Steven Crowder’s hollow contributions to right-wing journalism

After a brief stint as the voice actor for a character named “The Brain” on the kids’ television series “Arthur”, Steven Crowder rose to incredible fame on the internet for the incendiary videos in his YouTube series “Louder with Crowder”. Crowder regularly features big-name guests like Nigel Farage, Dennis Prager, Ted Cruz, and Mike Huckabee. In December of 2012, he attended a Union Rally in Michigan and was punched in the face by an activist. At the time, he was a correspondent for Fox News and was interviewed on “Fox and Friends” and “Hannity” about the altercation. Crowder showed footage of the fight, describing his beating as “completely physically unprovoked.” In the interview’s tawdry climax, Steven Crowder stated that he would press charges against the man who assaulted him unless they both appeared in a legally-sanctioned MMA fight.

One can see from the video footage of the fight that the man in question is several decades older than Steven Crowder, who, as a thirty-year-old mixed martial arts enthusiast, stands six feet and two inches tall and weighs 220 pounds. It is doubtful that any committee in America would allow a fight between the two men to take place.

Unfortunately for the Fox News narrative, inspection of unedited footage of the fight at the Union Rally suggested Crowder had not been completely honest during his appearance. The raw tape suggested that he may have pushed the older man to the ground before any punches were thrown. When the case was brought before Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings, Dunnings claimed it was “pretty clear the person that [Crowder] wanted to charge was acting in self-defense”. It is inarguable that several of the activists at the Michigan rally were cantankerous and violent, but this does not affect the apparent truth of the matter, which is that Steven Crowder pushed a man with whom he’d been arguing to the ground, was punched for it, and lied about the ordeal on cable news.

Shortly after holes began appearing in his story about the Union rally fight, Steven Crowder parted ways with Fox News and, in doing so, harshly criticized his former boss Sean Hannity. Hannity, according to Crowder, was unable to wrestle control of his own show away from liberal guests who tended to “absolutely bulldoze him like a child.” Hannity and Crowder, who had such a uniquely arrogant, mendacious, and obsequious rapport following the Union rally, parted ways on bitter terms. Steven Crowder later delivered an apology rife with praise for Hannity’s character in which he said, “Too often, Conservatives feel the need to play by the rules which put them into a submissive position … As somebody who believes that the best defense is a strong offense, it can be frustrating to watch”. It takes only a cursory review of the unedited footage of the fight that Crowder instigated for one to find that he is a man who, firstly, values a strong physical offense, and secondly, does not care to “play by the rules” (the rules being common decency and journalistic integrity).

On his YouTube channel, Crowder continues to film his cheap street-journalism stunts and frame them as an accurate representation of a political reality. He disputes the claim that Donald Trump is a fascist but has no qualms applying the very same label to Bernie Sanders. His channel continues to grow and currently has just over one million subscribers. There is no reason to believe that Crowder’s success will abate, nor is there reason to believe that he regrets the blatant lies he told on Fox News four years ago. Steven Crowder frequently mocks The Young Turks, a coalition of left-wing pundits on YouTube, for their frequent bouts of uncontrollable rage and dishonesty. But The Young Turks and Crowder have all too much in common. For example, they both demonstrate that independent journalism is no more trustworthy than corporate journalism. More importantly, perhaps, both Crowder and TYT are compelled to portray their political opponents as violent liars, perhaps as expiation for being violent liars themselves.


Alex Klein is a staff columnist for the Daily Campus and can be reached via email at alex.klein@uconn.edu.