Patterico's Pontifications

12/18/2012

Debunking Tommy Christopher on the Attack on Steve Crowder, Part 4: Why Did Tommy Christopher Not Mention the Statements from Black Witnesses on Who Pulled Down the Tent?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:56 pm

Alternate post title: “Is Tommy Christopher a racist?”

I am spending (at least) five posts ripping apart Tommy Christopher’s recent post about the attack on Steve Crowder.

Part 1 showed how Christopher built his entire post around the false assumption that Lee Stranahan filmed and edited the Crowder video — then rewrote the post to remove the repeated references to Stranahan, and issued a correction that doesn’t come close to revealing how central Christopher’s partisan-driven error was to his post.

Part 2 showed how Christopher misrepresented key aspects of Crowder’s interviews with Sean Hannity and Sun News. Christopher claimed Crowder told viewers he had not pushed anyone. But Crowder said no such thing. Christopher claimed Crowder had admitted in a separate interview that he had pushed the man who punched him. But Crowder said no such thing.

Part 3 took on Christopher’s claim insinuating that the video itself shows Crowder pushing the guy to the ground. Part 3 takes a careful look at the available raw video and shows that it is, in fact, inconsistent with Tommy Christopher’s insinuation.

This post, part 4, examines whether Tommy Christopher is a racist — and concludes that, at least by his standards, he is.

One thing I found curious about Christopher’s post: he gives space (albeit skeptically) to the argument that this was a false flag operation, and that the tent was torn down by Americans for Prosperity insiders:

In the video of the tent incident that Breitbart.com columnist Lee Stranahan posted, you can clearly see that many union members are acting to protect the tent, and one witness even told Thom Hartmann that he saw the tent appear to be taken down from the inside, and that it was union members who alerted police and tried to rescue those trapped inside.

The “inside job” part of this man’s story is the least reliable, but Crowder’s dishonesty, and the lack of a full video, raises questions about whether the man he pushed was actually trying to protect the tent, and how violently Crowder pushed him.

It’s great that Christopher deems the “inside job” claim to be the “least reliable” claim the guy makes. But why bring it up at all? And saying it’s the “least reliable” claim leaves open the possibility that it’s somewhat reliable.

I find it fascinating that Christopher gives any space to this claim at all — yet makes no reference to the statements of Clint the hot dog guy and his wife, who say in this video that Americans for Prosperity did not pull down the tent themselves, and that anyone who says they did is a liar:

Clint also says he was called a “nigger” and an “Uncle Tom” by the people pulling down the tent — presumably because he had the gall to sell hot dogs to the AFP people.

Christopher is famously quick to label other people racists. Now: imagine that instead of union people, these were Tea Partiers who called this guy a “nigger” and tore down a tent occupied by left-leaning folks. Do you think Tommy Christopher would be ignoring the testimony of the black man who lost part of his business to the Tea Partiers who called the man racial slurs?

I venture to say that, in such a situation, Christopher not only would have highlighted that part of the story, but would have labeled “racist” anyone who disbelieved or contradicted or ignored the black man’s statements.

I’m not saying Tommy Christopher is a racist for ignoring Clint’s statements, or for ignoring in this piece the way that Clint was abused by lefty racists. But if the tables were turned, that’s what he would be saying.

Tommy Christopher may not be a racist. But if you apply his own standards to his conduct here, you would conclude that he is.

Debunking Tommy Christopher on the Attack on Steve Crowder, Part 3: How a Careful Analysis of Raw Video Is Inconsistent with Crowder Starting the Fight with the Guy Who Punched Him

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:00 pm

I am spending (at least) five posts ripping apart Tommy Christopher’s recent post about the attack on Steve Crowder.

Part 1 showed how Christopher built his entire post around the false assumption that Lee Stranahan filmed and edited the Crowder video — then rewrote the post to remove the repeated references to Stranahan, and issued a correction that doesn’t come close to revealing how central Christopher’s partisan-driven error was to his post.

Part 2 showed how Christopher misrepresented key aspects of Crowder’s interviews with Sean Hannity and Sun News. Christopher claimed Crowder told viewers he had not pushed anyone. But Crowder said no such thing. Christopher claimed Crowder had admitted in a separate interview that he had pushed the man who punched him. But Crowder said no such thing.

