Breitbart Folks Appear to Fake Violence in Lansing


When I saw this video–claiming that a “violent mob” destroyed the tent the Koch brothers had paid for in front of the Michigan Capitol–I knew right away it was likely a false flag. After all, Stranahan, James O’Keefe’s buddy, first posted it. Within minutes it was up at Drudge.

Just as this whole narrative was rolling out, Dick DeVos’ paid hack was calling for RICCO [sic] charges against union leaders.

All this, in spite of the fact that witnesses say the Americans for Prosperity people were trying to provoke union members to violence, and witnesses reportedly saw AFP people loosening the ropes on the tents so they would come down. And in spite of the fact the place was crawling with cops (shipped in from around the state) who didn’t do see anything amiss. (Cops are as we speak arresting people engaging in civil disobedience at the Romney Building, where the Governor’s office is.)

Sadly, many of MI’s local journalists don’t know enough to distrust anything a Breitbart affiliate says and have repeated the violence narrative, based on such discredited sources.

This is developing (and I’m home sick, so working remotely). But it appears the KochBots just staged a false flag.

Update: And now Fox is going with the narrative.

And all this is happening just as Michigan State Police begin to mace those peaceful protestors at the Romney building.

So literally coinciding with the roll-out of actual police violence we’re seeing this narrative of violence.

Apparently according to Gongwer, a news service in MI, “State Police downplayed the incident and said no one was arrested.”

Update: Here’s a picture of Steve Crowder deliberately provoking peaceful union people from before he was claiming to have been attacked.

I assume, given that the cops say the tent was no big deal and no arrests have been made, Crowder did not share his accusations of assault with any of the hundreds of cops standing right near by.

Update: Here’s Steve Crowder’s very obviously heavily edited video.


Given that there were witnesses to the early confrontation, where Crowder was clearly inciting people, it amuses me he tried to make a video showing the same people.

Update: Here’s witness Tom Duckworth describing the NRA-clad guy who he had earlier seen with the other AFP people deliberately taking down the tent.


A few points about his story. First, the collapse of the tent (with people inside) would explain why the video showed pushing shoving: because they were trying to get people out from underneath the tent. Second, there was a Sheriff onsite immediately who apparently did nothing, besides get the crowds away. That also means that–at least given the juxtaposition of the tent collapse and the purported assault on Crowder–there were not only hundreds of MSP in sight, but there was a Sheriff on hand to whom Crowder could have reported the alleged assault. I’ll be curious to see if he did.

Update: I asked Steve Crowder on Twitter whether he reported his “assault” and why he released such a heavily edited video.

He deleted them from his timeline so his followers don’t know he’s dodging such obvious questions.

Update: One of Crowder’s followers says he can see my tweets. I can’t. But in any case, Crowder is not answer that question.

91 replies
  1. John Lewis says:

    There is no end to the level of deception the GOP and their billionaire puppet masters will throw into this. We are seeing a war, waged by the nations billionaires against the working people of this nation and they are kicking our asses. And using the gullible among us to do it.

  2. emptywheel says:

    @Phil Perspective: Well, here they were clever. They sent the video to not-very-wired-in journos at conservative rags here in the state. Who didn’t see the Stranahan thing as a screaming siren of “lie.”

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Thanks, Marcy, for continuing to provide informed coverage of what should be an even more contentious issue than it is.

    Right to fire legislation, called “right to work” legislation by business propaganda experts, accelerates a race to the bottom. The issue first and foremost is about smashing unions and the rights of all employees not sitting in a corner office upstairs.

    It is not about job “growth” or workers’ “rights”. The latter, in propagandese, means the right not to be “forced” to pay a union dues in exchange for accepting the wage and benefits improvements unions obtain from reluctant employers.

    Promised jobs often don’t appear, are less secure, and pay less. The “growth” is in campaign contributions and executive compensation. It’s paid for by Main Street Americans whose paychecks are lower, whose jobs are harder, less secure, and harder to hold. It results in lower taxes and poorer community schools, police, fire and social services.

    One wouldn’t know that from the MSM’s coverage, such as NPR’s. Almost without question, they adopt business propagandists’ jargon: it’s about the right to work, not the right to be fired on a whim. It’s about “workers'” right not to be in a union or to pay union dues while accepting union pay and benefits packages. It’s not about enhancing the employer’s rights to ignore and smash unions, to prevent their bargaining for better pay and conditions

    The MSM portrays employers as restrained and knowledgeable, workers as a chanting, unsettling crowd. It accepts at face value business propagandists’ claims of job creation. They rarely explore whether they are true and for how long. They ignore the explicitly racist and union busting history of such legislation. They ignore its costs to workers and their communities. They give scant attention to the benefits legislatures give exclusively to employers, a classic tilting of the playing field that government claim to be leveling.

