May 31, 2012

Video: On Capitol Hill, Reporter Attacked For Daring To Ask A Question To A Powerful CEO

Mike Elk tries to ask a question to Honeywell CEO David Cote
Republic Report attended a conference for “entrepreneurs” and small businesses today on Capitol Hill hosted by Congressman Tim Scott (R-SC). Although it was advertised as a lively discussion about economic policy, we witnessed staffers for Scott violently grabbing the mic from the only reporter who asked a critical question during the forum.

Mike Elk, a journalist for In These Times magazine, was called on during the question and answer portion of a morning panel to ask David Cote, the CEO of Honeywell, about his efforts to bust labor unions at a Honeywell-owned uranium plant. Elk asked Cote, who earlier in the event boasted about his company’s profit margins, about his labor practices and the recent news that a poorly trained worker used to replaced Honeywell’s organized workforce had allowed a release of radioactive gas. But before he could finish his question, a man in a suit working for the event repeatedly grabbed the microphone away from Elk. Watch the video here:

The confrontation was a dramatic example of how powerful elites can cocoon themselves away from regular people, even critical press. The room this morning was filled with lobbyists and lawyers, rather than regular small business owners. For much of the conference, Sean O’Hollaren, Honeywell’s chief lobbyist, circled the event, shaking hands with congressmen and greeting attendees. Unlike Elk, who was physically pushed and threatened outside the event after asking his question, the lobbyists enjoyed comfortable access to the CEOs and elites in the room.

Last year, Honeywell was identified as one of the biggest recipients of special tax deals from the government. The company actually spends more on lobbying than it pays in corporate taxes. This preferential treatment, for a company that makes billions in profits, is due in large part to Honeywell’s close relationship with members of Congress.

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  • Esslingergreg

    Well that is typical of Honeywell! They are trying to destroy the Metropolis plant union and they have not cared about the community in years!! I was the first of many victims of there greed and power after the lockout ended.

  • The greed mongers are really pushing the envelope here. More fodder for revolutionaries.

    I hope that the day of reckoning for these corporate criminals will occur in my lifetime.

    Since pols’ and the justice system are already bought and sold, I fear that we may have to take up the pitchforks in order to make that happen.

    • Nothing will happen. History repeats itself over and over again. Even if the people manage to oust them, it will just be a temporary, cosmetic fix and the same scum will rise to the top of the pond again. Look at Egypt, the perfect example.

  • Nell Lancaster

    Not just with members of Congress: Pres. Obama is doing an appearance in Minneapolis soon with the union-busting bigwig.

  • Allinecropps

    you would think these jack asses would get sick of being fools, just think if they used all that energy to vist poor neighbors and see all the elders and children, living like 3th world throw aways, they would start putting all this money into something other then their selfs, we all need help, god have mercy on american, another thing you may not care for pres. obama, but he has open the eyes of people as to what has been going on for over 30 years are longer, now the old rich boys are runnning and making excuses

    • If they did that, they would have to face reality, something they take extreme measures to avoid.

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  • And so it starts. Suppressing the media is one of the first and most important steps in the implementation of Fascism. Good to see that one well established in the USSA already. Coincidentally, just yesterday, Ha’aretz had a similar news reporting the imprisonment of an Israeli journalist for reporting on taboo subjects. It’s good to see how Fascism is running in tandem in both places.

    • Wisconsin Liberator

      Fachism and the new America are one and the same. We have become the forbearers of this brand of polical systems in the world today. Nationalistic rhetoric to a fault, while at the same time undermining America by shipping all the good jobs overseas. All in the name of greed masquerading as free market capitolism. While talking the talk they refuse to walk the walk so to speak. (American CEOs, investors and some economists) AMERICA CAN’T BE STRONG WITHOUT A STRONG MANUFACTURING BASE…. Another truth is you can’t have a vibrant economy without good paying jobs. You would think that this is common sense. It’s a message absolutely unrecognized by Republicans. (publically)

      Remember these are the same people (Republicans, CEOs, investors and pundants) who say that we as a people (Americans) are special; better than everyone else who came before us. American exceptionalism they call it… It sounds a lot like the “Master Race” talk of the Germans in the 30s and 40s. Propaganda doesn’t really change much. It’s designed to fool uneducated and unmotivated people into believing they are special. Hitler called them his millions of useful idiots. (his brownshirts and later the SS) People will support outragous things if they believe god somehow gave them the right to do so because of their specialness. With the group we have leading us now: God help us all….

      • I wish I could disagree with you, brother, but I can’t. I could take each of the sentences in your post and expand it into a page with examples. We are very screwed indeed. The worst part is that, unlike with Hitler’s Nazi Germany, this time around rather than fight it the entire world has embraced it. Hitler must be rolling in his grave.

