How to Solve a Crime: Report It to the Police

I apparently wasn’t clear enough about the alleged assault on Steven Crowder on Tuesday to be understood by the people sent over by the right wing noise machine. So let me try to say it very simply.

If Crowder was assaulted, by all means let’s prosecute the assailant.

My post was intended as a warning that naive local journalists should not rely exclusively on videos from people who have a history of creating firestorms around heavily edited videos launched through Drudge to Fox. There is a long history of James O’Keefe associates just doing that. If the right wants to report events with any credibility, they’d be well served to avoid that route.

A number of people–including the NYT–have exposed why Crowder’s original video was problematic.

Unfortunately for Mr. Crowder, a look at the video broadcast on the Sean Hannity show appears to show quite clearly that he left out an important section of the footage when he put together his edit. A section of the Fox News broadcast preserved by the Web site Mediaite shows that Mr. Hannity’s producers at Fox News started the clip five seconds earlier than Mr. Crowder did. What the extra footage reveals is the man who punched Mr. Crowder being knocked to the ground seconds before and then getting up and taking a swing at the comedian.

But aside from the obvious editing in the Crowder video–possibly hiding that the punch was not the first event in the altercation–I pointed out that Crowder didn’t report the event to any of the 350 cops who were brought in to make sure something like this didn’t happen.

Unlike most of the people engaging in this, I’m a MI taxpayer. Which means I paid my share of the reported $25,000 an hour (which would add up to something like $300,000 for the day) to make sure we had 350 out of town cops on site to prevent violence.

And yet Crowder chose not to report his alleged assault to those 350 cops.

That’s the other reason–aside from the obvious heavy edits–why I don’t immediately accept Crowder’s story. Why, when taxpayers like me paid good money to make sure this event was heavily patrolled, would you go and edit a video (possibly–though I haven’t been able to confirm the time of the alleged attack–for up to 3 hours) rather than tell the cops?

Why would you let the crime scene grow cold?

Why wouldn’t you report the crime immediately to make sure you could prosecute the alleged assailant?

This is basic law enforcement stuff. But as a Michigander, I’m rather offended by the right wingers who suggest I should be happy that Crowder wasted the money we spent on cops.

We have cops. Their job is to solve crimes. Crowder alleges a crime was committed. Yet (last I heard–he didn’t respond to my question about this) he didn’t even talk to the neutral arbiters about his side of the story.

That suggests, to me at least, he’s not very interested in neutral fact-finding about what occurred.

 

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

5 replies
  1. guest says:

    Don’t know for sure who knocked Crowder’s assailant to the ground, but it sure looks like Chowder was already involved in the fight and bringing his fists back up to a defensive position as he was positioned above the downed man and appeared to have been the one to have knocked him down. No one else that you can see appears to have been in fighting mode. And from the voices and reaction of the crowd, it seems the old man on the ground took the first blows right after someone shouts “what are you gonna *bleeped* do?”. Crowder sure didn’t try to get away from the violence when it started, at least not until the little old guy started getting the better of him. If he did not hit the old guy and knock him down, why didn’t he retreat when the fight started if he was so afeart for his life?

  2. homeroid says:

    Jumping bald headed Jesus “how to solve a crime:Report it to the police”. That head line is my new bumper sticker.

Comments are closed.