    Thanks, Marcy, for correcting a few of the frailties of the MSM’s work product.

  4. Adam says:

    We need to have our own cameras at these events, filming everything. “Witnesses said” vs video isn’t very persuasive, even if the witnesses are correct. And when people know in advance that a operative like Stranahan is going to be in attendance, as these organizers did, they should have someone following him to accurately document events.

  5. Jim says:

    Really? Fake? your trying to tell me this was set up by the people who had their tents pulled down? that the man getting assulted didnt really happen?


  6. TK says:

    Did anyone miss the left hook he took? or how about being horse collared out of the tent? Looks like he was faking that eh?

  7. emptywheel says:

    @Jim: Well, seeing as how we don’t SEE the assault–we instead see a bunch of really suspicious edits–and seeing as how the hundreds of cops standing nearby apparently didn’t see anything, and seeing as how Crowder apparently didn’t immediately report an assault, I’d say there are serious reasons to question this.

    These are the same people who have a long history of faking videos. Given that history, I will assume it is faked until they release the raw video, not this edited thing.

  8. Susan says:

    Proud achievement for me was being able to NEVER join a union. My pay was negotiated by me, and my raises (many and often) were initiated by employers based on merit in my job. A workplace who rewards the self-starting, hard-working at the same pay/benefits as the lazy, good-for-nothing doing the bare minimum results in an even playing field. And that field is that production goes down to the bare minimum. Ever tried to deal with a government bureaucracy where no one is accountable, cares, or even tries? Why should they, there is no benefit to working hard!

  9. emptywheel says:

    @Dan: Tell you what. Before I answer a question that implies I’ve said something I didn’t, why don’t you see whether he will answer YOU if you ask whether 1) he reported his alleged assault and 2) why he released a heavily edited video 3 hours after the fact rather than a raw video immediately.

    He hid my tweets when I asked those questions so I assume he doesn’t really want to answer it.

  10. Boston1775 says:

    The union members, chanted, “knock it down” then rushed inside and tore down the tent. They later stole some of the food and beverages inside, broke equipment, and harassed members of the “workers freedom” coalition who were trying to make sure people were not getting trampled inside.

    see video at 13

    —- snip —–

    Maybe I haven’t seen enough video, but I didn’t see union members rush inside and tear down the tent. I also didn’t see anyone stealing food and beverages inside, break any equipment or harass members of the “workers freedom” coalition who were trying to make sure people were not getting trampled inside.

  11. nick says:

    If you stupid leftist Democrats that read this idiot’s website and are so far gone as to back these thugs and believe this HORSESHIT about “Breitbart people” faking violence against themselves, you deserve the gulags and the torture and the purges from the totalitarian State that you are stupidly working so diligently to achieve. You stupid assholes will be the Nazi prison guards of history if you ever get your way. PATHETIC.

  12. jummy says:

    Yes. The videos are fakes. Like the moon landing.

    Rather than unpack that nonsense, let’s start with this:

    These are the same people who have a long history of faking videos.

    Hook us up with a single data-point from this “long history” you claim.

  13. jummy says:

    Since you asked, by the way, Crowder himself asks “where the fuck are the cops?” at the 2:15 mark in the first video you have posted here.

  14. lexi says:

    Riiigggghhhhtttt this is fake. All of the violence rhetoric that the Unions and the Dems use, and this is fake. Cause they’re so peaceful. Unions NEVER display or use violence. Anyone who believes Unions care for workers and not just their dues, are FUCKING MORONS.

  15. orionATL says:

    this is long-time republican thugery.

    remember, back in the early dark ages when g.w. was prez, a guy had made a skill out of taking his young child to political events and then claiming an asssult that injured the child.

    there is no point, in my view, in rebutting this with arguments about who did what, thpugh collecting those facts is basic reporting (and science).

    the meta-argument is that any time breitbart acolytes are involvef, they are attempting to

    – deceive the media into reporting facts that are false

    – attempting to hide the fact that this is a planned aggression on their part.

    both of these support the meta-argument that republican politics these days is all about hidden motives combined with overt propaganda generation.

    question: what other similar activities have other breitbart brown shirts engaged in elsewhere. there is no such thing as an immaculate conception for this kind of calculated visual propaganda.

    there is a discoverable history and, likely, a training process. where and when were these folk trained.

    who trained them, however briefly?

    where are they from?

    who paid them, if anyone?

