The situation in Michigan resulting from the government's passage of “right to work" laws in a heavily unionized state reached a new level on Friday, when Fox News contributor Steven Crowder filed a complaint with the police regarding an attack on him by a protester.
“By calling in, he's in essence filed a complaint,” said Richard Hale, the shift supervisor at the Lansing post of the Michigan State Police.
In addition, Crowder tweeted that he has legitimate fears for his safety because he is receiving “disturbing threats” on a regular basis.
As a result, the correspondent has taken steps to keep himself and his wife safe:
Right now, I have a former police officer, heavily armed at my house protecting my wife. The threats are severe. Prayers appreciated.
Meanwhile, an anonymous donor is reportedly offering $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the union member who struck Crowder, while Glenn Reynolds -- a.k.a. Instapundit -- has offered another $1,000 and conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch another $200. The donation page can be found at this website.
The story took an interesting twist on Wednesday, when liberal blogger Chris Savage claimed that the
footage of the incident had been “selectively edited” to unfairly portray the union protester as the aggressor.
Selective editing at about the 0:39 mark shows what appears to be union guy attacking Crowder for no apparent reason. However, if you look closely, you’ll see that the guy is getting up off the ground -- that he was NOT the one that became aggressive first.
However, during an interview with a conservative blogger, Crowder noted that the scuffle began when pro-union protesters tried to bring down the white tent on the site provided by the group Americans for Prosperity.
The Fox News contributor then stated that he and other people defending the canopy did get into a physical confrontation with the union activists.
“We didn’t get violent with them, but we did try and push them off the tent,” he said, adding that the reason the man was seen getting up off the ground was because he was one of the people who were pushed away from the tent and fell to the ground as a result.
The original video of the incident is below:
As NewsBusters reported on Tuesday:
Union thugs across the nation are outraged that Michigan has become the latest state to pass a “right to work” law allowing people in unionized companies to choose whether or not they wish to join. Unions oppose such laws because they want people to be forced to join their ranks.
Earlier that day, union supporters turned violent as they attacked supporters of the new law, tearing down a tent with people in it and punching Crowder in the face. Both acts were caught on video.
Needless to say, if the clips had been reversed with workers' rights supporters attacking union members, you would not be able to watch television without seeing the footage.
Instead, all three network newscasts combined on that Tuesday and Wednesday aired only nine minutes and 13 seconds of coverage to the story while vaguely insisting that activists were simply "voicing their anger" at the "showdown raging in the heartland."
However, on Tuesday afternoon, Fox News released video footage of Crowder clashing with various pro-union protesters on the Lansing Capitol grounds. He took profane guff from a man who didn’t like his question about why the crowd didn’t like the state’s new “right to work” statute. And he was shown taking repeated blows from another man in the crowd.
Reacting to the controversy and the Big Three broadcast networks ignoring it, MRC president Brent Bozell denounced them for "deliberately censoring footage of thuggish union violence directed at conservatives"
Also on Friday, Laura Clawson of the liberal Daily Kos website, supported Savage's concept that the raw footage might show Crowder was the aggressor.
Crowder is pushing this story not just to distract from the real issues in Michigan Republicans' attack on unions and workers and the giant protest against it, but to raise his own profile and make himself look like the tough guy-victim-martyr of the far right.
After receiving word that the Fox News correspondent had indeed filed a criminal complaint, Clawson responded: “Let's hope that investigation includes all of Crowder's video of the incident.”