Monckton Thrown Out of Climate Conference »« Harold Camping 2: Electric Bugaloo

David Horowitz Loses His Cool

My friend Bonnie Bucqueroux, an excellent journalist in Lansing, went to a talk by David Horowitz at Michigan State University, during which he delivered his usual “Obama is a Marxist Muslim” talk, and asked him to address a contradiction in what he said. Horowitz then lost his cool and said he was going to confiscate her video camera. Here’s the video, right up until he grabbed her camera and shut it off in the process.

And here’s Bonnie’s explanation of what happened, including Horowitz knowing full well that she was recording it.

For the record, Horowitz knew damn well that I was videoing him and was happy to have me do so as long as he thought I was an adoring fan.

I arrived early and to scout where to shoot my video. His “official” videographer was there, and she and I conferred about find good camera locations. I went up to Horowitz and asked him if he knew where he would be speaking because I wanted to get good video. He said he didn’t know where he would be standing. Then I asked him whether I could lift the white screen in front of the blackboard or whether he would he need it for PowerPoint slides, and he indicated it would be fine for me to do so.

And as Bonnie points out on the video, Horowitz tells young people to tape their “Marxist” professors (everyone to the left of him is a Marxist in his twisted world), but that apparently doesn’t apply to him.

Comments

  1. fastlane says

    Are assault charges being filed? If they are going to claim persecution, might as well help them out a bit, knowwhatI’msayin’?

  2. Mr Ed says

    I found it interesting that there was and armed police officer and a “fed” standing in the front of the room the whole time. I can understand having security at an event but putting them front and center would seem to limit free discussion of ideas.

  3. says

    Video taping lectures and taking sentences out of context makes you a communists?

    But only when you do it to David. When he or his minions do it, it’s in the service of a greater good.

  4. Zugswang says

    I think perhaps one of my favorite moments involving Horowitz was a debate at Reed College with the school’s dean. At the end of the debate, a history professor made this comment after discussing some of the stuff he’d written back in the 70’s:

    The one consistent thread I find between your views then, 30 years ago, and your views now, is that you insisted then that the academy was dominated by conservatives and that people on the Left, like yourself then, revisionists like yourself then, could not get a fair hearing.

    It seems to me you’re saying the same thing now, only the switch has been flipped, so to speak, 180 degrees. It is unfair to conclude that perhaps you’ve been developing, all through your career, some of persecution complex to reinforce a kind of political garrison mentality for the first part of your career, on the Left; now, on the Right, in other words, accusing those with whom you disagree of being unfair, discriminatory, biased and not giving your side a fair shake.

    And what do you think Horowitz’ reply was? He accused him of being unfair, discriminatory, and biased.

    It’s a truly bizarre sight; the man whose ego is almost palpable, but whose self-awareness is completely non-existent.

  5. Michael Heath says

    Mr. Ed writes:

    I found it interesting that there was and armed police officer and a “fed” standing in the front of the room the whole time.

    I see it differently, as did the woman who David Horowitz accosted. Mr. Horowitz is a wingnut who attracts wingnuts. Since these wingnuts are by definition deranged, and there’s a chance some non-wingnuts would be in attendance that would threaten their epistemic bubble, law enforcement was a prudent choice in order to secure the safety of the non-wingnuts.

    The lady accosted did solicit the help of the campus policeman standing by the door. He escorted her out of the room and building at her request given her perception the room was mostly Horowitz fans.

    As an alumni of MSU, I always perceived the campus police as being both totally cool and there to protect and serve. That meant they overlooked a lot of student shenanigans rather than seeking out the opportunity to be fascists. That included their treatment of me when I was a part of a mob who stormed out of the Peanut Barrel bar to throw snowballs at cars going down Grand Blvd. after MSU beat U. of Michigan. This was when UM was led by “fat boy” Antoine Joubert, and MSU was led by the much-loved Scott Skiles. That’s snark on the Skiles reference who was as easy to love as Bill Laimbeer of the Pistons.