  16. jummy says:


    I’m familiar with him. He has not been involved in “faking videos”, but perhaps it’s more germane to note that James O’Keefe was not at the event, making it odd that you bring him up.

  17. orionATL says:

    this is a VERY well planned attack on those who oppose the right-to-work legislation. there is no chance, not a chance in hell, that any of this is spontaneous.

    the attack on the truth by well-rewarded, self-satisfied molls like susan, or by locally recruited true-believers and republican thugs like “jim”, “tk”, and “boston 1775” (now that boy knows his history and he ain’t changing his story, not even for the truth) is evidence for the nation, and its cowardly journalists, to reflect upon.

    these folks are engaged in brown-shirt behavior – intimidation and propaganda creation – even though most might not understand that historical reference.

    if you have a policy or program that is TRUELY good for the state or the nation you will have strong across-the-board support – most citizens are not fools. snyder does not have this kind of support. furthermore, he is allowing a very wealthy individual to set state policy. this particular policy situation is the worst possible putcome in a nation with hundreds of irresponsible, anti-social billionaires.

  18. orionATL says:


    “he has not been involved in faking videos”.

    that is a false statement with respect to okeefe.

    are you ignorant of the details,

    or does lying just come naturally to you?

  19. Mary Stanton says:

    “heavily edited video”??? How did Steven get the thugs to curse and scream the “f” word, and what about the guy that said he had a gun and had killed 20 people?
    Where do you liberals come up with this stuff?

  20. orionATL says:

    @orionATL: @Phoenix Woman:

    excellent question.

    come on crowder. you are hiding information and questions from the citizens of michigan.

    ew’s outed you hasn’t she, crowder.

    you’re running scared, aren’t you, crowder.

    how ruined do you want your reputation to be, based on today’s work, crowder?

    think about it, crowder.

    and depending on the rabble to hide your video lying.

  21. Anonymous Dissenter says:

    I work pro for the left, and I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: Wheeler, you’re full of shit on this one.

    O’Keefe wasn’t even there. Stranahan and O’Keefe aren’t fucking buddies and even if they were, this guilt-by-association thing is very McCarthy. The footage shows what it shows. Quit making shit up to try to cover it up.

    So some of our people went off-the-rails. Okay, fine. It happens at these things. So we deal with it. Lying is not dealing with it. That’s lying. Lying is wrong for a reason. It’s politically stupid. Especially when there’s documentation.

    Is Fox going to make hay over this? OF COURSE THEY ARE. It’s what they do. That’s politics. Would I make hay over Tea Party people acting like fools at their rallies? You bet I would. That’s my job. Grow up and accept political reality and quit making it worse with this bullshit Jedi mindtrick nonsense.

    Here are our options:

    1) Someone from the unions takes responsibility and apologizes.
    2) Toss these people under the bus, disown them as unrepresentative, and publicly repudiate the behavior.
    3) Stonewall.
    4) Stipulate that the behavior was wrong but use the incident to pivot onto the deep well of discontent that’s out there about the attacks on unions.

    Any of those options would be politically acceptable. Point 1 is the most honest, and point 4 is the hardest to pull off but it’s how you make lemonade from lemons like this. What’s not on that list is “Lie.”

    So don’t.

  22. orionATL says:

    @P J Evans:

    damn, p.j., and i thought i had a first-rate vocab.

    never heard “sub-pontine” before.

    looked it up and it took me back to my beloved h.s. latin.

    “sub-pontine” in my view ranks right up there with your “as the general squirms”.

    lol to both – especially the image of swamp creatures that imvaded to my mind.

  23. Phoenix Woman says:

    How sleazy is Steve Crowder? Three years ago he got called out for repeated lying by none other than conservative pundit Debbie Schlussel:

    For the last couple of days, many readers have been sending me a video on Detroit produced by Steven Crowder of PJTV and shown on FOX News. Please stop sending the video to me. Yes, a lot of ignorant conservatives, like the uber-ignorami at unHot Airheads, have been posting it on their sites eating it–and all the fiction therein–up. It’s getting tens of thousands of views and is all over the Net. Problem is, it’s mostly lies. Detroit is bad enough, so much so that a great video on Detroit could have been made without making stuff up. But making it all up is what Crowder did. Hey, don’t blame him. He can’t be bothered with actually looking up facts, ‘cuz he’s too busy making know-it-all, “edgy” (but not really) videos. If you liked the video, you got punked by this self-styled “Conservative Punk.”

