Fox News has been making a lot of hay about one of their reporters allegedly being “punched” by a protester in Madison, Wisconsin.
Turns out, that didn’t happen.
Mike Tobin, reporting from amid the massive demonstration on Friday, claimed that one of the protesters “punched” him in the arm. In another broadcast, he claimed a man threatened to break his neck.
In both cases, supporting evidence for these claims was not broadcast — yet still, Tobin’s reports have been widely cited across conservative blogs that seem eager to depict union workers as hateful and violent.
What’s worse, Tobin’s allegation that he was assaulted might have slipped past without rebuttal were it not for a camera-equipped bystander, who captured the scene.
Turns out, someone merely touched his shoulder, as evidenced in the video below. The incident he claimed was a “punch” could instead be described as a pat, at most.
That was apparently enough for him to later declare that even after being “punched, he was just too nice of a guy to press charges.
That repeated reaction led Tobin to complain how there was “hate in their eyes” during the confrontations, leading him to assume that protesters must simply hate reporters and the media in general, or that they’re intolerant of alternative viewpoints.
He didn’t seem to consider their actual allegation: that Fox News “lies.”
The channel’s woeful track record for distorting the news aside, if Tobin was seriously asking why protesters object to Fox News, then he must not watch Fox & Friends. Last week the hosts of the network’s morning show literally flipped the results of a Gallup poll showing strong support for unions, relaying it to their viewers as the opposite.
As far as we can tell, protesters have not engaged in shouting down reporters for any other networks.
This video is from LiveLeak, published March 1, 2011.