  6. laurentweppe says

    My friend Bonnie Bucqueroux, an excellent journalist in Lansing, went to a talk by David Horowitz at Michigan State University, during which he delivered his usual “Obama is a Marxist Muslim” talk, and asked him to address a contradiction in what he said

    Tou know, with a litlle imagination and a lot of bad faith, he could try cherry pick quote from Arab-Socialist intellectuals, make it look like generic american liberalism, then tell his audience: “Seeeeeeeeee?
    .
    What always baffles me with people like Horowitz is that even the little intellectual effort needed to make their claim appear superficialy coherent is above what they’re capable and/or willing to do.

  7. raven says

    Horowitz then lost his cool and said he was going to confiscate her video camera. Here’s the video, right up until he grabbed her camera and shut it off in the process.

    This doesn’t sound remotely legal.

    1. Taking people’s belongings is known as “theft” or “stealing”. It is a crime.

    2. Assaulting people is also a crime. Even if they are a woman. I would have resisted enough to make it obvious that he was assaulting someone protecting their own property. And then filed charges.

    Guy sounds like a real wacko.

  8. abb3w says

    Michigan law on recording is less than clear (perhaps especially to a non-lawyer like me). There appears to be a rule requiring all-party consent for recording, but other parts of the law suggest this might not apply when in public with no reasonable expectation of privacy — IE, when given a talk open to the general public.

    That said, even if the recording was unlawful, it would not appear to give lawful grounds for assault, nor for the attempt to take the camera.

  9. eric says

    The quicker we add network-based recording to standard instruments, the better. We are within a generation of making such attempts at confiscation and control of information distribution utterly pointless. Yeah, police and demagogues will always try to take the cameras, if only to shut them off or to be vindictive. But even just knowing that they can’t prevent previously recorded speech and behavior from being distributed is likely to change that speech and behavior.

  10. Pierce R. Butler says

    Horowitz had cool?

    Maybe back in his Ramparts days, if you stretch the term far enough…

  11. John Hinkle says

    What did he say, something like, “is that a tape?” or “are you taping me?”

    I would’ve said, why no, it’s a kaleidoscope. I like seeing a halo of sparkles around you.

  12. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    IANAL, but it strikes me as highly unlikely that even if it were illegal to record Mr. Horowitz, it is not up to him to confiscate the recording device. He is not a law enforcement agent. The most he could do is ask the law enforcers present to either stop the recording or eject the person. I don’t know, but would be surprised if the recording device could be “confiscated” unless it was to be used as evidence.

    Sounds like Ms. Bucqueroux certainly could make a complaint about this.

  13. says

    Horowitz is a fraud, that he’s a bully who would accost a young woman is not at all surprising. If Ms. Bucqueroux has occassion to repeat the attempt to get the bozo on videotape–and is not in violation of laws or user policy–in my area (north of Manhattan, geographically; south of Nashville, politically) tell her to let me know. She can run the video and I’ll just wait for the attack (which, knowing that bullies are also usually cowards, I wouldn’t expect to occur).

  14. Hayden says

    Here’s the takeaway. Bring a friend. Have one person run the video camera, and have the other ask the questions.

  15. raven says

    Here’s the takeaway. Bring a friend. Have one person run the video camera, and have the other ask the questions.

    Have two people. One videotapes the proceedings.

    The other has a small videocamera or even a cell phone camera concealed. Some of these videocameras are very small, palm size.

    When Horowitz snaps his mooring, have person 2 videotape him assaulting person 1 and stealing their camera.

    I’m tempted to suggest that person 1 bring 2 or 3 large, fierce looking guys with her. Then when Horowitz cracks…. Nah, while this would be amusing, it might end up starting a riot.

  16. criticaldragon1177 says

    Ed Brayton,

    Horrowitz shows us once again, what an idiot he is. Not mention how stupid the whole idea is that Obama is a “secret Muslim” who wants to Implement sharia. I “loved” how he tried to explain away how Obama was killing terrorists while he secretly supported them and their goals he claims they have.