This post takes on Christopher’s claim insinuating that the video itself shows Crowder pushing the guy to the ground:

Crowder’s dishonesty, and the lack of a full video, raises questions about whether the man he pushed was actually trying to protect the tent, and how violently Crowder pushed him. Hannity’s guest said he saw video of Crowder taking the man down to the ground.

I have already said, in Part 2, that Hannity’s guest saw no such thing, of course, and Christopher knows it. Hannity’s guest saw video of the guy on the ground and made up the part about seeing Crowder push him there. And Christopher knows it.

If Christopher didn’t hate Crowder, and love the lying union guy — or even if he just cared about the truth — he would point out that the video does not show what the union guy claims. But he is content to repeat the union guy’s unsubstantiated claim — as long as it furthers his preferred narrative.

In this post, I examine the relevant available video to show that, not only does the video not show Crowder pushing the guy down, it is (as best as I can tell) inconsistent with any such notion.

WARNING: In this post, I am headed straight for the weeds. In my defense, there will be lots of pictures in the form of screenshots from the video.

If you don’t have the patience to read what follows, zip ahead to the last set of screenshots, showing stills from two different videos. Those stills are happening at the same time, showing Crowder’s hands in the air as the guy is on the ground.

If you want to follow me into the weeds, keep reading as I explain, step by step, how the video evidence contradicts any claim that Crowder pushed the guy to the ground:

(more…)

Debunking Tommy Christopher on the Attack on Steve Crowder, Part 2: No, Steven Crowder Did NOT Admit Starting the Fight with the Guy Who Punched Him

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:01 pm

Nor did he deny pushing anyone. Despite what Tommy Christopher tells you.

This is Part 2 of a multi-post debunking of Tommy Christopher’s post on Steven Crowder. Part 1 showed how Christopher built his entire post around the false assumption that Lee Stranahan filmed and edited the Crowder video — then rewrote the post to remove the repeated references to Stranahan, and issued a correction that doesn’t come close to revealing how central Christopher’s partisan-driven error was to his post.

Today, we debunk that post further, revealing it to be chock full of falsehoods from beginning to end.

Christopher makes two basic assertions in the post: 1) in the interview with Hannity, Crowder denied pushing anyone; and 2) in another interview, Crowder admitted pushing the guy who punched him, before the punches (i.e., Christopher claims Crowder admitted provoking the fight).

Both claims are false. All you have to do is watch the relevant videos to see this.

1. Tommy Christopher’s false assertion that Crowder denied pushing anyone

Here is how Christopher’s post begins:

The big, splashy video to come out of Michigan protests against so-called “right to work” anti-union legislation, an that purports to be a vicious attack on Fox News contributor Steven Crowder by a “union thug,” shockingly turns out not to be true, according to Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. Although he and Sean Hannity assured viewers, Wednesday night, that the “raw video” showed that Crowder “didn’t push anybody,” the conservative comedian contradicted that fact in an interview with Canada’s Sun News.

Note well: Christopher says Steven Crowder “assured viewers” that he “didn’t push anybody.” He repeats the claim again, just to make sure you didn’t miss it:

Still, Crowder addressed the issue of the edits, confirming that there is raw video that supposedly shows he didn’t push anyone, and even accused a man who said he saw video of Crowder pushing someone down of being “a liar, sir!”

Did this happen? Did Crowder claim that he hadn’t pushed anyone? Here is the Hannity interview:

Go ahead and watch it. I defy Tommy Christopher or anyone else to identify for me the part where Crowder says he didn’t push anyone.

It didn’t happen.

Later in the post we see Christopher’s purported basis for claiming Crowder “assured viewers” that he “didn’t push anyone” — namely, Hannity says Crowder didn’t push anyone, and according to Tommy:

Crowder failed to correct Hannity’s assertion that Crowder “didn’t push anybody.”

Well, that’s a little bit different, isn’t it?

And . . . it’s still false. Watch the relevant part of the video at 2:45:

HANNITY: Wait a minute. Steven, you didn’t push anybody. I looked at your, you sent me the raw tape. And I looked at it a number of times. Right? I got the unedited tape?

