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
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:
Here is the video as shown on Hannity. As you can see, when it was shown on Fox News on Hannity’s show, it was completely unedited with no breaks in the relevant portion, between the time when the union thug is standing, and when Crowder gets punched. Start watching the video at 1:25 for about 15 seconds. You can’t see in this angle what causes the thug to go to the ground, but it seems very unlikely that Crowder attacked him.
One interesting thing: when the thug is on the ground, you hear someone yell: “Uh, oh! Uh, oh!” and you can hear Crowder say: “You just assaulted me, buddy!”
And that’s before the thug punches Crowder.
Check out this video from another angle. We’ll call this the “second video” to distinguish it from the Hannity video. You can start watching the second video at about 1:25:
At about 1:25, someone rushes the tent. This person is not the same person who eventually punches Crowder. Instead, it’s the person who, later in the video, is heard yelling: “He’s got a gun!” and screams about how he’ll “kill motherfuckers with a gun.” Someone who I believe to be Crowder reaches out with their right hand and pulls them away from the tent with that single hand, as Crowder yells: “Hey, why is that acceptable?! Why is that acceptable?!”
Then the fellow who later punches Crowder comes walking up and says, presumably to Crowder. Crowder asks him: “Why is this acceptable?” The man says: “You don’t fuckin’ touch nobody.” Crowder responds: “What?” And the man repeats: “You don’t fuckin’ touch nobody.”
Crowder says: “What? Oh my God, look at this shit.”
Then the puncher says: “That’s right. You fuckin’ rats came up here.”
There is a lot of confusion in there, and you can’t see exactly what happens. But one thing you do notice is that, in this second video, at 1:42 and 1:43, Crowder’s hands are up. (You can see Crowder’s hands go up in the Hannity video as well, but I think it’s a little more clear in the second video.) And people are starting to look at the ground, presumably because the other guy is there. I took some stills to show this sequence:
Now, the task is to relate the two videos to one another in some way, so we know what is going on in the Hannity video when Crowder is holding up his hands in the second video. Amusingly enough, the best way to relate the two is the profane screaming of the hothead.
In the second video, at 1:51 you hear the hothead who screams about a gun yell: “You fuckin’ pussy-ass bitch!” At 1:44, the crack censors at Fox were kind enough to leave in the guy yelling “You fuckin’ pussy-ass” — then and only then do they bleep out the word “bitch.”
So, the Hannity video at 1:44 is the same as the second video at 1:51. So, within the margin of error of a half second or so, you can subtract seven seconds from the second video and that will be the same event from a different angle on the Hannity video.
Second video at 1:51 minus seven seconds = Hannity video at 1:44.
This is confirmed at a different point. In the Hannity video, you hear the hothead guy at 1:51 guy yell: “I’ll kill [bleep] with a gun!” And in the second video, you hear the same guy at 1:58 yell: “I’ll kill the motherfucker with a gun!” So the second video at 1:58, minus seven seconds, is the same as the Hannity video at 1:51.
This is a second point of corroboration showing that the time in the second video minus seven seconds = the time in the Hannity video.
Again: Time in second video minus seven seconds = time in Hannity video.
So, in those screenshots above, you see Crowder holding up his hands at 1:42 and 1:43 in the second video. So what is happening in the Hannity video at the same time? Time in second video minus seven seconds = time in Hannity video. So, we want to look at the Hannity video at 1:35 to 1:36 (1:42 and 1:43 minus seven seconds).
That’s when Crowder is holding up his hands in the second video.
And in the Hannity video, that’s when the guy is going to the ground:
I think it’s worth interspersing the screen shots from the two videos, so you can see what is happening from one angle at the same time you see what is happening from another. The first set compares 1:42 in the second video to 1:35 in the Hannity video, followed by 1:43 in the second video to 1:36 in the Hannity video. All the shots are in sequence:
When you look at this sequence of pictures, together with Crowder’s statement “You just assaulted me, buddy!” right before the punch, it appears to undercut any conclusion that Crowder started the fight. In context, it looks like the following happened:
- Someone, possibly Crowder, pulled a hothead off the tent with one hand.
- The puncher approached Crowder, told him not to touch anyone, called him a rat, and cursed at Crowder.
- The puncher went down as Crowder held up his hands to show he hadn’t caused it.
- Crowder told the puncher that he (the puncher) had just assaulted him (Crowder).
- The puncher repeatedly punched Crowder.
WARNING: SPECULATION!!! If I had to speculate based on these facts, I would guess that the thug, clearly already upset at Crowder to the point of cursing, tried to attack Crowder, and in the process got knocked to the ground — perhaps by a surprised Crowder who acted on instinct and didn’t even realize what had happened until he saw the guy on the ground. When Crowder saw the guy on the ground, Crowder instantly held up his hands to show he had not (at least intentionally) knocked the puncher to the ground, and told the puncher that he (the puncher) had assaulted Crowder. Then the guy got up and punched Crowder.
There are all sorts of other things that could have happened. But any theory has to reconcile the facts I have shown above.
And it has to take account of another fact helpful to Crowder: it was a Detroit News photographer named John Greilick who captured the best shots of the union thug punching Crowder:
And Greilick has described the event as an attack on Crowder.
Greilick is, as far as I can tell, an objective witness to the incident — somebody there, not to support Crowder or Americans for Prosperity, on one hand, or the union members, on the other hand.
I have written Greilick to ask whether he saw Crowder act aggressively or otherwise start the fight, and he has not responded. However, it is worth noting that Greilick’s blog post about the incident describes an attack on Crowder:
In this sequence of photos, an IBEW Union member threatens, then punches conservative Fox News reporter Steven Crowder in the face outside the pro-Right-to-Work tent of Americans for Prosperity. The anti-Right-to-Work union protestors eventually tore down the tent.
If the thug was just defending himself against Crowder, you’d think this independent witness might have mentioned that. The fact that he didn’t suggests to me that this was exactly what it appears: an unprovoked attack on Crowder.
Still to come:
- 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
UPDATE: Alternate theory: in this interview Crowder says the guy may have tripped on the tent.
The camera pans away because the camera was jostled, the camera man was shoved around too, a bunch of people were being shoved as the protesters tried to tear down the tent. A tent which wasn’t their property. They were tearing down a tent with women and children in it, and the man who was coming at me I think tripped over the tent peg, fell towards me, and that’s when I said ‘You assaulted me.’ Right after that he sucker punched me. My guess is that he was on his way down, he grabbed me, and started shoving me.”
Thanks to repsac3.