A labor reporter found his microphone ripped out of his hand on Thursday when he asked a major CEO about his company's business practices.
Mike Elk, who writes for In These Times magazine, was attending a forum on Capitol Hill where David Cote, the CEO of Honeywell, was taking questions. Cote has close ties to the Obama administration, and President Obama is appearing at a Honeywell plant on Friday. At this forum, however, he was the guest of a Republican congressman.
During the question-and-answer portion, Elk (who used to blog for The Huffington Post) stood up and began asking Cote about anti-union practices within the company, as well as a recent radioactive gas leak at one of his plants. A videographer for Republic Report filmed what happened next.
As he continued his question, though, a man in a suit kept trying to lunge for his microphone. Eventually, he yanked it out of Elk's hands.
"I'm a member of the press!" Elk said. "I've never been treated like that in Washington."
"Show your press credentials," a woman asked. "They're right here," Elk said.
"That's not a member of the press from the Hill," the woman said. Security then moved in on Elk. "You have no right to touch me!" he said to them.
Speaking to HuffPost's Ryan Grim after the incident, Elk said that he was then pushed by security when he tried to approach Coate outside the event.
"I chased him out the back door, to a fire exit," said. "They wouldn't let me through. I go around to another door and see the Honeywell CEO running away from me. A Honeywell guy pushes me back from the door. I'm like, hey man, you can't block a fire exit. I start yelling back at him, telling him I'm going to call the police."