Although I've been reporting my suspicions (and other people's) about the truthfulness and integrity of Fox News contributor Steven Crowder's report of being assaulted by pro-union "thugs" at a Lansing, Michigan union protest of "right-to-work" legislation, Crowder's dishonesty is no longer in doubt. His video has been shown to be selectively edited and he has admitted pushing the man who later hit him (after pretending otherwise).
On the night that Crowder first appeared for his lapdog interview with Sean Hannity, I wrote that there was something a little too James O'Keefe about Crowder that made me think he was not being honest about the "vicious attack" on him, caught and presented in an edited video, and which just happened to coincide with his virulently, Breitbart-esque anti-union, anti-left agenda. I became even more suspicious when, during the interview, Crowder admitted he had gone to the pro-union protest to make trouble. Still, he told Hannity his beating was “completely physically unprovoked.”
The next night, in another Hannity segment, a guest accused Crowder of first pushing the man who later punched him - which Crowder, despite a series of dancing, diversionary responses, did not deny. However, Crowder did accuse that guest of being a liar after he made the allegation.
In a moment of delicious irony, it turns out the video segment that incriminated Crowder was released - almost certainly inadvertently - by the Hannity show.
But now, Crowder has admitted to pushing the man - exactly what he pretended to deny on Hannity. Tommy Christopher writes:
However, in an interview with Canada’s Sun News, Crowder says he actually did push the protesters whom he says were “ransacking the tent.”
“We didn’t get violent with them,” Crowder said, “but we did try to push them off the tent. That is true. We tried to push them off the tent,” and also claimed “I’ve been very honest about this.”
"Very honest?" Crowder could hardly have been less forthcoming or more deceptive about what happened. On the night of his second segment with Hannity, after the other guest had accused Crowder of pushing the union protester, Hannity said, "Wait a minute. Steven, you didn’t push anybody.” Crowder did not correct the record other than to say that Hannity had the "unedited tape." You might say that Crowder wanted you to think he had not pushed anybody before he admitted that he had.
So where is Fox News in all this? Stretching over the facts in order to smear President Obama in at least one instance. Yesterday, I posted on Crooks and Liars that Fox ignored questions about Crowder's video at the same time that Fox & Friends used it to attack the left. Specifically, I wrote:
Rather than deal with accusations that their own Steven Crowder deliberately provoked an altercation with Michigan labor unions and then hyped a questionably edited video as proof of their “thuggery,” Fox News pretended that the big issue surrounding the demonstrations over the so-called “right to work legislation” is left-wing violence and President Obama’s failure to condemn it.
Even if you believe that President Obama is somehow at fault for not speaking out against whatever happened, that in no way excuses Fox from condemning the dissembling, deception and deliberate sleights of hand that came from one of their own contributors. It's one thing to run with and promote a false story, as the network did with the sham ACORN videos, e.g. It's quite another to run with and promote a false story from one of their own. And then remain silent about it. Here's my search of "Crowder" of Fox News videos. Here's a search of "Steven Crowder" on FoxNews.com. This is the kind of thing Fox News would run with 24/7 if it was another news outfit making such a mistake.
Whatever happened to Crowder should be sorted out through the criminal justice system - something he was oddly reluctant to do initially. But now there are reports that he has filed a complaint with Michigan police. Fine. If he was assaulted, I'm all for an arrest, trial and sentencing of the perpetrator. But Fox is still on the hook for its own misleading (at best) reporting no matter what.
Fox deliberately inserted itself into this story and made it a big deal. Its viewers deserve a big "mea culpa" from them now - and a full airing of the unedited video and all the facts that are known.
3/13/18 Update: The video that originally accompanied this post is no longer available.
Except that even Crowder’s footage shows he has his hands on the guy before he falls down. It’s no wonder that the guy went for Crowder a moment later.
Crowder actually compounds his mistake further by insisting that he’s the only one who has provided footage of what happened out there. He isn’t, and the independent footage makes Crowder’s situation even worse.
One would think that Crowder would learn to stop doing these things, particularly if he expects to accomplish anything in court other than get himself imprisoned for perjury.
Of course, that bizarre analysis forgets about Crowder admitting he was pushing people, forgets about the longer video we’ve already seen which is the actual material that debunks Crowder’s shameful twisting of the facts, and forgets about the eyewitness accounts of what was actually happening. It also forgets about how Crowder didn’t even report this “brutal” assault until after he was able to talk about it for several days on Fox News and right wing radio.
It would be nice if Crowder’s defenders had some facts on their side, but it seems all they have is his bias against the union guys, and their own bias on that subject.
According to eyewitnesses at the protest, he wasn’t getting much in the way of sales as there weren’t a lot of people inside the two AFP tents, and most of the activity was happening outside, from right wing agitators trying to provoke angry union guys. (And this was the whole point of setting up the tents in the first place.)
As it turns out, GOP supporters of Tarver have raised tens of thousands of dollars for him, which he has stated he will use to buy a brand new cart. Of course, this will mean he now has two carts, since the old one was not present at this event.
Lot of holes on the guy’s story. Almost as many as Crowder has.
I don’t recall saying that what happened to Clint Tarver was “ok”. I didn’t say that he “should have known”. I said that he did know. He’s been selling hot dogs in Lansing for 15 years. He knows the situations there better than any of us do. And in this case, he chose to set up in the middle of a group of people who were deliberately provoking a hostile crowd around them. If you’re saying that he somehow didn’t know this, you’re assuming some very negative things about his common sense, and I don’t agree. I think he’s a pretty smart guy who’s been running a business for years.
