Toledo Blade Ignores Union Angle in Nationally Covered 'Scab' Shooting Story

Toledo-area blogger Maggie Thurber recently referred me to a week-old item at the odious, leftism uber alles Toledo Blade. Written by "Blade Staff" (can't say I can blame anyone for not wanting to put their name on this disgrace), it described a violent shooting incident which took place in Lambertville, a town in Monroe County, Michigan just north of the Glass City.

If you knew nothing else about the event and only relied on the Blade's story, you would think that what occurred was some kind of random act of violence:

Lambertville man shot in arm after man tries to slash his tires

A man was shot in the arm Wednesday night when he interrupted a suspect trying to puncture his vehicle’s tires with a knife, authorities said.

... When confronted, the assailant shot a small caliber pistol at the victim, grazing his left upper arm. The victim was treated at the scene and was to seek medical treatment on his own, sheriff's deputies said.

The suspect was described as being in his mid-20s to early 30s, white, of medium build, and about 6 feet tall. He was wearing a dark-colored T-shirt, jeans, and a dark-colored baseball hat.

He appeared to be in his mid-20s or early 30s.

Note that the victim was not named.

A follow-up Blade report 12 hours later, also by "Blade Staff," added these details (bolds are mine):

Man attempting to stop auto vandalism is shot

A man who interrupted a suspect trying to puncture the tires of his vehicle with a knife was shot in the arm.

... When confronted, the assailant shot a small caliber pistol at the victim, grazing his left upper arm. The unidentified victim was treated at the scene and was to seek medical treatment on his own, said the Monroe County Sheriff’s department.

Authorities described the suspect as being in his mid-20s to early 30s, white, medium build, and about 6 feet tall. He wore a dark-colored T-shirt, jeans, and a dark-colored baseball hat.

Again, "Blade Staff" did not name the victim.

The problem for the Blade is that in the Internet era there are several publications which knew that there was more to this story than the Blade reported. One of them is local radio station WSPD, which carried a far more informative version of what went down and why:

Monroe County Sheriff Looking into Apparent Union Related Violence
Lambertville non union electrical contractor shot, SCAB scrawled on truck

The Monroe County Sheriff's Department is working to solve a case of vandalism that turned life-threatening.

John King was shot in the arm last week when he surprised a man trying to slash the tires on the truck at his Lambertville home. The word "scab" was also scrawled on the side.

King says he became suspicious when he saw an outside security light outside go on.

When he stepped out of his front door, the man fired one shot and ran off.

King is the owner of the largest non-union electrical contracting company in the area.

Imagine that. How could "Blade Staff," which as far as I can tell has done no additional follow-up story (Blade site searches on "Lambertville" and "John King," entered with quotes, corroborate this), miss those pesky details about the "scab" scrawl and King's ownership of a non-union electrical firm?

The Blaze, Glenn Beck's news site, didn't miss the critical facts either, excerpting from a more complete Labor Union Report story (also linked by CNS News), both of which carry the following picture of the vandalized vehicle:

Scab1

The Labor Union Report's coverage fills in details the Blade didn't care to report, and apparently still doesn't care to report (bolds are mine):

John King didn’t plan on being an enemy of unions. In fact, he says all he’s ever wanted to do is work at something he loves doing and be successful at it—something that most normal Americans would call ‘The American Dream.’

After high school and some college, Mr. King briefly worked for an IBEW contractor before being drafted into the military. Following his service in the early 70s, King became his own boss by going into business as the youngest electrical contractor in Toledo.

Over the years, King Electrical Services had always been a small business. However, during the Great Recession, King’s business has actually improved as his union competitors have priced themselves out of work.

Unfortunately, being a non-union electrical company, King has always been on the radar of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). In fact, in 2006, he won a significant case against the IBEW at the US Court of Appeals, after the union had improperly promised his electricians jobs on union sites if they voted the union into King’s company.

... Unfortunately, the vandalism has never stopped. This year alone, he’s had to report three incidents of damage to police. This doesn’t include the incidents of stalking he and his men have to go through while they’re working.

... Last Wednesday ... As soon as he got outside his front door, King yelled at the individual who was crouched down by King’s vehicle. As soon as King yelled, the suspect stood and, without hesitation, fired a shot at Mr. King.

Luckily for King, as he yelled, he also stumbled. If it weren’t for that, however, John King’s injuries might have been much, much worse. In fact, he might have been killed.

Read the whole thing.

It's virtually impossible to imagine, given the legal history described at Labor Union Report, that "Blade Staff" doesn't know exactly who John King is and why he was targeted.

In the old days, a city paper might have gotten away with such obvious journalistic malpractice. Those days are over. In coverage of this incident, the Blade, which from all appearances has to this day never named John King in its current coverage, has in the past not so humbly described itself as a Glass City asset. In this instance and so many others in the past half-dozen years (other examples here, here, here, and here), it has embarrassed itself and, unfortunately by extension, its city.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.