Patterico's Pontifications

8/5/2021

Kmele Foster Interviews Amy Cooper from Last Year’s Viral Video

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:26 am



On Bari Weiss’s podcast, Kmele Foster from the Fifth Column podcast has an interview (and some very interesting background) on the Amy Cooper/Christian Cooper Central Park kerfuffle from last year.

I wrote about this incident last year and stand by my opinion expressed then, which was:

I do not approve of the way either party handled this incident.

I’m only about a half hour into Foster’s interview (very, very busy at work!), but I have already learned some things that back up my opinion at the time that the outrage storm against Amy Cooper was completely overblown — as well as other details that I just didn’t happen to know at the time. For example, I learned that dog walkers can walk their dogs unleashed in parts of Central Park at certain times — just not in the area where the incident happened. There’s detailed information about Christian Cooper’s previous encounters with other dog walkers, including one involving a black male dog walker who felt threatened enough by Christian Cooper that he pushed Cooper to the ground. There is good information on what Christian Cooper was really doing with those dog treats (basically a birder trick to coerce the dog owners into leashing up). While my overall conclusion is unlikely to change, I’m gaining a fuller understanding of who these people are and what led up to their encounter. I may write about it when I have finished the podcast. Then again (very, very busy work!) I may not. Either way, you should give it a listen.

27 Responses to “Kmele Foster Interviews Amy Cooper from Last Year’s Viral Video”

  1. I’ve always been on the lady’s side.

    And I welcome a post where this brilliant commentariat does not need to know anything about the subject of the post in order to comment.

    nk (1d9030)

  2. Listened to this the other day… real journalism being conducted… thinking back to the days of segregation in the South… entire Congressional delegation were Democrats who were REAL racists… their Democrat sheriffs turning firehoses and loosing dogs on black folks, who they referred to with the “n-word” every chance they got. And much, much worse…

    That a dog walker and a bird watcher in a nasty argument ends up being national news seems to suggest racism ain’t what it used to be, IMO.

    Colonel Haiku (1161c2)

  3. I think a lot of people wouldn’t have minded this story not being upstaged later that night by an incident 1,000 to the west-northwest.

    That guy is just creepy and probably would be writ off as a run of the mill perv if he were of another race.

    urbanleftbehind (467d12)

  4. And I welcome a post where this brilliant commentariat does not need to know anything about the subject of the post in order to comment.

    nk (1d9030) — 8/5/2021 @ 9:48 am

    I don’t want to disappoint, so I will say this: dogs should always be on a leash when in an open public space where persons other than the owner are or could be present. Don’t care what the law says. That is just common courtesy.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  5. Hoi, you think that dogs should be on leashes even in specifically designated off-leash areas?

    nate (1f1d55)

  6. . There is good information on what Christian Cooper was really doing with those dog treats (basically a birder trick to coerce the dog owners into leashing up)

    /Christian Cooper said in interviews then that that was what he had in mind, But he only said to Amy Cooper that she won;t like what would do if she didn’t leash up the dog. She had no idea what he was threatening.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  7. Hoi, you think that dogs should be on leashes even in specifically designated off-leash areas?

    nate (1f1d55) — 8/5/2021 @ 11:32 am

    Yes, if said area is likely to contain persons other than the owner. Even the best trained dog will sometimes act on instinct, or see a threat that a person, especially the owner, does not see. Or maybe the dog is sick and is acting out. Or hungry. Or tired. Bottom line – it’s not that difficult to ensure no one gets hurt needlessly by keeping the dog on a leash.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  8. If a dog has a tendency to bite strangers it won’t be off the leash for long.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  9. @7 Or, people who are afraid of dogs could just avoid the designated off-leash areas.

    norcal (a6130b)

  10. Leash, shmeash. The duck-lover thought he could bully Amy Cooper because she was a small woman with a gentle dog. He wouldn’t have pulled it on Amadeo Tonelero and his Rottweiler. Or his Chihuahua probably even.

    nk (1d9030)

  11. I doubt this story would have take off if Amy Cooper had been a little less descriptive.

    norcal (a6130b)

