Open Thread: Fox News “Comedian” Suffers Beat Down in Michigan

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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.”

No way!

“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.

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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.”

Wemple’s response:

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.


12 Comments on “Open Thread: Fox News “Comedian” Suffers Beat Down in Michigan”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    What else is new? Selective Editing by Fox News Contributor Revealed by Fox News (NYT Lede blog)

    Unfortunately for Mr. Crowder, a look at the video broadcast on the Sean Hannity show appears to show quite clearly that he left out an important section of the footage when he put together his edit. A section of the Fox News broadcast preserved by the Web site Mediaite shows that Mr. Hannity’s producers at Fox News started the clip five seconds earlier than Mr. Crowder did. What the extra footage reveals is the man who punched Mr. Crowder being knocked to the ground seconds before and then getting up and taking a swing at the comedian.

    • bostonboomer says:

      There is one more anomaly in Mr. Crowder’s edit of the footage shot by his associates. The still frame he used for the clip’s title image on YouTube, which offers a much clearer image of the man punching him, was obviously shot by a second camera, from an entirely different angle than the rest of the footage he presented of the man hitting him. If Mr. Crowder wants to clear up the mystery of exactly what happened just before he was punched, it might make sense for him to release any footage of the incident shot from that second angle.

      • HT says:

        Nothing amuses me more than to see these creeps hoist on their own petard, unfortunately the people who watch these Murdoch travesties masquerading as News will never seek beyond their nightly dose of propaganda. Fox is no better than that McMahon travesty posing as wrestling. I can recall when wrestling was real, so I remember also when journalism was not entertainment or propaganda (although there was always an element, it was not so out and out in your face blatent).
        I cannot understand the power that money holds that would lead people to sink any integrity or ethical consciencious in order to make more. I could have done a lot of things to get promoted higher and make more money but I would not sell my soul. These guys do so at the drop of a contract.

      • dakinikat says:

        I heard it was heavily edited and James Okeefe was in the vicinity.

      • RalphB says:

        This whole thing has the Breitbarf stench all over it.

    • Tahini Bin Shawarma says:

      Does he get knocked to the ground or does he fall on his own. Can you send me to a link where it shows him getting knocked down?

  2. RalphB says:

    Typically brilliant from Krugman’s blog today.

    The “Yes, Minister” Theory of the Medicare Age

  3. NW Luna says:

    “I went out here to prove the left for who they truly are — certainly there’s union thugs — and I’ve achieved that.”

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  4. Fredster says:

    But do we really need to condemn the union protestor who socked Fox News comedian Steven Crowder in the jaw?

    If those were Teamsters, Crowder got off very lightly! 😉

    Here’s a hint in regard to the question: “We” might be willing to avoid violence and fights, but when it folks whose livelhoods are possibly on the line, that’s a whole nother story.