CROWDER: Yes.

HANNITY: OK. So I –

CROWDER: You got the unedited tape. Listen, it was a melee there. Everyone was grabbing and pulling and trying to keep the tent from being torn down, OK? That was a melee. Now listen, if I were to walk up to someone, put my face in their face, and say: “Unions suck! Nanny nanny boo boo!” that still doesn’t merit four shots to the face.

Crowder responds to Hannity saying “you didn’t push anybody” by saying it was a melee and “[e]veryone” (presumably including himself) was “grabbing and pulling and trying to keep the tent from being torn down.”

Does that sound like a guy who assured viewers he had not pushed anyone?

No. It doesn’t. Tommy Christopher is just making that up. Period.

Let’s move on to Tommy’s next false assertion:

2. Tommy Christopher’s false assertion that Crowder admitted pushing the guy who later punched him

Christopher goes on to assert, multiple times, that Crowder admitted pushing the very man who punched him — meaning Crowder started the fight.

Christopher starts off accurately claiming that Crowder admitting pushing some people off the tent. But by the end of the post, this magically becomes an admission that Crowder pushed the very man who punched him, before the man punched him:

Crowder’s dishonesty, and the lack of a full video, raises questions about whether the man he pushed was actually trying to protect the tent, and how violently Crowder pushed him. Hannity’s guest said he saw video of Crowder taking the man down to the ground. Whatever happened to that tent, the story that Crowder is pushing is, not surprisingly, false.

You can debate whether Crowder was somehow justified in putting his hands on that man, but by his own admission, he did, and if Crowder thinks he was blameless, then he ought to release the raw video that Hannity claims he saw, and stop letting people claim he “didn’t push anybody.”

Hannity’s guest saw no such thing, of course, and Christopher knows it. Hannity’s guest saw video of the guy on the ground and made up the part about seeing Crowder push him there. And Christopher knows it.

So did Crowder actually admit pushing the guy in question? Luckily, you don’t have to take Tommy Christopher’s word for it. You can watch the videos themselves.

Let’s roll tape.

Here is the Sun News interview:

At 4:25, Crowder says:

Now, and I’ve been very honest about this, the fact that as they started ransacking the tent, yeah, me and some men went out there while there were women and people in the tent, older people, some people in wheelchairs by the way in the tent, and we didn’t get violent with them — but we did try and push them off the tent. That is true. We tried to push them off the tent that they were destroying, because as you saw women were in there, there are poles, there are beams, there were pots of hot coffee, there were hot dog stands in that tent, OK? It was a big tent with a lot of equipment, and they started destroying it.

That’s all he says about pushing anyone.

I defy Tommy Christopher or anyone else to identify for me the part where Crowder says he pushed the guy who punched him.

It didn’t happen.

Two assertions, both proved false.

The video doesn’t lie. If only Tommy Christopher had the video’s ethical standards . . .

P.S. I don’t want to end this post without noting Christopher’s snide comment essentially mocking Crowder for supposedly losing the “fight”:

People familiar with conservative media videographers’ penchant for misleading edits immediately smelled a rat when the Crowder clip surfaced on Youtube, edited to show the fight already in progress. Although Crowder was clearly getting the worst of the exchange, he was actively engaged in the fight, and the video conveniently did not show who struck first. Just because your shove-boxing kung fu is weaker than your opponent’s haymakers does not automatically make you the victim.

If Crowder had fought back, Christopher would have labeled him violent. Since Crowder instead defended himself against getting punched repeatedly, by grabbing the man to stop, to Tommy Christopher that means Crowder sucks at fighting.

It’s a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t hack comment, and it’s typical of the post.

Coming soon:

  • Debunking Tommy Christopher on the Attack on Steve Crowder, Part 3: How a Careful Analysis of Raw Video Is Inconsistent with Crowder Starting the Fight with the Guy Who Punched Him
  • Debunking Tommy Christopher on the Attack on Steve Crowder, Part 4: Why Did Tommy Christopher Not Mention the Statements from Black Witnesses on Who Pulled Down the Tent?
  • Debunking Tommy Christopher on the Attack on Steve Crowder, Part 5: Ignoring the Other Victims of Union Violence

Arrest Made in SWATting Cases of Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:10 pm

Score one for the LAPD:

Los Angeles police arrested an unidentified juvenile in a series of “swatting” incidents that targeted celebrities, including actor Ashton Kutcher and singer Justin Bieber, department officials said Tuesday.

