causing lacerations to his lungs. The Journal Sentinel republished an article from a sister Gannett newspaper in Louisville that implies at least some culpability on Rand’s part, rather than treating him as the victim of a violent assault. The article quotes Jim Skaggs, the developer of the Rivergreen gated community where Paul lives, who much like the media seemed to defend Boucher as he’s quoted in the in article saying of the situation that, “I think this is something that has been festering,” and pointed out that, “Paul was probably the hardest person to encourage to follow the (homeowner’s association regulations) of anyone out here because he has a strong belief in property rights.”
Difficult neighbor or not, Paul was seriously injured and the media’s apparent indifference to the serious situation is stunning. Boucher was reported to be charged with fourth degree assault, although investigation is still ongoing and could result in a felony charge. The article closes with another indifferent quote from Skaggs to Boucher as he said, “We would really like to see this all over and you back in your house and him back in his house and try to be friends with each other, even though you’ll never like each other.”
While the Gannett news outlets don’t seem to bat an eye at the peculiar situation, The Washington Post also picked up on the strange reporting around the situation who also noted that Boucher’s lawyer said this was the result of a “trivial” dispute. The Washington Post questioned the bizarre situation found it odd they wouldn’t name what the “trivial” argument was about:
So it’s a “trivial” matter, but apparently he can’t say what was so “trivial.” Is it because the reason is embarrassing, because it might somehow be more incriminating, or what? It’s also somewhat more difficult to believe such serious injuries would result from such a “trivial” dispute.
While the media and those involved seem to brush off this incident as an argument between neighbors, the minimizing of the attack on Paul leads to legitimate questions of bias, given Paul’s position as a U.S. Senator.