Regarding the pulling down of the tent, please, please watch the video Aria referenced. It’s a longer video that puts much of Crowder’s lies in perspective. The tent was pulled down by the right wingers, several of whom were caught pulling up stakes before everyone was out of the tent, thus very likely resulting in the situation that cost Tarver his materials.
You don’t know that the only violence at the protest was by “union thugs”. The longer video makes it clear that there were right wing anti-union people there who were taking unsavory actions – including nearly hurting their own people by pulling down the tent on them before union people stopped them, and including the one idiot who pulled a gun and had to be dissuaded from doing so by a union protestor. I’d be very careful about making pronouncements about violence, particularly as more of these videos come out. At the very least, the longer video shows Crowder wasn’t telling the truth about much of what happened. Eyewitness accounts paint a very different picture than your opinion – they show Crowder trying to incite a situation and doing multiple “takes” to get something on video he could bring to Fox News.
You don’t know that the only racist slurs at the protest were hurled at Tarver, particularly given the situation where the right winger was pulling a gun and had to be stopped. I wouldn’t be making general statements like the one you just did about that. Because, as I noted below, if you’re generalizing from the racist who yelled at Tarver that this was representative of the crowd, do you also believe that the the guys at the GOP convention who displayed virulent racism were representative of the entire GOP convention? You see, you can’t have it both ways.
You need to understand that there’s a difference between saying that things are Tarver’s fault or Crowder’s fault, and pointing out that Tarver was aware of being in the middle of a nasty situation and that Crowder was not an innocent party in the middle of a fight it appears he started. I’m certainly not justifying any of the violence, even that perpetrated by Crowder. I’m not justifying the hatred, particularly that shown by the AFP group when they deliberately tried to incite a situation here, and by Crowder when he tried to use the situation to get himself some quick publicity.
It is my hope that Crowder’s sudden embrace of the court system will result in a trial in which he may have the opportunity to finally tell the truth about what he did at the protest. Of course, if he lies in that environment, he may find himself going to jail for perjury.
VK’s desperate citation of the hot dog vendor that was trotted out on Fox yesterday almost completely loses the train of what happened. The man admitted he was hired to set up a hot dog table inside the tent in the middle of what everyone involved knew was a nasty situation. He knew he was going to be walking his materials through a hostile crowd and setting up shop in a tent that was erected for provocation. And as it turns out, the tent had to be taken down as a hazard, and apparently the right wing guys were the ones pulling it down. If anything, the union guys were the ones trying to make sure that nobody in there got hurt, while the provocateurs like Crowder were trying to see if they could get footage to air on Fox.
The one part of the situation that is deplorable is the person who used racial slurs against the hot dog vendor. I would condemn that just as quickly as I did the guys at the GOP Convention who said “This is how we feed the animals” to the woman from CNN. Of course, I wouldn’t say that the racist who yelled at the vendor is representative of the whole crowd any more than the two yahoos at the GOP convention are representative of that whole convention.
Crowder’s behavior after the incident is telling, because he didn’t immediately take the actions that any normal person would take. If someone is assaulted and there are police in the area, the automatic thing that happens is that you immediately report the assault and point out the person who did it to the police. But Crowder didn’t do that. Instead, he pranced around on Fox News and publicly challenged the guy he was fighting to a MMA bout. For him to suddenly file charges, several days after the fact and after more information has come out that torpedoes his account, speaks not of him having a case but rather of him flailing around in desperation as his situation goes to pot.
Personally, I would be very happy to see this matter go to court, and for Crowder to be compelled in court to answer questions about what he did. The difference between that and his Fox News appearances is simple – if he lies on Fox, they just bury the story for a while and bring him back in a few months after everyone forgets about him. If he lies under oath in court, he’ll go to jail for perjury.
Joshua, VK, U. and the others are all proving this in excess.
Michigan Labor Protests = the new “Benghazi-gate”
And, judging by the frenzied responses of Joshua Hateway, Vacuous OffKilter, I’m Mad!, and other sockuppets, they view the two events the same way, albeit for slightly different reasons.
With Benghazi, the wingnuts were absolutely CONVINCED that President Obama committed something nefarious with regard to defense of the Embassy — and continued to think so even after the evidence proved otherwise.
By contrast, with the Michigan Labor Protests, the wingnuts are absolutely CONVINCED that Crowder did nothing nefarious with regard to the tent and subsequent fight — and continue to think so even after evidence proves otherwise.
More proof that, when it comes to embracing a Fox-approved talking point, wingnuts are like a snapping turtle: once they’ve latched on, they will not let go . . .
Oh, and pay careful attention to the part where the Cameraman (who’s was with Crowder) trying to pull a stake from the tent and the guy who hit Crowder stopping him because the people who weren’t under the trapped portion weren’t all out yet.
Also pay attention to the guy that drew the gun on the Union workers.
Oh, wait- this doesn’t support your delusion. Apparently, neither does the fact that Crowder said he would press charges if Carmago didn’t meet him for a cage match- I’m sure that little detail will really help him in court. Then again, so will him perjuring himself to the law and three interviewers, his confession that he laid hands first, his witholding evidence, and that he admitted he was there to try starting a riot in the first place.
Have a nice day, you two.
Awaiting KKKlannity’s admission to lying on tonight’s program. Right after he is waterboarded for charity as he promised.
Yes, he was trying to protect people who were INSIDE the tent. I hope you would do the same if people were ripping down a tent with people inside. Are you vilifying him for that?
So that guy was justified right? He wanted to rip down a tent with people inside, and Crowder should have let them do it. Right? Who provoked who?
I’m not surprised because the whole story sounded wrong on a whole series of levels. And I sincerely doubt that Fox will ever admit that the whole thing was a farce. It would be so refreshing were they to prove me wrong. Just once.