        • Preston Law

          Or he would be if his corpse hadn’t been burned. If one would make all relevant knowledge available to everyone, Obama would win by a landslide, in my opinion.

          • Why would Obama win by a landslide for being as big a capitalist, fascist and war criminal as the one before him?

          • guest

            I think your in the wrong place, the situation we’re in today was set up by previous administration, even down to electing a black President.

          • Funny, *you* seem to be the one in the wrong place. This thread is not about Obama and has nothing to do with the guy. Since you totally missed it, the subject of the news article is “Video: On Capitol Hill, Reporter Attacked For Daring To Ask A Question To A Powerful CEO”

            You Obamabots are a one-track mind just like your Right Wing nutjobs brethren.

          • The question implies a criminal act or am I missing something here? “When did you stop beating your wife?” I know you guys love to ask “setup’s” however CEOs are told not to acknowledge such and simply ignore them. Send in a reporter to ask your hero what gives him the right to have a not so secret “kill list” and see what happens to the questioner. LOL

          • Yes, *you* are apparently missing something. Actually, you are missing the entire big picture which is that everything which is good, moral and makes sense in this country is under attack by the Right Wing minions. The fact that the press is being targeted & silenced everywhere is not obvious to you nor it is a sign of Fascism. This is not a problem for as long as your FAUX NOISE hate and entertainment indoctrination machine can continue to have free coverage and around the clock protection with tax payers dollars. Long live Americha!

            As for my hero, since you know me so well, why don’t tell me who that is? No, never mind, I know that you know that it is Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich and Julian Assange. Of course you do! You guys are smart that way. You never assume anything since that make an ass out of you and me but mostly you. Furthermore, I realize that you are not politically bipolar in any way and always take into consideration that not everyone is well…let’s just say as intelligent and intuitive as you are, of course. And that’s what we like about y’all and your set up’s (sic), Right and Left and between. LOL

            PS: Good show of reading and comprehension skills. You must be a proud graduate of the Hills of West Virginia Homeschooling Program.

            Note to self: And this one is one of the smart ones, at least she/he can read some, write & knows how to use a computer.

          • COINTELPRO tactics aren’t even necessary anymore, we’re already at each other’s throats.

            Wise up, people.

          • Guy Fawkes

            I just thought you said that all the people who were trying to silence this reporter were obviously GOPers. Now, you say that Obama is a Fascist and a War Criminal? Which is it? OR, are you proving my point that sometimes DEMOCRATS pull the same shit???

          • Can you read? Well…can you?

            If there’s one thing I love about you Right Wing nutjobs (in addition to your complete lack of reading comprehension) is your absolute ability to cherry pick words out, take them out of context, twist them around and use them as the base to form a strawman argument. It takes a lot of ability and skill to do that, appearances to the contrary not withstanding.

            BTW, if you learn how to read in the next few minutes and read my other reply to you, don’t feel obligated to apologize or anything for making a jackass out of yourself.


      • guest

        Assuming you’re referring to the repugs. trying to lead us now, totally agree.

        • Ok, ok. We get it, you’re an Obamabot. Duly noted. Can you leave now, please so the adults can talk? And don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

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  • Tswedo

    Welcome to 1939.

  • Seedee Vee

    Does anyone know who the Oh-So-Important “real” journalist asking about
    “press credentials” is?

    Talk about people from the bubble . . . . .

    • Does it matter? Is the important thing here who the journalist what or what was done?

      • Seedeevee

        Of course it matters.

        Does it matter that Obama – the person – is ordering illegal murders of people througout the world or that Illegal murders – the act – are occurring throughout the world.

        I think knowing the actors can be as important as the act.

        • You do realize that Obama is not the issue here, right? The issue in question is suppression of free press not Obama’s illegal murders. But nice try! While these violations of the Constitution are certainly being done under Obama because he has helped to continue Bush’s climate of repression and disregard for democracy, even you can be hardly press to make a argument that this particular incident was the guy’s doing. Let’s refocus that anger, shall we?

          Yes, knowing the actors can be as important as the act. You keep remind yourself of that.

          BTW, did you also condemn Bush on his war crimes?

    • The oh-so important subject here is not the who but the what. Suppression of free the press is one of the main Fascist steps. Time to go back to school and acquire some English comprehension skills.

      • Seedeevee

        WTF is your problem, LolaP?

        • WTF is your problem, Seedeevee? Can’t answer a simple question? Personal assaults are a true sign of lack of intelligence, FYI. If you don’t know the answer, you can just keep your mouth shut instead of attacking people and show it.