Authorities would say only that the suspect was arrested Dec. 10 at his parents’ Southern California home. They would not release additional details about his identity, exact age or background. The LAPD, which investigated the case with the Long Beach Police Department and FBI, cautioned that the investigation was ongoing.

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said investigators have strong evidence linking the boy to several incidents involving calls or electronic messages that were sent to police and prompted a tactical response including call-outs of SWAT officers, hence the term “swatting.”

The boy targeted Kutcher and Bieber, as well as several other victims that included local businesses, according to Smith. Investigators do not believe at this time that Miley Cyrus, whose residence also was targeted in a “swatting” hoax, was part of the boy’s alleged pranks.

Excellent news.

Debunking Tommy Christopher’s Falsehoods Takes a Long Time

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

Still working on parts 2-5.

UPDATE: While you’re waiting, read Stacy McCain on the “Wheelerization” of Steven Crowder.

I’m not letting this drop, because I have seen these tactics before.

Sec Clinton’s Concussion

Filed under: General — JD @ 6:50 am

[Guest post by JD]

I am sure that it is just a coincidence that she now claims to be unable to testify. Like last time when it was so very crucial for her to be wherever she was, East Timor or Australia or Greenland. If she is injured, I wish her well in her recovery. I question the timing. ;-)

–JD

National Conversation on Guns

Filed under: General — JD @ 5:49 am

[Guest post by JD]

First off, the MFM meme that we now need some nation conversation on guns is preposterous. Silly. This conversation has been going on for decades, and the Left and MFM lost. They want it now to capitalize on the raw emotion following the tragedy at Sandy Hook.

There is a remarkable amount of ignorance coming from the MFM about guns. They are yammering on as though the assault weapons ban would have affected this incident. It would not, the weapons involved were not subject to the assault weapons ban. They conflate semi automatic weapons with assault weapons, or use assault style weapons to conflate and confuse appearance for performance.

Instapundit has some great suggestions about how he would begin the national conversation on guns.

Why do people who favor gun-control call people who disagree with them murderers or accomplices to murder? Is that constructive?

Would any of the various proposals have actually prevented the tragedy that is the supposed reason for them?

When you say you hope that this event will finally change the debate, do you really mean that you hope you can use emotionalism and blood-libel-bullying to get your way on political issues that were losers in the past?

If you’re a media member or politician, do you have armed security? Do you have a permit for a gun yourself? (I’m asking you Dianne Feinstein!) If so, what makes your life more valuable than other people’s?

Do you know the difference between an automatic weapon and a semi-automatic weapon? Do your public statements reflect that difference?

If guns cause murder, why have murder rates fallen as gun sales have skyrocketed?

Have you talked about “Fast and Furious?” Do you even know what it is? Do you care less when brown people die?

When you say that “we” need to change, how are you planning to change? Does your change involve any actual sacrifice on your part?

Let me know when you’re ready to talk about these things. We’ll have a conversation.

Chuck Todd does a perfect job of exemplifying the MFM mindset on this.

Chuck Todd: … having this discussion in Washington. The question is, does it last after the New Year? It may last this week before Christmas.

Guest: There is clear public opinion … public opinion is behind it. People are behind it. This is the right moment…

CT: There’s public opinion in general and there’s public opinion in the Republican congressional districts. Which is a different America. Anyway, thank you all. Thank you for the short … there… we have a busy morning.

– JD

Rice Has Withdrawn, But Apparently Team Rice Supports Donilon for SoS

Filed under: General — JD @ 5:31 am

[Guest post by JD]

Though it seems Sen Winter Soldier will be nominated for Sec of State, it seems Team Rice is pushing for Donilon. wouldn’t Donilon face many of the same hurdles as Rice, under Oath?

I saw rumors that Dukakis was being considered for Kerry’s seat, as was Kennedy’s widow.

As a thought experiment, what questions would you ask of Kerry during the confirmation hearings?

– JD


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