March 8, 2013

Remember that fistfight on the grounds of the Michigan Capitol involving Fox News contributor Steven Crowder?

It went down in mid-December, when union supporters gathered to protest the state’s right-to-work legislation. Fox News footage showed Crowder, who was reporting on the protests, getting pummeled. In a segment on the matter, Fox host Sean Hannity proclaimed:

Now in just the last 24 hours, for example, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder was beaten by a mob, having been punched repeatedly in the face. Protesters wielding knives, brought down a tent on representatives from the conservative group Americans for Prosperity. By the way, that’s the tent that was housing women and children and old people and bystanders; they were also roughed up. And a Democratic legislator by the name of Douglas Geiss — he declared on the floor of the statehouse, there will be blood, there will be repercussions.

Well, the prosecutor in this case has determined that there’ll be no charges against anyone who popped Crowder on that December day. Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III “will not be authorizing criminal charges in this case,” Shanon Banner, a spokeswoman for the Michigan State Police, wrote in an e-mail to the Erik Wemple Blog this morning.

Dunnings said in an interview that the video his office originally reviewed on the matter “appeared to have been edited.” A subsequent review of what the prosecutor termed “unedited” video helped the office reach its decision not to proceed with a case.

“A look at the unedited video, taken in conjunction with the statements of the alleged victim and the alleged assailant, led me to the conclusion that I would not authorize issuance of the warrant,” Dunnings said.

In an interview yesterday, Crowder declined to comment on the process.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.