A video that shows Fox News contributor Steven Crowder getting punched in the face and threatened with gun violence in the midst of a right-to-work protest in Lansing, Mich., may have been heavily edited.
“As it turns out, significant portions of it were faked and creative Breitbart-style editing helped it along much more,” according to Eclectablog, which notes that portions of the video were taken hours apart, making it difficult to discern the time frame of events.
The Huffington Post has more on the possible sequence that led up to the physical confrontation.
Crowder argued with protesters who began to tear down a tent pitched on the Capitol lawn by the pro-right-to-work group Americans For Prosperity. According to MLive, Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said they were contacted because several people, including two in wheelchairs, were trapped under the tent.
He was then punched repeatedly in the face by a protester, while another man speaking off-camera threatened to kill Crowder with a gun. Crowder said there was no police presence in the area during the altercation.
Crowder wasted no time uploading the video to his YouTube channel. Not surprisingly, his video of the incident is now in heavy rotation on Fox News. The conservative cable channel is using it to further its anti-union agenda.
However, media outlets like Eclectablog are questioning Crowder’s version of what happened.
This video is actually a composite of a 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.
...What they apparently don’t want you to see is union members using knives to cut the tent open to let people inside out. Rather, the message that is being sent by the conservative media and blogosphere is that the union members deliberately cut the tent to pieces in an act of malicious vandalism. As was pointed out on Reddit here, the union members actually ask, “Is everybody out?” and then proceed to make sure that they are.
The Huffington Post also raises the possibility that the part of the video where a demonstrator threatens to kill Crowder was doctored.
“Another video posted on YouTube by FTRMediaLive suggests that protesters were confronting a person possibly in possession of a firearm who may have been associated with the Americans For Prosperity,” the website is reporting.