All it took was a single unsubstantiated tweet from shady David Shuster to trigger a torrent of mainstream and social media coverage:

It appears that David Shuster didn’t actually witness the nut-throwing event. It’s also worth mentioning that Shuster, who was indefinitely suspended from MSNBC in 2010, has been a frequent topic here at Twitchy, known more for his deplorable behavior than for his veracity.

So David Shuster heard about this incident from … someone. CNN wouldn’t talk to Shuster, who is trying desperately to be relevant, but instead, spoke to Talking Points Memo:

CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.

Shuster took to Twitter to whine to his circle of leftist followers:

Poor Dave, out of the loop. Even spell-check isn’t speaking to him. Sad face. And were there two racists at the RNC convention, or one, Dave? Oopsies!

GOP convention spokesman, Kyle Downey, did not give any details about the incident, but told Politico:

Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.

Alas, the Twittersphere toothpaste was already out of the tube. “CNN can confirm there was an incident” morphed into “CNN has confirmed that Shuster’s partially correct, second-hand-account tweet is 100% accurate.”

And the race to paint the RNC as the KKK incarnate was off:

It’s clear that there was an “incident” at the convention and that Republican officials acted swiftly and properly to eject the offenders.

Throwing nuts at people is idiotic. Doing so in the context of derogatory slurs is despicable.

But it’s also disgusting that the Left is using this incident to smear the entire Republican party and to brand every member as a thuggish racist, before any actual evidence of the nut-hurlers’ motives is known. The GOP-bashers automatically assume that race, rather than the target’s media affiliation, motivated the morons.

These specious character assassinations have been an ongoing narrative this week. Twitchy reported today that MSNBC scrubbed minority speeches from its coverage of the convention, in an obvious attempt to whitewash the RNC. Twitchy also noted leftist attacks on Mia Love at the convention and their insane obsession with #Negrospotting. And then there’s Yahoo! News bureau chief David Chalian, who made the disgusting comment that the “Romneys are happy to have a party while black people drown.”

The problem is that the details of this event are unclear at the present time. Twitchy was unable to find any tweets from eyewitnesses. Is it possible that the nut throwers were expressing anti-CNN sentiment rather than racist setiment? Many conservatives are unhappy with CNN’s unbalanced coverage of the convention and whitewashing of minority speakers:

Many Twitter users are raising their own questions about the media’s coverage of the nut-throwing incident:

Others are suggesting these may not have been Republican delegates, but a “false flag.”

The blog post refers to a report that plans were being made to disrupt the convention.

Twitchy agrees with the liberal tweeters above, who are calling for CNN to be more transparent and to present more information about the facts of this incident. Twitter is chattering and people are beginning to speculate. Right now the entire story relies on David Shuster’s single tweet, which we now know was factually inaccurate in at least one respect (two attendees were ejected, not one). There were undoubtedly other journalists around at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the alleged incident was said to have taken place. We’d like to hear from them and from others who witnessed the event. Speak up and tweet out!

Update: Shuster writes more about the incident here. He now makes it clear that he did not witness the incident firsthand:

Around 8:15pm Tuesday night a television camera man I know here in Tampa at the RNC convention arena said there had been an “ugly” and “despicable incident” involving potential delegates at the Republican convention heckling a camera operator working for CNN on or near the floor.

According to this account, at least one or two GOP delegates or credentialed alternates had taunted the CNN staffer — an African American woman.

And at some point, at least one or both GOP convention attendees apparently tossed peanuts at the black camera op and allegedly said, “this is how we feed the animals.”

The way the story was described to me, the CNN crew summoned security, which quickly identified the perpetrators of this incident and with the help of convention officials, ejected the perpetrators from the arena.

According to Greg Sargent, CNN still won’t say whether it knows the identities of the two individuals who were ejected:

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