  17. uzza says

    I don’t understand why a cop watched a perp assault and rob a victim, right there in front of him, and did nothing.
    Apparently I live in a dream world

  18. timberwoof says

    She’s in the front row, pointing a camera on a tripod at him, tracking him as he walks back and forth for the whole talk. And he only gets upset about it after he’s been asked a difficult question? He appears to be desperately trying to be mistaken for a crackpot.

    It would be a bad idea for him to try to bring a lawsuit. He complained that he gets quote-mined. Okay; show the whole video in court. Display his wonderful impersonation of a whacked-out right-wing nut for all to see. Be sure to mark the time at the start of the lecture and the time when he goes ballistic, and note the number of times he looks directly at the camera. “Is that a camera?” indeed.

  19. raven says

    Horrowitz shows us once again, what an idiot he is. Not mention how stupid the whole idea is that Obama is a “secret Muslim” who wants to Implement sharia. I “loved” how he tried to explain away how Obama was killing terrorists while he secretly supported them and their goals he claims they have.

    Oh gee.

    Is that how far gone Horowitz is these days.

    My impression is that David Horowitz, who oddly enough I vaguely remember from the old days, wants to be rich, important, famous, with tons of followers, and famous.

    He just completely lacks anything that could be called talent, character, or any other common virtues..

  20. slc1 says

    It’s rather interesting to consider the transformation of former Trotskyites like Horowitz, Podhoretz, and Kristol pere from left wing nutcases into right wing nutcases. I guess they found that right wing nuttiness is more lucrative then left wing nuttiness.

  21. jamessweet says

    (everyone to the left of him is a Marxist in his twisted world)

    As a pedant, this kind of thing drives me absolutely batty — and just the same when it’s coming from the Left, though of course in the present political climate it is less endemic there. Everyone to the right of you is not necessarily a “fascist” or a “Randian”; these words mean specific things, things with more nuance than just “to the right of me”. Same with Marxism. Hell, you could be maximally left and be an anarcho-communist, which would most certainly make you Not-A-Marxist.

    To put it another way: The extreme conservatism and the compulsive Othering bothers me enough, but what really grinds my gears is the sloppy use of terminology. Words have fucking agreed-upon meanings, let’s try and use them, mmm’kay?

  22. eric says

    The extreme conservatism and the compulsive Othering bothers me enough, but what really grinds my gears is the sloppy use of terminology.

    They’re intimately connected. Almost tautologically so. You ‘other’ someone by taking a term typically reserved for extremely unusual cases or which is used to denote extreme disapproval and apply it to them. That deviation from normal use of reference terminology is part of the ‘othering.’ If you try to ‘other’ someone while following normal rules of language use, they’re going to come out sounding human because normal rules of language use imply you refer to regular humans as regular humans.

  23. Mr Ed says

    Michael Heath

    As an alumni of MSU, I always perceived the campus police as being both totally cool and there to protect and serve. That meant they overlooked a lot of student shenanigans rather than seeking out the opportunity to be fascists.

    I went to Boston University under John Silber so I guess my views of campus police are a bit tainted.

  24. slc1 says

    Re Mr Ed @ #24

    When I was an undergraduate at Berkeley a million years ago, the Berkeley police who were assigned to the campus were famous for their forbearance with student shenanigans.

  25. baal says

    The last words we hear her say are, “i’m leav-“.

    I would have left right then as well. I was just half listening along until he siad that he was going to ‘confiscate’. His voice changed to one of intended violence or threat. I heard that tone and it drew my attention.

  26. Ichthyic says

    My impression is that David Horowitz, who oddly enough I vaguely remember from the old days, wants to be rich, important, famous, with tons of followers, and famous.

    He just completely lacks anything that could be called talent, character, or any other common virtues..

    reminds me of Ben Stein.

Leave a Reply