200710rr.jpgTalking Radio reported that Air American Radio host and liberal Randi Rhodes was mugged on Sunday night on 39th Street and Park Avenue while walking her dog. Soon after, fellow AAR host Jon Elliott stated that Rhodes was beaten up pretty badly, lost teeth and insinuated that the attack was part of "the right wing hate machine." And soon after that an AAR blogger, Nancy Scola, posted: "Air America host Randi Rhodes experienced an unfortunate incident hindering her from hosting her show. The reports of a presumed hate crime are unfounded. Ms. Rhodes looks forward to being back on the air on Thursday."

Now an attorney for Rhodes is disputing Elliott's on-air report, saying:

Rhodes was injured after she was floored by someone - or something - as she strolled the streets of Manhattan's Murray Hill district around 8 p.m., but wasn't sure herself what sent her tumbling to the pavement. "She hit her head on the street and was disoriented," Gaulin said. "She's not sure what happened. She didn't see anything." He added that she never reported the incident to police.

Elliott has pointed out that Rhodes had no purse or jewelry so "this does not appear to me to be a standard grab the money and run mugging." The idea of an attack on a liberal talk radio host isn't out of the realm of possibility (remember Alan Berg?), however - random acts of violence in New York City aren't quite unheard of.

So was it conspiracy or crime? The Daily News is reporting today that it's neither, Rhodes simply fell when her dog pulled her. And a Gawker commenter suggests that alcohol might be a culprit. Perhaps Rhodes will shine some light on her injuries when she's back on the air this Thursday.