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Xenophobic Goons in Berets Administering Vigilante Justice Live on Fox News? What Could Go Wrong?

During Curtis Sliwa's interview on Hannity, he claimed his Guardian Angels were "taking down" a migrant. Except they weren't. Plus, more links for your Thursday.

9:35 AM EST on February 8, 2024

(Fox News)

The administration of Mayor Eric Adams has done its own moral panicking about a supposed "migrant crime wave," but on Tuesday former mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa was trying to posture as even tougher than our current tough-on-crime mayor in an interview with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, claiming that migrants were "out of control." During the interview, a commotion started, and Sliwa claimed that his posse of Guardian Angels had "taken down" a migrant just then. Would you be shocked if I told you he was full of shit? Well, get ready to pick that jaw up off the floor.

Sliwa was pointedly claiming that Eric Adams was doing more for migrants than "the African American poor and impoverished, who elected him mayor of the city of New York over me," seemingly attempting to out-flank Adams to his right and convince New Yorkers who have been fed a steady diet of fear by politicians and media that only he, the founder of the vigilante crime stopping organization the Guardian Angels, could adequately deal with the supposed "migrant crisis."

That's when things started getting weird. One by one, Sliwa's pack of Guardian Angels began leaving the frame. Hannity began delivering to his viewers the dubious claim that each of the 500 asylum seekers in a pilot program that offers prepaid debit cards instead of food delivery were being given $106,000 on said cards. Suddenly, Sliwa pointed off-camera, then claimed: "In fact, our guys have just taken down one of the migrant guys right here on the corner of 42nd and 7th, where all this is taking place." Hannity requested that the camera pan to that scene, Sliwa putting his hands up and shouting, "They've taken over!"

The camera picks up the Guardian Angels surrounding someone in a black coat, and beginning to shove him. Then the segment ends, as Sliwa shouts "They're out of control!" presumably referring to migrants rather than his vigilante gang. 

The man was actually not even a migrant, he was a New Yorker, as reported by the Associated Press. Whoops! Sliwa told the Associated Press he thought the man was a migrant because he was "speaking Spanish," and subsequently claimed that, while the man may not have been a migrant, they had at least caught him shoplifting, as if that would justify the altercation. That last part turned out not to be true either: An NYPD spokesperson told the AP that the man was issued only a disorderly conduct summons because he was "acting in a loud and threatening manner on a public sidewalk." So, it turns out that Sliwa couldn't actually correctly ascertain someone's immigration status out of the corner of his eye, while doing a televised interview. Still, the Guardian Angels would never just attack a random New Yorker they just didn't like the look of, right? 

Besides, it's an easy, and convenient, mistake to make! As a tough-on-crime politician, you always have to be on the lookout for photo opportunities to underline your point that New Yorkers should always be afraid, all the time, and that only through supporting your goals and giving you power can they be made to finally feel "safe." It's a tactic our mayor uses after all, and hey, if you make a mistake and rough someone up, you can count on the NYPD to cover your ass by charging them with being loud on the sidewalk.

You, on the other hand, can count on these links:

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