Patterico's Pontifications


Debunking Tommy Christopher on the Attack on Steve Crowder, Part 1: Christopher Extensively Connects Lee Stranahan and to Crowder Tape

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

A post by Tommy Christopher is titled Didn’t Fox News Contributor Steven Crowder Just Confirm He Started Fight With Union Protester? The answer to the question, by the way, is “no.” (Tommy says it’s “yes” but he’s wrong. We’ll get to that in future posts.)

There is far too much misleading material in Christopher’s post to respond to in a single blog post. I am planning several, of which this is the first. I want to start my deconstruction of Tommy’s post by noting a correction at the end of it, which reads as follows:

Author’s note: An earlier version of this post identified Lee Stranahan, who shot the video of the tent going down, as the videographer behind the fight video, as well. He did not shoot that video, he only shot the tent video. This post has been edited to reflect this, and I regret the error.

My spidey-senses tingled when I saw this.

I was curious how Tommy worded the original post. Was the reference to Stranahan made in passing, or was it a central part of his argument? So I called up Stranahan, who sent me Tommy’s original text. It turns out that Tommy repeatedly, over and over, connected the concepts of Breitbart, Stranahan, and deceptive videos. It’s worth looking at Tommy’s entire original post, which I have reproduced here. Starting with the beginning of the post, here are the portions where Tommy tied together Breitbart, Stranahan, and deceptive video editing:

The big, splashy video to come out of Michigan protests against so-called “right to work” anti-union legislation, an edited clip by professional filmmaker and columnist Lee Stranahan 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. . . .

Things got heated during Tuesday’s protests of Michigan’s sneak-attack passage of anti-union “right to work” legislation, and a tent belonging to the Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity was taken down by what appeared to be a group of protesters, and in the process, a fight between Steven Crowder and one of the protesters was caught on video by’s Lee Stranahan.

People familiar with Breitbart “News” videographers’ penchant for misleading edits immediately smelled a rat when the Crowder clip surfaced on Youtube, edited to show the fight already in progress. . . .

There are many things that aren’t clear about this incident, but it is clear that Steven Crowder and Lee Stranahan have not been “very honest” about this, because Stranahan edited the video to omit the start of the fight, and Crowder failed to correct Hannity’s assertion that Crowder “didn’t push anybody,” and that makes everyting about this narrative suspect.

. . . .

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 and Stranahan are 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 insist that Stranahan release the raw video that Hannity claims he saw, and stop letting people claim he “didn’t push anybody.”

As you can see, Christopher’s error regarding Stranahan absolutely pervaded his original piece. The correction does not begin to convey just how deeply Christopher went “all in” on the notion that Stranahan — and by extension the dreaded! — edited the Crowder video.

Apparently Christopher’s argument went something like this: Andrew Breitbart was associated (at least in lefty minds) with deceptively edited videos. Lee Stranahan, who has never been accused of making a deceptively edited video, works for And he is the one who made this video, even though really he didn’t. Therefore and thusly, this video is deceptively edited! Thank you, don’t forget to tip your waitresses, and I’m HERE ALL WEEK!

This is a smear not only of Lee Stranahan but of Andrew Breitbart, who can’t defend himself. (That’s OK. I’ll do it.)

I would love to know where Tommy Christopher got the idea that Lee Stranahan and had something to do with the Crowder video. Just who are the “[p]eople familiar with Breitbart ‘News’ videographers’ penchant for misleading edits” who “immediately smelled a rat” due to the (non)involvement of Stranahan with this video?

I have written Tommy to ask him this question, but have received no response.

My tentative titles for future posts include:

  • 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
  • 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

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