When one is embarrassed by their own words, an oft-used option (at least in DC) is to retreat into claims of being misrepresented. So it goes after we recently brought you the troubled Tweets of former HuffPo writer, labor activist, and self-described 3rd-generation union organizer Mike Elk, who broadcast: “We need to find those scabs and kick their ass.”
Mr. Elk feels, apparently, treated unfairly by us directly quoting him, so we’re airing his grievance and letting you decide. He claims that listing his Tweets out of order (to improve readability) was “unethical journalism.” We are greatly amused at such talk from a guy who was seemingly, allegedly bounced from his unpaid gig writing at Huffing Post because he used the guise of journalism to support highly aggressive union organizing actions. But check out his Twitter stream for yourself (see Wednesday, July 20, 2011) and you be the judge if his direct quotes misrepresent him.
More importantly, the Elk’s Dodge was “I dont promote physical violence of any kind against scabs, just verbally heat exchanges w/ scabs, u misinterpted plz correct”. Unfortunately for that flimsy claim, he’d already added that “I dont support physically violent attacks on scabs just verbally violently attacks on scabs which I was referring to there”. Verbal violence? When does verbal violence turn into physical violence?
So is the takeaway that some sorts of violence are ok and others are not? Is this what the modern labor movement really believes but is generally too afraid to acknowledge, or is he a rogue writer who failed to tame his Tweets? That he is defending one form of violence ought to be instructive.
Finally, Mr. Congeniality asked that we include a picture that “more accurately reflects” his “current state of balding” (though we sort of prefer this one). He would also like to share photo credit with Maria Bryk, so it is so shared.