Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) was among those outraged after an incident Tuesday that happened live on a broadcast from Fox News.
While the show moved forward, individuals involved with the Guardian Angels — a group that’s been called vigilantes — violently accosted a man who the organization’s founder and leader, Curtis Sliwa, claimed was a migrant. Sean Hannity was interviewing Sliwa, who was on NYC’s streets, while migrants remain an obsessive target of right-wing political figures, among whom the false claim of an “invasion” over the southern border continues. The target during that Fox News show was not, in fact, a migrant, and he didn’t perpetrate any evident shoplifting, either — something Sliwa also alleged.
“This is what the anti-migrant hysteria amounts to – a racist hate crime broadcast live on national television,” Goldman, who’s on the House Oversight Committee, said on X (formerly Twitter). “There must be swift action taken and consequences for @CurtisSliwa and his band of xenophobic, lawless thugs for their brazen actions. Shame on all involved.”
Hannity walked back claims from Sliwa two nights after the original incident. “Apparently the statement made by Curtis that the man is a migrant is not true and the man was given a summons for disorderly conduct,” the host said Thursday, as reported by the New York Daily News. Sliwa eventually admitted the man was not actually a migrant, though he’s now accused the individual of punching a member of the group, something also alleged in filings with police.
Multiple members of the New York City Council — a large body — condemned the incident. Justin Brannan called what happened a “washed-up comic book villain instructing his herd of wannabe vigilantes to beat up a guy who they’ve decided looks like a migrant. Basically, a hate crime, live on television.” There was no apparent real-world indication that the target was actually a migrant beyond the vaguest of attributes that Sliwa evidently decided meant such a thing.