OK, So What Really Happened to Harry Reid? [Updated]

We wrote here about Harry Reid’s supposed close encounter with a piece of exercise equipment, which landed him in the hospital. The equipment was later claimed by Reid’s office to be an elastic exercise band. This is how the accident allegedly happened:

The accident happened when an elastic exercise band broke, striking Reid in the face and causing him to fall, said spokesman Adam Jentleson. Reid struck some equipment as he fell, breaking multiple bones near his right eye.

As he hit the floor, he broke several ribs, Jentleson said. …

Jentleson said Reid is likely to have severe facial bruises.

The accident happened on New Year’s Day, but we were never told whether that meant after midnight on New Year’s Eve, or the middle of the afternoon on January 1. Lots of people must know the answer to that question, but so far they aren’t talking. I suppose it is barely possible that an elastic exercise band could break, hit someone in the face and cause him to fall down. And I suppose he could injure his face and break ribs in the fall, although the ribs, especially, seem like a stretch.

Originally, Reid’s office said that he expected to be at work when the Senate session opened. But that didn’t happen; Reid is now laid up indefinitely, although his office released photos to show that he is working from home. It was disclosed today that, in addition to his other injuries, he suffered a concussion. Dick Durbin offered a more detailed version of what happened to Reid:

“So, he was stretching these straps and one broke and tossed him like a slingshot against cabinets, built-in cabinets,” Durbin told reporters. “He crashed into it with his face and the side of his body.”

I doubt that any elastic exercise band could break and thereby toss a person like a slingshot. This set includes an “extra heavy” band with 45 pounds of resistance:

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 6.41.54 PM

Reid also released a YouTube video today. Here it is. He looks awful:

A screen shot from the video:

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What does it look like happened to Reid? He looks like he has been in a fight, and not with an elastic band. Some are speculating that he had a run-in with Las Vegas underworld characters. There is zero evidence for that. And I might be completely wrong: perhaps Reid is an unsteady, elderly gentleman with precarious balance, and a snapping band caused him to fall with what seems like extraordinary force. But I doubt it. I think it is questionable whether we are being told the truth about what happened to Harry Reid.

UPDATE: More here.

FURTHER UPDATE: UPDATE: The left is pushing back against this post and its successor, most significantly this post by David Weigel at Bloomberg News. Weigel asserts two propositions: first, that the news media did a good job of investigating Reid’s curious accident, and second, that Reid really did injure himself when an elastic exercise band broke. But Weigel’s account does not suggest that any reporter carried out any investigation other than asking either Reid or his office what happened. That’s it. Some investigation! The press devoted more resources to Mitt Romney’s high school days than to an apparent beating inflicted on the Majority Leader of the Senate.

I think I have been clear about this, but just in case, here it is, one more time: I don’t believe that the severe injuries inflicted on Reid were caused by a snapping exercise band. To the casual observer, it appears that he was hit repeatedly in the face and the ribs with a hard left hand. But there are other possibilities; an automobile accident, for instance. Further, at this point I have no idea who assaulted Reid, if in fact that is what happened. Given the Las Vegas venue, Reid’s shady financial dealings, and his unwillingness to tell the truth about what happened, an encounter with organized crime has been an obvious focus of speculation by many. But there are other possible explanations for Reid’s reticence. We may have more on this before long.

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