It’s a tough job to portray pro-union demonstrators as “thugs” when the local police department is busy issuing press releases thanking them for conducting themselves “ with great decorum and civility.”

But the Right has never been known to let reality get in the way of a good story, and the intellectual gymnastics they’re performing to paint the ‘Midwest nice’ crowds in Madison as a horde of marauding hooligans has become pretty damn comical.

This week we had a Fox News reporter just lying straight out about being punched in a violent melee, we saw Bill O’Reilly airing footage from an old rally in California – complete with palm trees in the background – and now another, equally frightening example of “union thuggery.”

This story of workers’ perfidy came to me via Twitter (follow me!), where a conservative used it as proof that “union thugs” had no respect for the First Amendment. But when I clicked through for the details, well…

Dan Edelstein, 23, was cited for disorderly conduct by Madison police after he allegedly yanked the cords from the outlets on the outside of the Fox News truck at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

The network wasn’t broadcasting at the time, so Fox News Channel viewers weren’t left in the dark about the latest goings-on from Madison.

“No permanent damage was done and the cords were plugged back into the news vehicle,” said police spokesman Joel DeSpain.

That’s right, no indication the young man was a member of a union, and his act of “thuggery” amounted to pulling a plug out of a socket. Not something I condone, of course, but also not a terribly good example of violent mayhem, unless you happen to be a wing-nut.

After more than two weeks of protests outside the Capitol, this was only the second ticket issued by Madison police related to the protests.

The first ticket was issued to a woman who spat on a 10 year-old girl who was “holding a sign and chanting, ‘What’s disgusting, union busting.’”

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About the Author

Joshua Holland

I write for AlterNet. I've written a book, The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy, which I recommend. You might also consider following me on Twitter.

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