Open Thread: Fox News “Comedian” Suffers Beat Down in MichiganPosted: December 12, 2012
Yesterday, Fox News sent Fox News contributor and alleged “comedian” Steve Crowder to Lansing, Michigan to involve himself in the protests against Gov. Rick Snyder’s “right to work for less” law. HuffPo reports:
Writer and Fox News contributor Steven Crowder aired video of his violent physical confrontation with opponents of Michigan’s right-to-work legislation, who gathered in Lansing to protest the bills’ passage through the House.
Crowder argued with protesters who began to tear down a tent pitched on the Capitol lawn by the pro-right-to-work group Americans For Prosperity. According to MLive, Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said they were contacted because several people, including two in wheelchairs, were trapped under the tent.
He was then punched repeatedly in the face by a protester, while another man speaking off-camera threatened to kill Crowder with a gun. Crowder said there was no police presence in the area during the altercation.
Hmmm…maybe the police don’t like the new law any more than the protesters?
Afterward, Crowder told right wing talk show host Dana Loesch:
“Dana, they literally would have killed me where I stood if I’d of fought back and defended myself after the sucker punch. They literally would have torn me limb-from-limb.”
Crowder’s injuries: a small cut on the forehead and a “chipped tooth.”
Here’s some video of the altercation.
According to another article at HuffPo, one observer says that Crowder was taunting the union protesters.
Ken Spitzley, a state agriculture department employee, told HuffPost that he walked to the protest at the state Capitol during a break from work and that he witnessed Crowder getting in protesters’ faces.
“He was just after everybody,” said the 56-year-old Spitzley, a procurement technician whose workplace is represented by the United Auto Workers. “There was no question he was there just to start a fight, to start some kind of trouble.”
“I definitely provoked them,” Crowder said. “I was asking them basic questions.”
Sptizley offered one specific anecdote that Crowder disputed. According to Spitzley, Crowder had an exchange with two pro-union men wearing blue jeans, hard hats and Carhartt clothing. One of the men accused Crowder of working for Amway, the family company of Michigan businessman Dick DeVos. Crowder joked that he sells soap.
“He said, ‘I sell soap. I should sell you some,'” Spitzley said, quoting Crowder.
Crowder denies this.
Gawker asks if we really have to condemn the violence because we’re liberals?
Good, serious progressives are supposed to condemn violence as a political tactic, because it’s wrong and in many cases counterproductive. But do we really need to condemn the union protestor who socked Fox News comedian Steven Crowder in the jaw? [….]
He wanted to “provoke” people into “rational thought and civil debate,” he told Fox & Friends this morning. Instead he ended up inserting himself in the middle of a tense argument between protestors and staffers of Americans for Prosperity, the anti-union group funded by libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch. And then he got punched in the face, for reasons that have been edited out of the video.
Click on the Gawker link to see photos of Crowder’s infinitesimal injuries.
Erik Wemple of the WaPo isn’t all that sympathetic. Right wing nuts like Brent Bozell are whining because the “liberal media” hasn’t given a lot of coverage to the Crowder beating. Bozell:
“If a Tea Partier had physically assaulted a liberal journalist or ripped down a structure occupied by a liberal organization all on video, the footage would be broadcast on an endless loop.”
Bozell’s mistake here lies in labeling. His statement suggests that somehow Crowder was working as a journalist yesterday in Lansing. Crowder’s own comments last night on Fox News’s “Hannity” suggest a different mission: “I never went out here to try and be assaulted, as leftists might say,” Crowder told Hannity. “I went out here to prove the left for who they truly are — certainly there’s union thugs — and I’ve achieved that.”
Journalists don’t go to events to “prove” anything.
None of this suggests that Crowder deserved his closed-fist treatment. He didn’t.
I’m not so sure about that. What do you think? And remember, this is an open thread.