  12. Christian Coopee wasn’t afraid of the dog. He thought dogs chased birds away, (what about cats?)

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  13. The city of pooper-scoopers; gone to the dawgs.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  14. 13, you got the stylized spelling right.

    urbanleftbehind (fa2429)

  15. Yes, if said area is likely to contain persons other than the owner.

    So, in the tiny part of the world where dogs can be off-leash your personal penumbra trumps everything? Do you go into dog parks and demand everyone leash up? This is really a silly position for you to take.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. He thought dogs chased birds away,

    He should go to the part of the park where birds can be off-leash.

    Did you know that it is illegal for a homing pigeon to be off-leash in many communities, if it leaves your yard?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. @7 Or, people who are afraid of dogs could just avoid the designated off-leash areas.
    norcal (a6130b) — 8/5/2021 @ 3:20 pm

    It has nothing to do about people who fear dogs; it has everything to do with the fact that dogs are animals and an owner cannot control them when they are not leashed. As to avoiding off-leash areas, that is fine if the off-leash area is fenced off from other areas where people congregate.

    So, in the tiny part of the world where dogs can be off-leash your personal penumbra trumps everything? Do you go into dog parks and demand everyone leash up? This is really a silly position for you to take.

    If the dog park is fenced off from the rest of the park, then I don’t think they should be leashed. But if the dog is going to be roaming around where people are congregating, then it should be leashed.

    It’s not silly, at least to me. A dog is an animal. You cannot guarantee and/or control their actions, even if they are well-trained.

    Is it that hard to leash them when they are in public around other people?

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

  18. nk-
    All I know is that those two deserve each other, like two honey barges passing in the night leaving the whiff of, um, love in their wake

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  19. Its good for ducks in Urban areas to be chased by dogs occaisionally. Otherwise you wind up with a bunch of ducks with diminshed survival skills.
    I used to know an old man who fed puddle ducks bread crumbs down at the “Bird Refuge” until they got complacent enough to net. Harder to do than it sounds
    It was illegal, but he had been doing it for so long that he was sort of grandfathered in by the local Fish cops until they got all professional and made him buy steroid brand chicken

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  20. The worst part of that incident was the social media pile-on with pitch forks and torches. They had an altercation which both handled poorly, but she got doxxed, lost her job, fled the country. He became a hero. Our lust for others’ destruction is not healthy. I have it me too, we all do, but sane people rein it in.

    JRH (fed11b)

  21. @20, What did he do poorly? He didn’t raise his voice He didn’t threaten her. He was correct as to the rules for the area they were in.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  22. Kevin M #16, They were wild birds who Christian Cooper thought he might not get to see so much. And he had the law on his side.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  23. I have tried to look at this incident from both perspectives, giving each of them the benefit of the doubt. IMO the birdwatcher could reasonably object to an off-leash dog in a section of the park where that was not allowed at that time. The dogowner could reasonably feel threatened by the birdwatcher’s statement that she might not like what he will do next.

    One of the reasons we have police, especially in urban areas, is to intervene when people can’t resolve their problems. It is too bad that they could not resolve this themselves, but it is also a too bad that the mere act of calling the police has been used to stigmatize someone. I assume it is because she used his race as part of the description — ironically, something the police used to tell people to do to make it easier to ID people.

    DRJ (03cb91)

  24. Based his tone and demnor in the video I don’t think feeling threatened was reasonable or justified her demeanor when she called the police. I think she dramatically over reacted.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  25. Maybe she did overreact but can you concede she may have felt threatened even if that feeling was not reasonable? If so, then calling the police is appropriate as long as she does not act on that feeling by filing criminal charges.

    DRJ (d49bb9)

  26. We don’t expect people to only call police if they know the call is justified because a crime has been committed. We can be wrong as long as we are not acting with malice or bad intent. Do you believe that her motive was malicious or based on a bad intent?

    DRJ (d49bb9)

  27. Even if she was acting out of ignorance or misapprehension. it’s still not wrong. And remember, she was not the instigator of the confrontation.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)


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