Friday, December 14, 2012

Fox peddles phony video of fight, 'violence' at RTW4Less protest in Lansing

New slow-motion videos shows how Michigan workers were sucker punched and baited by lackeys for the Benedict Arnold Koch brothers at Tuesday's RTW4Less protest in Lansing. These lackeys -- members of the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity front group -- came to the Capitol to provoke union supporters.

The billionaires' fondest desire is to strip workers of their rights, their wages and their dignity. One of their tools is as old as the Pinkertons: using provocateurs to make union members look violent. They've modernized this nasty technique by producing videos showing union members misbehaving but editing out the taunts, the sucker punches and the pushing by the provocateurs.

Video of a scuffle in Lansing on Tuesday is in heavy rotation at Fox News. Anti-worker extremists are re-tweeting them along with pious denunciations of "brutality" and "violence." Billionaire Rupert Murdoch's New York Post piles on with a dishonest editorial.

Here's what really happened: Steven Crowder, a Fox comedian, instigated a fight. He got punched, and immediately promoted, through Koch-backed networks, photos of his injuries -- a scratch on his forehead and a tooth that could have been chipped years ago. Then he released a video that only told part of the story. Notice, for example, in the slow-motion video above (at about 0.51) the guy who punched him was getting up off the ground.

The New York Times didn't buy what Crowder was peddling:
...questions were raised about the way in which Mr. Crowder had edited his video.
Chris Savage, who writes eclectablog about Michigan politics, has been doing a tremendous job figuring out what really happened. The Times quotes him:
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. 
Selective editing at about 0:39 mark shows what appears to be union guy attacking Crowder for no apparent reason. However, if you look closely, you’ll see that the guy is getting up off the ground — that he was NOT the one that became aggressive first.
The Koch lackeys are also peddling an edited video of a tent coming down on the Statehouse grounds during the protest. AFP paid for two tents that were largely empty during the day. Now the right-wing media is expressing shock and dismay that union thugs destroyed private property.

A witness named Tom Duckworth tells The Ed Show it was AFP members loosened the stakes of at least one tent.

Matt Allen, an 18-year-old college student, studied unedited video of the tent coming down. Commenting on reddit as mtaina, he wrote. know the scene where union guys start punching the AFP tent? Run that in slow motion and you will see that people in the AFP tent sucker punch through the walls and hit the protestors. The protestors then hit the wall to try and hit back the guy that sucker punched them, but since you can only see the sucker punches through the AFP tent for a second or so, it looks like the unions punch the tent to not it down not to hit the people who hit them.
And Savage observes the cameras moves away from the action from time to tme:
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 Matt Allen points out in his comments HERE, the union members actually ask, “Is everybody out?” and then proceed to make sure that they are.
He has more here, including news that one of the people untying a tent is Stacy Swimp, who has ties to the National Center for Public Policy Research -- an anti-worker group that sponsors Crowder's videotapes.

The whole flap is a good lesson for all union supporters, though: Don't let them provoke you. It's what they want.