Guest post by R.C. Maxwell

After Turning Point USA posted a video of an altercation between journalists of their Frontlines brand and an LGBTQ professor who posted an image of his bloodied face after the conflict, the Arizona media establishment and left-wing groups lashed out against the conservative youth group.

Strangely, when surveillance video of the dispute released by Arizona State University Police Department clearly showed the professor as the aggressor who lunged at the journalists, the university actually doubled down and attacked TPUSA by issuing a statement through university President Michael Crow.

“Earlier this week, David Boyles, an instructor in the ASU English Department, was followed, harassed, pushed and injured by two men identified by Turning Point USA as their ‘reporter’ and ‘cameraman,’ the statement begins.

Boyles was being questioned by Frontlines about statements he made about sex education, a topic he claimed to be “obsessed with” and also called systematically racist.

In an exclusive statement to The Gateway Pundit, the expert analysis of Arizona State University Journalism Professor Jason Watkins disagrees with Crow’s characterization.

“From the video I saw, it appeared as though the physical contact was first initiated by the professor, who attempted to stop the cameraman from filming. When you are outside, especially on a public university’s campus, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and therefore can be filmed by anyone for any reason,” Watkins said.

“Lashing out at being filmed is one way to initiate a confrontation– and, out of an abundance of caution and in anticipation of being attacked for this comment, I’m a gay ASU professor and I am not a victim,” added Watkins.

The statements from Watkins, who instructs a number of classes at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism are a stark contrast to the scathing statement issued by Crow who conveniently omitted facts from his depiction of events.
The impact of Turning Point USA’s conservative youth activism has allowed the organization to enjoy national success to the ire of left-leaning university officials like Crow.

“It is astounding to me that individuals from Turning Point USA would wait for an ASU instructor to come out of his class to follow him, harass him and ultimately shove him to the ground, bloodying his face,” Crow said in a formal statement.

Surveillance footage and a TPUSA cellphone video of the events tell a different story. In both videos Boyles can be seen lunging after the Frontlines cameraman. In surveillance footage which is longer, the reporter, Kalen D’Almeida then pushes Boyles to the ground.

Watkins said “employees of the State of Arizona have a duty to be accessible, responsible, and respectful.”

“If anyone wanted to interview me or speak to me, I would stop and give them some of my time. Even if the approach felt like harassment, I would attempt to converse with anyone. As a journalist, I don’t categorize anyone in terms of ‘me versus them.’ I’m willing to have a chat with anyone, especially people who don’t agree with me,” Watkins added.

It’s unclear where this situation goes from here. ASU Police said in a statement last week that they were investigating the issue as a possible hate crime but only the cameraman from Frontlines has confirmed he’s pressing charges.

An ASU police spokesperson declined to comment on this story.

A Turning Point USA spokesperson said blasted the university in a statement to The Gateway Pundit:

What’s astounding is that President Crow even attempted to so brazenly misrepresent something that is clear as day on the video: Professor Boyles initiated the physical altercation, our journalist acted in self-defense to protect his crew member. I’m glad to see saner voices rise to the fore. The bottom line is that Professor Boyles is a taxpayer funded employee. He’s a public lecturer. He’s the local sponsor of Drag Queen Story Hour, one of the most high-profile and controversial queer movements in America whose express goal is to expose little kids to men dressing like women. Not only should he expect tough questions, he’s obligated to give an account for his extremism to the taxpayers and students who make ASU work. Shame on President Crow for lying to the ASU community.

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