Laura Ingraham (YouTube)

Laura Ingraham wants you to know: College Republicans are under relentless attack, and the Justice Department should look into it.

The Fox News host devoted an extended segment this week to conservatives being mocked, shouted down and cursed at on college campuses around the country.

Under the banner “The Anti-Free Speech Thugs,” she announced: “It happened again.”

She then showed video of a bearded young “disruptor” sporting a man bun, who rang a cowbell and whooped over and over to upend a College Republicans event at Portland State.

The event featured conservative blogger Michael Strickland, whose YouTube channel is called LaughingAtLiberals. In 2016, Strickland was convicted of menacing, disorderly conduct and unlawful use of a firearm for waving a gun at activists during a Don’t Shoot PDX march. He was banned from the Portland State campus for two years.

Before his arrest, Strickland was already known on campus for being “squirrelly” and “pushing buttons” at various events, a PSU spokeswoman said at the time.

Ingraham didn’t mention any of this background on her show, “The Ingraham Angle.” She simply calling Strickland “a little-known blogger” before zeroing in on the protester with the cowbell.

“The harassment continued for an hour,” the appalled Ingraham said, giving the word hour extra emphasis, “as campus police just looked on. The speaker was effectively silenced for that period of time and the event basically ruined.”

The upshot: the libs, in this instance, owned the conservatives. “A perspective went unheard for the period of time scheduled,” Ingraham said. “This is just another in a long line, though, of examples where conservatives on campus are deprived of their free-speech rights. Yes, I’m going to say it again – deprived – of their free-speech rights.”

Other conservative media also weighed in on the disruption of the PSU College Republicans event. The Daily Caller wrote that Strickland was there to explain his conviction, claiming he waved his gun at the 2016 protest because he was being “threatened by protesters.”

Andy Ngo, a journalist with Quillette, extensively covered the PSU incident and sent out photographs and video on Twitter.

Last night, College Republicans invited conservative blogger Michael Strickland to @Portland_State. Event got shut down by anarchist who came w/a bell. Strickland was to speak about his conviction related to him brandishing a gun at a mob who surrounded him at a 2016 BLM protest. pic.twitter.com/JnHO6ElSLa

— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) March 6, 2019

Ingraham said during the segment that her staff had contacted 17 officials at Portland State and that “all of them declined” to appear on the show.

In a statement, Portland State said that, “due to the nature of the event advocating gun rights, a Campus Public Safety officer monitored the event to ensure the safety of participants. When an individual disrupted the event by ringing a cowbell, the officer used his professional judgment and determined not to threaten or restrain the individual so as not to escalate a potentially unsafe situation. After the disruption, the meeting continued, and PSU facilities management allowed the college Republicans to extend their meeting beyond the scheduled end time that night because of the disruption delay.”

Ingraham, who faced an advertiser backlash last year after she mocked Parkland shooting survivor and Never Again activist David Hogg, did not think much of the PSU statement.

“What message does [the campus-safety officer] just standing there send to other conservative students?” she said, ignoring that protesting is also a form of free speech.

She continued: “The chilling effect [of protests] continues long after the event is disrupted.” She then voiced her support for President Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he plans to issue an executive order concerning free speech at colleges.

Ingraham added that an executive order probably isn’t enough.

She argued that because Antifa and other “far-left” groups “conspire” to prevent conservatives from speaking and associating on college campuses, “perhaps it is time for the Justice Department to consider some kind of RICO prosecution.”

RICO, the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, was fashioned to target the Mob.

Portland, needless to say, sees a lot of campus protests, and they can be directed at liberals as well as conservatives. Protests against “Eurocentrism” at Reed College have reportedly traumatized some of the famously permissive school’s instructors and have been so persistent in recent years that they’ve received national and international news coverage.

— Douglas Perry

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