Patterico's Pontifications

12/18/2012

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

16 Responses to “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”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  2. This is interesting. Well done, Patterico, and I look forward to the next installment.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  3. Thanks. I think the next installment is the best one.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  4. I am so glad I emailed you that link ;-)

    JD (661f29)

  5. You notice how, here, the sign keeps coming down, so it’s hard to see what’s going on;

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/12/union-member-was-taunting-and-confronting-steven-crowder-prior-to-sucker-punch/

    narciso (ee31f1)

  6. In regard to Patterico’s post-script, Tommy Christopher is further off base by mocking Crowder’s fighting ability.

    Crowder has challenged the union loser to a legal, sanctioned MMA fight, with the proceeds going to a union or union related charity! Cue the crickets … and … go …

    Loser (55ebcb)

  7. I have a question about how assault and battery law works in Michigan.

    If Steven Crowder initiated physical contact with Tony by pushing him and knocking him to the ground, can Crowder be charged with assault and battery if Tony files a complaint?

    If the police find in their investigation of Crowder’s complaint that Crowder initiated physical contact, could the police charge Crowder with assault and battery without a complaint (other than Crowders?)

    Nancy (2f9e9d)

  8. More questions for the ADA:

    and we didn’t get violent with them — but we did try and push them off the tent.

    Does the law distinguish between “non-violent pushing” and battery?

    Who is we?

    Nancy (2f9e9d)

  9. “Nancy” seems pretty desperate to craft a narrative. Facts be damned.

    JD (5abe0d)

  10. Nancy,

    Why are you asking questions about something for which there is no evidence?

    Patterico (8b3905)

  11. Nancy is really an under-educated union thug whose namepatch on his Thursday night bowling league shirt probably says Larry, or Sal, or Bud, or…Dogface Marcy Wheeler. (But we’re not ruling out it might be Bathhouse Brynaert or one of his sauna buddies !)

    “She” is just employing one of those “when did you stop beating your wife ?” questions in order to attempt to establish that Patterico was discussing whether or not Crowder initiated the assault. Then “she” can go run and tell her under-educated union thug knuckledragging comrades in arms on Twitter that Patterico was discussing the issue, so there must be some truth to it.

    Even Orwell would take that page out of his typewriter, crumple it up, and throw it in the wastebasket.

    Funny how “she” is inquiring a Los Angeles DA about Michigans’s laws.
    Why doesn’t “she” ask these hypothetical questions of, say, a DA in, like, uh, Michigan ?

    Because again, it is just part of this left wing game they play.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  12. I am finding this whole series of stories very well done. Thank you Patterico for this brilliant debunking.

    Monitor (e389e8)

  13. Much of Crowder’s defense and Tommy Christopher’s now-to-be-documented unfounded assertions depend on the narrative.

    Crowder says “that was a melee” and that the union folks were attacking and ransacking the tent with elderly people and women inside, and he and a group of people were basically attempting to hold the fortress.

    TommyX not only has a blind eye to that and otherwise downplays it, he even engaged in the “Wheelerization” of it, giving some credence that it was all just a set-up and instigation or provocation, and any reports of union violence ought to be discounted.

    For reference all in one place, here in the comments at end of Part 1 starting at comment 44:

    http://tinyurl.com/cy442jp

    1) Another view of end of Crowder fight, but showing nearly immediate tent collapse and intensity of situation – and in clips in comments #46 and #49 showing very clear views of the fight from other angles, including melee inside the tent both before and after the fight (and really good shots of Tony’s uppercut and gut punches as an added attraction).

    2) Violent union “strikes”, sometimes shocking against elderly people are shown especially well in clips in comments #46 and #47 and they also show the context of other scuffles that were happening both inside and outside the tent in the 3-4 minutes in which the fight occurred.

    3) Several of the dozen clips in the ten comments from #43-52 show aspects of the melee, especially the confusion and dire situation in the tent, at a couple of points nearly frantic with screams and terror – what Crowder is claiming to defend, what Tommy and Wheeler discount or ignore.

    Note 1: I have retracted some of my earlier comments on that thread. I saw a screen shot (and video) of what appeared to be Crowder’s arm extended on to Tony’s back as Tony was going down. Like the Republican BlueCollarCorner union guy on Hannity with Crowder who asserted that Crowder had pushed Tony to the ground, I also perceived that, but it is wrong. It is not Steve’s arm, it is Tony’s arm.

    Note 2: That’s all context before, during and after the fight, and clips of the end of the fight, but none show the crucial moment when Tony fell. I have a distinct recollection of two specific clips that do show Tony at the moment that he fell. I can no longer find them on the web. Will the owners’ repost them for all to find again and see?

    The first clip was a clear shot from the inside of the tent that showed Chris the Gingerhair union instigator charging the tent and the guy in the overcoat he was pushing, who I call “Randall”, who Chris said “has a gun” and Chris has “killed plenty of people with [i.e. who have] a gun”. It then shows “Randall” pushing Chris like a lineman pushes a tackle back 5 yards into a quarterback – all in the area directly to the rear of Tony. In other clips we can see that the man next to Tony, and others, react to it. It may show “evidence” relating to the fall of Tony. I cannot recall clearly, so it may not.

    The second clip was a second camera taking shots just to the right and rear of Steve and Tony, and was a very clear shot of them just before and at the moment of Tony’s fall, and after Tony’s fall. I have a very clear impression in my mind what this video showed because I watched those few seconds over and over and stepped it to see the detail and get it right. However, given my perception was wrong about the other clip of Tony’s fall (that I have retracted), I am reluctant to state what I perceived and believe to have seen. I will state that I my recollection is that Steve did two things and Tony did one thing. None of which are threatening per se beyond the voices where we can hear Tony’s name-calling and Steve’s questioning the acceptableness of the union attacks on the tent that we can hear in other clips. But they do gives clues to what is about to happen next. I recall (but could be wrong) that I was not able to determine from this clip what actually causes Tony’s fall, or how he initially fell, because when Tony goes down he is obscured by Steve and perhaps others standing in front of the camera.

    I cannot confirm this, but my impression at the time was that these clips were shot by people in Crowder’s “Crew”, that is, from the 3-4-5 phone camera guys that were sort of hanging together and sometimes seen and heard near each other in many of the clips. I might be wrong. If anyone is watching and knows where these clips are, would be a fine thing to see them posted here.

    If I find any other interested clips, I’ll post them at end of Part 1 comments. If they are specifically relevant to a subsequent thread, and may post a link if not off topic.

    Guest (ce6e2f)

  14. I should add, regarding the “missing video” that I refer to as the “second [missing] clip] at the end of prior comment:

    It was a close up and clear shot of both Tony and Steve, without any obstruction up to and including the point of Tony’s fall. It also appeared to show the moment of Tony’s fall with part’s of Tony still in the frame, and Steve in the frame during the fall.

    It also showed “Randall” behind Tony at a couple of points, including during some or all of his pushing match with Chris that was just to the rear of Tony.

    I might be wrong, but my impression of this clip I can no longer find on the web had a better resolution, perhaps a professional camera, not merely a phone camera.

    Guest (ce6e2f)

  15. Guest (ce6e2f), did you try looking through your browser’s history or cache? If you use Google Chrome you can use a search engine to find likely urls of previously viewed files. Not sure if IE or Firefox have the same functionality.

    Neo (c2a3b0)


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