    Pretty much every “fact” in his video “report” simply isn’t true. Lies. He should stick to his lame rap videos about Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize and leave journalism to people who actually care about presenting truth. While Crowder may have spent two second video-taping the obvious decrepit buildings and houses around Detroit and some time putting snappy muzak on the soundtrack, what he didn’t do is the tiniest bit of research. Because, ya know, that would involve work. And why do that, when you can just utter fake “facts” you pulled out of your ass?

  24. AddisonDeWitt says:

    I can’t believe what I am reading. Anyone who believes what this site is purporting is either blind or needs to have his head examined. Ain’t it great to be crazy……

  25. jummy says:

    @Phoenix Woman:

    Assume that they are all either Crowder pulling a Mary Rosh or his followers

    Excellent suggestion. If you appear like a paranoid conspiracy theorist,… profit?


    that is a false statement with respect to okeefe.

    are you ignorant of the details…

    Actually, I say that because I’m familiar with the details; the pertinent one being that he didn’t wear the ridiculous pimp costume he wore for the title bumper into the ACORN office, and progressives argue against reason that this means that the ACORN associates didn’t in fact advise him on how to conceal a human trafficking, underage prostitution ring from the IRS.

    Reasonable people are left scratching their heads wondering if progressives actually suppose O’Keefe intended the audience to take the pimp costume as a serious, keystone component of gaining the ACORN staffers’ confidence or whether they are just too stupid to realize how red that herring is.

  26. orionATL says:

    president reagan’s media adviser, michael deaver, advised that, for every significant political problem, the president should dominate the headlines.

    thst is precisely what this brown-shirt political action and video acvompanying the
    gov’s signing are all about.

    tommorrow the injustice and unfairness of the bill snyder signed will have been intentionally made a wash with this fake documentation of misbehavior by union supporters.

    you can call it the republican “video eraser” – erasing republican misconduct in the memories of many voters.

    it is difficult to over-emphasize the damage to public understanding of political events that calculated attacks like this can do. to repeat, this was a calculated effort by republican operatives to prevent the citizenry of michigan from understanding and reflecting on snyder’s actions and leadership.

    i am confident that many mi citizens were not deceived, but that says nothing at all about the profound dishonesty and manipulation today’s republican party in mi and elsewhere practice.

  27. orionATL says:


    “reasonable people are left scratching their heads” –

    i got news for you, homeboy, you are a true-believer who has learned to parrot the conversational style of normal humans.

    you are no more a “reasonable person” than a ford is a chevy ( or vice-versa).

  28. orionATL says:


    remember, jummy

    i asked you whether you were ignorant of the details or just lying.

    you’ve asserted you were not ignorant of the details.

  29. jummy says:

    So, It must be a lie, the part about O’Keefe not wearing the pimp costume into the ACORN office? I only ask because the infamous video he published shows him in the office in an ordinary dress shirt.

  30. jummy says:


    also orionATL

    if that is your real name.

    putting paragraph breaks in

    the middle

    of sentences so that

    each clause carries the full weight

    of your paranoid angst

    is almost as bad as typing in all-caps.

  31. orionATL says:


    when you are reduced to complaining about style rather than substance, homeboy, you are about out of ammunition.

    i have a question for you, jummy:

    where you actually present during any part of the videotaping? honest answer now!

    did you participate in any of the videographed scenes? honest answer now!


  32. P J Evans says:

    How do you know that anything you heard about it was the truth, then?
    What did Crowder actually do and say? Did he ever actually answer any of ew’s questions?
    (Figures may not lie, but liars can figure.)

  33. Richard in VA says:

    This is just pitiful. How do you edit video to show someone repeatedly punching a man when it didn’t happen? It reminds me of Groucho’s quote: “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?”

  34. Richard in VA says:

    @jummy: Are you saying it’s OK to punch someone who says something you don’t like? Should the puncher not be punished because Mr. Crowder said something the puncher doesn’t like? Can I punch you because I don’t like what you say?