  • guest

    I will no longer buy any Honeywell products. Are we surprised the GOP is stepping on freedom of the press? When they achieve total power I fear for our country.

    • Guy Fawkes

      Please tell us how you know these government workers trying to eliminate this reporter’s ability to ask questions were GOP? No where does it say that. I just want to know how YOU know?

      • Certain things are self-evident…except for those who are reality challenged, of course.

        • Guy Fawkes

          I have met several Republicans in my state Senate and Attorney General’s office that have assisted me in my fight for foreclosure prevention. I have also met several DEMOCRATS that have blocked my bills in this foreclosure fight. So, your response is pretty naive.

          • How does that prove anything? [Self] anecdotal testimony is anything but reliable of proof. Having said that, overall the Democrats are pretty much the same as the Republicans. However, when it comes to subverting civil/human/constitutional rights, imposing totalitarianism & spreading hate and inhumanity, no one can top the Right Wing. When it comes to credibility, your side has none.

  • Blue Brown


    • It’s the big bad libural conspiracy. Muaaa haaaa…they’re out to get you…

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  • Caracasgringo

    US government = Gangster nation; US Congress = Parliament of Whores; US CEO’s and lobbyists = Corrupt filth. US is long past due for a new revolution to flush this waste out of the system

    • Ian807

      That’s an insult to whores everywhere.

      • Especially Colombian Whores who tell the truth on Secret Service Agents. All legal BTW in Columbia.

  • Reminds one of fenced-in areas for protesters, sanitation ruses as part of a nationally coordinated onslaught to clear out OWSers, and Whistleblowers being targeted with the Espionage Act. At what stage of the escalating mockery does the charade become clear enough?

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  • Okay, a member of the press asks a question about union-busting in a “room full of entrepreneurs” and is asked to shut his pie-hole. Isn’t a large part of Honeywell’s business defense contracting to the military-industrial complex? In fact, it’s part of it. We have the largest military in history and on earth operating on massive debt owed by we the taxpayers. In a recent interview, Julian Assange called the whole thing a “trans-national military-industrial complex.” Who knows what we’re watching being birthed here? But we appear to just be fodder. It seems out-of-control.

  • Guest

    My god, things are really moving fast. Every day brings news of several new outrages by the psychopaths in charge of government and corporations. This is yet another example of the cosseting of the rich and their protection from even a modicum of accountability.

    Go to

    for a hair raising article about a truly Orwellian offshoot of the private prison industry. We have to stop this. This is gut wrenching sick. At a time when governments and citizens must come together to handle the changes resulting from global warming, unemployment, and other serious problems we have only the sickening grab for resources and money by evil, greedy elites. Surveillance is out of control. And, unfortunately, there is always an endless supply of authoritarian goons to protect them.

    • Yep. Not a day goes by that I don’t see or hear at least one thing that has an irreversible effect and further pushes us down Fascism.

  • Bill49259

    Well I will never buy another Honeywell product again as long as he is the CEO

  • Wchua62

    It is hard to believe that this is western democracy! Why the mainstream media didn’t report this kind of news? Don’t they interested in promoting free speech and democracy…

    • LOL! The mainstream corporate media didn’t get a press release from Wall Street.

    • grampadave

      One day in April or May of last year, there were 100,000 people assembled to protest in Wasau, Wisconsin. It was not reported by any of the mainstream media outlets.

  • mannapat

    Who do we have running against that tool in 2012? Time to visit Act Blue to help get rid of him.

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  • It’s about time other people see what Tim Scott is known for. This is nothing but a schmooze fest for his donors. When questions get asked, deserving of serious answers, he and his cohorts shut you down. Honeywell Int. has donated $12,000 to Scott.

  • barkway

    Why not file any possible public charges you can against companies when there is evidence of harm to people or the environment? At least that is a public record, in black and white that they have to answer…..instead of trying to confront them with microphones? Staffers are well trained to see that no serious questions get asked or answered. In FL, a radio host was jailed for asking Allen West a question at his town hall, and Debbie Wassermann Schultz has staff pre-select questions which have to be submitted in advance. Get these crooks in court or the wallet if you want a response. All public officials from local commissioners to DC reps are trained in the Delphi system for holding “public” meetings. Look it up. It virtually assures no opposition and reduces confrontation.

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  • Sujii724

    What do you expect from the corporate mafia?

  • Lapaladula

    Nice job Mike. Boy that looked scary. Way to be your own man, and not be owned by someone else. You got your point across, skilled labor is more cost effective. Unless one does not care about the environment or others.

  • Ricco

    He was not asking a question but mouthing off and pleading a losing battle.

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