Where Are the Thugs?

Where Are the Thugs?

Where Are the Thugs?

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 25 2011 11:46 AM

Where Are the Thugs?

MADISON, Wisc. -- Michelle Malkin promises to do "the reporting the Tea Party-bashing national media won’t do on the rabid outbreak of progressive incivility and violence at Big Labor protests across the country." Sounds promising! But here's what she delivers.

- Protesters call Scott Walker a "Koch whore."

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post. 

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- Two other protesters made crude sexual references.

- Last month a liberal talk show host said GOP Lieutenant Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch had performed "fellatio" on other talkers.

- At a rally in Providence, one asshole shoved a cameraman and was arrested and taken away, union members cheering the arrest.

- In Columbus, one protester used more sexual terms.

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- In Denver, a black conservative was insulted in racial terms.

- Two weeks ago, a black liberal columnist used racial slurs against Herman Cain.

- At a protest outside FreedomWorks' office, a union member being filmed and interviewed got pissed and struck Tabitha Hale; someone else called someone a "bad Jew."

[UPDATE: I originally wrote "This isn't really reporting. This is googling." But I didn't realize that Malkin had previously interviewed the people attacked in the videos she cited. Re-reporting videos that make news is something more people should do -- as is reading every link in an article to check the sources. I apologize for being lazy and not checking what Malkin had done.]

I just spent four days in Madison and the state Capitol, reporting, and saw absolutely no violence. There were no arrests on Saturday, when 80,000 liberals rallied and a smaller number of Tea Partiers counter-protested. There were no arrests last night when hundreds of angry protesters watched the GOP-led Assembly pass the budget repair act. There are no arrests, so far, in Madison. And Malkin cites actual violence in only two cities where protests have taken place.

I'm old enough to remember the days of, oh, six months ago, when Tea Party activists claimed that anyone saying racist things or committing violence at their rallies were infiltrators. (Before ACORN fell apart, that group was usually blamed for this.) Maybe they were, maybe they weren't. But Tea Partiers at rallies I've attended have shouted down and expelled racists. Why not give the Providence union members credit for ejecting the homophobic jerk who yelled at the cameraman? I mean, besides to make a cheap and lazy political point?

My point is this: If you want the media to treat conservative activists as generally good people who have bad apples and assholes in their midst, you have to treat left-wing activists the same way. If that sounds overly No Labels-y, I'm sorry.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.