  35. @GJPinkansas says:

    Bunch of Union Thugs assault non violent people.
    You claim video tape proof is fake and edited
    Not one Breitbart tape has ever been shown to be edited to show anything other than what happened. Others have edited and rearranged portions but no where near as falsely as NBC on George Zimmerman.
    If this was the 30’s you would be wearing brown or black shirts and blaming the Jews for all those broken windows.
    You are what Fascism looks like

  36. LivesinLansing says:

    Yes, Steven Crowder magically chipped his own tooth when that union member didn’t really hit him. ???

  37. mimi says:

    Are you saying that Tony Camargo, the gentleman who was taped punching Crowder is a Breitbart operative? Or that Crowder’s words (or existence) were so provocative that Tony, the mild mannered peaceful protestor was forced to sucker punch Crowder? I’m confused.

  38. Jeremie lederman says:

    This is truly disgraceful.

    So your entire premise basically hangs on the idea that if Steven Crowder wouldn’t have dressed that way then he wouldn’t have been raped?

    You are quite plainly and simply a ego driven hypocrite,

    Defending the assaults on him or anybody else of any philosophy is simply disgraceful and showing how empty your entire article is.

    You know as well as anyone that if the same story was about two or three tea party members assaulting anyone else you would all be on fire right now.

    What is sad about people like you and those here posting in defense of the assault is that you are exactly the same as the people that you criticize.

    So you are telling me that a grown adults, someone who is apparently smart enough to fight the system in order for the real American dream, has no self-control because a younger kid said mean words or acted mean? If you can’t control yourself because somebody you disagree with stands amongst you, then you are not an adult and you’re just as big a juvenile as the people that write posts that like this

  39. Pawnbroker says:

    Apparently that Steve Crowder dude had the audacity to hit that IBEW guy’s fist with his face! I hope the IBEW guy’s knuckles weren’t hurt or there could be a lawsuit.

  40. Omar says:

    Well, conservatives posted it, so it must be a lie, right? Just like the Assault on Kenneth Gladney.

    (I notice that despite your apparent premise that Brietbart folks “staged” the whole thing, you spend an awful of time and words explaining how Crowder “provoked” the crowd. So which is it? Was it a false flag or were the union guys “provoked” into assaulting him? It should be easy to tell. There are clear images of the attackers. Are they Union, or are they not? Get your story straight).

  41. boudreax says:

    Too bad they have actual union members with their names on jackets caught on video. Unless you are telling me the union members worked for breitbart too.

    I guess this is a good narrative to enrage your members into more violence.

  42. Ryanne Exposito says:

    There were tons of MSP on site within a matter of a few minutes of the tent being taken down. There were only a few RTW people there at that point. Yelling about a right to protest and were escorted out by police on horses after I was almost trampled by their horses.

  43. boudreax says:

    How about Clinton Travers and his sole source of income that was destroyed. His hotdog cart of 14 years sat in front of the capitol where he was liked by everyone. He fed the poor, and called everyone by name. Union members attacked an elderly black man while shouting the N-word at him and destroyed everything he worked hard to build.

    All the union members were white male democrats. All that was missing were the white sheets.

    Sadly history is repeating itself.

  44. rob says:

    “(I notice that despite your apparent premise that Brietbart folks “staged” the whole thing, you spend an awful of time and words explaining how Crowder “provoked” the crowd. So which is it? Was it a false flag or were the union guys “provoked” into assaulting him? It should be easy to tell. There are clear images of the attackers. Are they Union, or are they not? Get your story straight)”

    Well said.

  45. Rlynh says:

    There are plenty of video clips of those incidents yesterday, and those union members clearly did themselves no favors. Assault is a jailable offense, whether it’s “provoked” or not, and I tend to think the “provocation” tended to be an insistence of the right-to-work people to exercise their freedom of speech. Apparently dissent and freedom of speech are not union values, judging by the actions of their members.

  46. vech says:

    So, this is where the dumb m-f’ers who voted for Obama hang out. You believe anything don’t you. What a waste of oxygen.

  47. TA says:

    Yeah I believe this story… ^.^ Got video of them loosening the ropes? No? Then GTFO. ‘Cause they have video of the assault by Tony Camargo of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) and people wearing Union jackets taking the tent down.

    No video to substantiate any of your claims. Just eye witness testimony of a Union member, who probably was involved to begin with.

  48. dcnj says:

    wow! you mean he really didn’t get punched in the mouth…

    Why not throw in the race card why you’re at it…


  49. j day says:

    Emptywheel = emptycranium.

