The big story yesterday was Michigan governor Rick Snyder (R) signing right-to-work legislation passed by the state House into law yesterday, and the union protests that took place. Given the historic propensity of the media and the left (but I repeat myself) to caricature any right-leaning grassroots movement as violent and extreme, one of the more notable and shocking developments from the protests was the union attack on the Americans For Prosperity tent (for supporters of the legislation) and the physical assault on Steven Crowder. Allahpundit over at Hot Air had a pretty astute take on the situation (video below):
As soon as I saw the video and read about the violence, I thought outside of Fox, this would get no coverage. I was mostly right. I searched this morning for reports on union violence yesterday from all of the major news outlets. Some, like CBS and ABC didn’t bother mentioning anything more recent than a few days ago regarding the protests. NBC actually did mention it in two sentences:
A tent set up by supporters of the measures also collapsed amid what authorities described as “pushing and shoving” among protesters. No one was hurt, police said.
(Except for the guy who got punched in the face four times and chipped a tooth). Believe it or not, the “violence” from the police got more attention.
As for print media, the only recent story about the event appeared in USA Today – and the coverage mirrored that of NBC above. Heck the only other “news” outlet I could even find mentioning the Crowder assault was at the Huffington Post. However, their coverage consisted of claiming the video was edited, so no conclusions could be drawn:
In the most provocative incident, Steven Crowder, who identifies himself as a Fox News contributor, comedian, actor and writer, was punched in the face during a confrontation with protestors. Crowder uploaded an edited video of the incident and called it a “union assault.” Due to the editing, it’s impossible to tell what immediately preceded the punches being thrown. Crowder tweeted that more footage would appear on Sean Hannity’s show.
Big surprise there. Unfortunately, I don’t think many of us who were aware of the situation expected this incident to break through the MSM and their predetermined narrative (unions = good). In the end, I think that this biased reporting and the frustration many felt about being lied to is what led to us taking up blogging – I know it did for me.
While the assault on Steven Crowder was certainly the most egregious of the violent acts in yesterday’s protests, it was not the only one. Michelle Malkin has a breakdown of the various violent acts perpetrated in this “civil demostration” over at her site.
UPDATE II [12/12/12]
[…] systematic effort to create confusion and discourage mainstream journalists from reporting on the incident.
“Accuse the accusers!” Re-arrange the narrative of events so that a story that obviously makes the Left look bad is, instead, a story about the Right unjustly trying to make the Left look bad.
This perversion of the narrative makes the teller of the tale (“Crowder works for Fox News! Stranahan works for Breitbart!”) the pre-demonized focus of the story, the villain whose tale can’t be trusted by any mainstream, legitimate journalist. And you can bet that any MSM reporter who does try to report honestly on what happened in Lansing will be brutally excoriated by Media Matters and others on the Left for taking this incident seriously as actual news.
Crowder is being smashed “through a plate glass window,” so to speak. If conservative New Media and citizen-journalists call attention to such an incident, that very fact — the involvement of conservatives, and their interest in the incident as news — will be leveraged by liberals as part of the counter-narrative to discredit and de-legitimize the story.