December 13, 2012

(Bill Pugliano / Getty Images)

In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Michigan State Police termed protests against the state’s “right to work” at the state capitol in Lansing “mostly peaceful.”

Yes, there was an incident when a “crowd” grabbed ahold of a Michigan State Police trooper and “would not let go.”

Yes, there was an incident in which people attempted to storm a secure doorway to the Romney Building; two were arrested.

Yes, there was an incident when the crowd pushed troopers up against the Romney Building. One person was arrested for subsequently failing to obey a trooper’s command at the scene.

A question for the Michigan State Police: Given the videos that Fox News has broadcast, are you sticking to your assessment that this was a “mostly peaceful” event?

“I think that considering the size of the crowd, the problems that occurred were relatively minor,” Shannon Banner, of the Michigan State Police, said. “We’ve certainly had more arrests with smaller crowds.” But what about the Steven Crowder thing? “We were aware of some reports of minor altercations,” Banner said. “Considering [the] number of people and the intensity of the emotions, I think all things considered, this was a very peaceful event.”

The troopers’ assessment of the goings-on attains relevance in light of complaints that the media didn’t properly highlight the violence that occurred on the capitol grounds in Lansing. Crowder, a Fox News contributor, was shown in a Fox News clip getting pummeled by a man, and protesters sacked a couple of tents on the grounds. Brent Bozell, the outspoken president of the Media Research Center, slammed the major network news operations for not making a bigger deal of the Crowder situation.

Okay, but why doesn’t Crowder himself make a bigger deal of the Crowder situation? Indeed he has made multiple media appearances since getting slugged. One thing he hasn’t done, according to multiple sources at the Michigan State Police, is to file a complaint to secure justice in the matter. “No complaints have been filed,” Banner said.

Says Michigan State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk: “No one has filed a complaint on that assault.” A spokesman for the Lansing Police Department says that they’ve gotten no complaint in connection with the event and would have routed the matter to the state police in any case.

Perhaps Crowder has merely been too busy talking up his exploits to bother with paperwork. After all, he said on “Hannity” two nights ago:

So, I just want to say one thing really importantly. I am issuing an ultimatum right now, they are trying to find this man who assaulted me, to find this man who assaulted other people. And you have a choice, you can come forward, I’ll press charges and you will go to jail or since you wanted to cheap shot me, we can host a bout in a sanctioned to legalized MMA competition where the winner will get the money to go to the charity of his choice.

Why no charges? “If somebody assaulted you, you’d file a complaint right away,” says Adamczyk of the state police. “Something doesn’t make sense here. If there is a complaint, we haven’t heard about it.”

An inquiry to Fox News about the filing of a complaint against Crowder’s assailant wasn’t returned before posting time.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.