    This is union assault and I applaud it. More power to us. Destroy ‘the man’. Bring the system down! But first, send me my last paycheck.

  50. susan says:

    you are kidding, right? as an independent, i try to keep an open and accepting mind regarding liberals, unions, Democrats, and those falling on the other side but this..what you’ve tried to spin is really just make-believe regarding what happened in Michigan. and the kind of spin that condones violence, no less!!! the party of peace and the poor??? Union collective bargaining remains intact. Unions are not eliminated. Free choice for an employee is so threatening that it makes me wonder what, exactly, is the union afraid of?

  51. AJ Hill says:

    @Anonymous Dissenter: Just what does the video show, hotshot who “works pro for the left”? The headline screams “violent mob destroys tent”. Anyone who thinks that crowd was violent has led a sheltered life! Truly violent mobs are shocking, explosive; this one was just loud. As for the tent’s being “destroyed”, the video shows it collapsing as its supports were removed (by whom isn’t clear, but eyewitness accounts indicate that Crowder himself or some clown wearing an NRA hat may have been involved.) If you want to recommend how to deal with a video like this, you might start with watching it objectively, which you evidently haven’t done.

  52. Dale says:

    You’re basing your accusations of video fakery on a 3 hour lapse between the assault and the uploading of the video? Really???

    Do you think Crowder should’ve whipped out a laptop, plugged his camera into it, and uploaded the entire video immediately? Or, should he have gone back to his hotel room immediately (15-20 minutes minimum), pulled out his laptop, fired it up, transferred the video to the laptop (another 25 minutes if he has a VERY fast SD card and SD reader), found the exact spot on the tape and cut out that portion of it (10 minutes, or should he have uploaded a few hours of video?) done the upload (at least 15 minutes), allow time for YouTube to process the video (another 10-15 minutes), receive notification that it was processed and is available by YouTube (5 minutes) and post the video URL for the world to see. That’s an hour and a half if he would’ve done it *immediately*.

    But instead, you not only are excusing the childish behavior by the whiny, immature ‘peaceful union protesters’, you’re trying to blame the eeevil Breitbart.

    You’re a putz.

  53. emptywheel says:

    @Dale: Not in the least. If what Crowder said happened, then I–as a MI taxpayer–want the assailant prosecuted.

    Sadly for me paying part of the $25,000 an hour the state paid to make sure there were 350 cops onsite (in addition to local Sheriff), Crowder did not do the most important thing he could have done to ensure a prosecution: to report the crime immediately. Or even to report the crime, period, which apparently he has not yet done.

    So he let a crime scene grow cold (for 3 hours, now for over 24 hours), and instead posted an obviously one-sided video.

    Those are not the actions of someone who wants someone neutral (incidentally, these cops were shipped in from around the state, so they weren’t even local) to find out what happened here.

    Crowder is a self-described provocateur who instead of letting the law enforcement I’ve paid for prosecute an alleged crime is instead making videos about it. That–plus the obvious gaps in the video–is why I suspect his story is not the full story.

  54. Phoenix Woman says:

    @jummy: Gee, Mr. Crowder, don’t you know your own conservative history?

    Here’s what it means to pull a “Mary Rosh”, dear heart:

    In 1998, John R. Lott Jr., an economist then working as an instructor at University of Chicago Law School, published More Guns, Less Crime, a book that argues that arming civilians has a substantial deterrent effect on violence. He produced data seeming to show that deaths from multiple-victim shootings dropped 90 percent in states that passed laws permitting concealed weapons. His book tipped the terms of the debate, handing the gun lobby, which had previously relied on brute politicking to win over lawmakers, a devastatingly effective academic study supporting their side. Conservative legislators in several states used his book to push through laws permitting civilians to carry guns. Lott used the book’s profile to get off the itinerant academic circuit, and land a permanent post as a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Washington’s premier conservative think tank.

    This spring, two economists, Ian Ayres of Yale and John J. Donohue III of Stanford, published a paper charging Lott with falsifying his statistics. Then things really got weird. Someone named “Mary Rosh” started turning up on Web sites where Lott’s work was being discussed, claiming to be a former student of the embattled academic and defending him vigorously. Some Web loggers investigated and couldn’t find any student of his by that name. Eventually, Lott admitted that he himself was “Mary Rosh.” Criticism continued to mount, though both Lott and his sponsors at AEI have argued that Ayres and Donohue’s paper contained inaccuracies of its own. Several other academics called into question separate aspects of his scholarship, the National Academy of Sciences set up an expert panel to establish whether he’d fabricated data (the panel is still investigating), and the editor in chief of Science called Lott a “fraud.”

    Had Lott been in academia, he would almost certainly have lost his job–as did Michael Bellesiles, the Bancroft Prize-winning liberal historian from Emory University, who resigned after a panel found he had faked data purporting to show that fewer Americans had actually possessed guns in the 19th century than historians had previously thought. But AEI is not a university. It is a conservative think tank, operating in a world where penalties for bad scholarship hardly exist. AEI did not fire Lott, or reprimand him, or even investigate him. The institute’s president, Christopher DeMuth, repeatedly refused to even answer reporters’ questions about the incident. Indeed, several AEI fellows had warned DeMuth of their suspicions on Lott’s lack of scholarly honesty back when AEI was recruiting him in 2000. DeMuth hired Lott anyway. In an email to The Washington Monthly, DeMuth defended Lott and questioned critiques of his work, adding, “We welcome and encourage challenges to our research rather than regarding them as cause for empaneling boards of investigation.”

    But thanks for the tacit admission that you have no legitimate way to fight any part of this post. Smears are the last refuge of the verbally incompetent.

  55. Phoenix Woman says:

    And guess what? FOX News screwed up when they first showed the Crowder clip, thus revealing what he didn’t want the public to see:

    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.

    There is one more anomaly in Mr. Crowder’s edit of the footage shot by his associates. The still frame he used for the clip’s title image on YouTube, which offers a much clearer image of the man punching him, was obviously shot by a second camera, from an entirely different angle than the rest of the footage he presented of the man hitting him. If Mr. Crowder wants to clear up the mystery of exactly what happened just before he was punched, it might make sense for him to release any footage of the incident shot from that second angle.

    Your move, Mr. Crowder.

  56. Matt says:

    This article is insane! Then on top of it you include videos to prove it is insane!!! Wow, this is why I am done trying talk to you morons! You can’t even see reality right in front of you! You have to make a narrative to spin the truth 180 degrees! Brainwashed sicko! I never knew how Nazism and radical movements were formed, but you all are showing me. You are very scary people!

  57. Stahvinahtist says:

    So if this such a clear case of assault, why hasn’t Crowder filed charges? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

  58. killer says:

    If you want to have some “not fun”, go to San Francisco and go to the place where the chalk outlines of the union strikers MURDERED by “strike breakers” have been painted onto the sidewalk. Look up “wobblies” to see what violence by unions can be like. but EVERY time you see a sprinkler head above you while you are on a 15 minute break at work, you can thank your favorite deity for UNIONS.

  59. Bob says:

    Where is the proof that the Koch brothers were paying for tent? It’s hard to believe that they give a flying fruck about what Michigan is doing!

  60. Jamie W. says:

    Two questions: what time did the incident occur – and how long afterward was the video posted? Is the length of time between enough to do more than a rudimentary clip to focus on the core of the clip, which was the assault?

    And – in what world is it EVER okay to go after someone like a mad bull, no matter what he’s said to you, about you, about your mama, etc.? That man was representing his union in a public place. He made them look not bad, but awful. Congrats.

  61. emptywheel says:

    @Jamie W.: Trying to figure that out.

    One problem with the first video is that Crowder spliced in stuff that happened at different times of the day.

    This video is actually a composite of things that happened over the course of the day, many of them hours apart. The initial conversation happened early in the morning. At about 0:16, it cuts to Crowder saying, “You’ve already destroyed one tent, leave this one alone.” That happened hours after the interview with the union workers that starts the segment. The guy he’s talking to is standing quite a distance from the tent but Crowder insists that he’s somehow tearing down the tent.

    I originally thought the fight happened 3 hours before he posted it but I think it was shorter time. But he spliced IN stuff to tie it more closely with the tent coming down.

    I agree he made the union look awful–in what’s in the tape. The longer tape–as Eclectablog and others have shown–shows him getting up off the ground. Not clear how he ended up there. But the punch appears tobe a response to that.

    Doesn’t change that he looked awful. Doesn’t change that he–like Crowder–should have gone to the cop.

  62. Malvolio says:

    Thank you!

    Look, a person doing the wrong thing for the right reason doesn’t dishonor the cause. What does dishonor a cause is everyone else on his side lying about it.

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