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Socialist Twitch streamer and contributor to left-wing news outlet The Young Turks Hasan Piker has become the new subject of conservative Twitter’s ire.
The dispute started with comments made by Piker regarding Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tx.) and America’s foreign policy in response to 9/11.
I’m furious.— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 22, 2019
An employee of one of the largest news sites in the country @TheYoungTurks says that a “brave fucking” terrorist “fucked the eye hole” out of Dan Crenshaw.
This bastard’s name is Hasan Piker.
He needs to be fired
Help me make this go viral
Not only is Hasan Piker desperately wrong about the economy— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 23, 2019
Yesterday he said America “deserved 9/11” and made disgusting comments about American hero @DanCrenshawTX
Every Democrat should condemn these shameful comments pic.twitter.com/nIbCKasjkR
Hasan Piker currently has over 120,000 followers on Twitch and has previously said that he utilizes the platform to broadcast leftist rhetoric to the demographic of a “young audience, mostly male, probably prone to reactionary politics.”
“America deserved 9/11, dude. Fuck it, I’m saying it,” says Piker in a Twitch clip that has since gone viral and caught the attention of the full cast of right-wing Twitter.
Piker was live streaming his reaction to Crenshaw’s interview on The Joe Rogan Experience when his comments were made.
Specifically, the soundbite that has turned Piker into a target for online conservative figureheads was said in response to Crenshaw advocating for the escalation of aggression in the Middle East, supporting American arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
this is completely backed up by many sources. read the looming tower. 9/11 was avoidable. both in the sense of "the fbi and cia fucked up their response" and in the sense that we helped fund the people who planned it and birthed the conditions that led to it. https://t.co/LGTi8qbwDe— Sophie Weiner (@sophcw) August 22, 2019
if you have a problem supporting terrorists and those who fund terrorists, why did you vote against stopping our arms sales to saudi arabia 4 times? those weapons are now literally in the hands of al qaeda. precisely the point i made in that video that cuts off right before https://t.co/DG2tdrqH05— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) August 22, 2019
Further comments by Piker directly addressed Crenshaw’s missing eye, which he lost in an IED explosion, serving as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan. Piker questioned why Crenshaw would be in favor of prolonging a war when he himself suffered a grievous injury in the line of combat.
“Didn’t he go to war and like literally lose his eye because some Mujahideen—a brave fucking soldier—fucked his eye hole with their dick?”
“I want just five minutes with this idiot, alone in a room. That’s it,” reads one top comment on this piece in reference to Piker. “If there’s anything left after my five minutes, he’s all yours,” reads another. Crenshaw himself replied to Piker by using the premise that Piker’s comments were a result of Crenshaw “triggering” him.
.@hasanthehun seems to confuse “Improvised Explosive Device” with some weird terrorist fantasy.— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) August 22, 2019
Lol sorry for triggering you Hasan. You’re no Pete Davidson, stop trying so hard. https://t.co/0w2Cp95ctt
As Crenshaw himself mentioned, Piker is not the first person Crenshaw has been publicly antagonized by. In 2018, Crenshaw went through a spat with SNL’s Pete Davidson after Davidson said that the representative looked like “a hitman in a porno movie.” Davidson apologized directly to Crenshaw one week later on SNL when the pair appeared on the Weekend Update segment. Piker, however, is not Davidson, and he is not apologizing.
for the record- yes, i’m not like pete davidson, i would never get a hillary clinton tattoo.— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) August 23, 2019
"Saturday Night Live" cast member Pete Davidson reveals leg tattoo of his "hero" Hillary Clinton, who jokingly responded on Instagram, "This makes it significantly less awkward that I’ve had a Pete Davidson tattoo for years." https://t.co/WHIj11ByDE pic.twitter.com/M0MMrecqnC— ABC News (@ABC) December 17, 2017
Thursday night, Piker appeared on The Conversation alongside Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks to discuss the controversy.
While Piker apologized for his word choice, he also adamantly stood by his sentiment.
“I should have used more precise and better use of the language there,” says Piker in the discussion. “It’s messed up that I would even give the opportunity to the right to try to morally grandstand on an issue like this.”
Uygur repeatedly called Piker’s comments regarding Crenshaw “counterproductive” and stressed that Piker’s words were in no way representative of The Young Turks as a whole.
“I know that I was inappropriate. I understand that. I immediately stopped the stream, I deleted the video on demand,” said Piker.
Regarding his comments on Crenshaw, Hasan Piker diverged heavily from Uygur’s belief that the insults were outrageously crass towards the veteran.
“Service does not guarantee respect. It should not,” said Piker. “If you have served and then on top of that are using that service to continue sending loads of young men and women overseas to die or to come back home and fail to reintegrate into society just exclusively for the profits of the military-industrial complex, then no, you don’t deserve respect by virtue of service.”
i’d rather be uncivil and advocate to end wars than be civil and justify more of them.— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) August 23, 2019
Hasan Piker’s Twitch channel is currently unavailable. On Friday, Piker’s channel became subject to a seven-day ban according to comments from him made on his Discord server.
Ignacio Martinez is a reporter specializing in online gaming and political communities. His work has previously appeared in the Texas Observer and on the airwaves at KVRX 91.7 FM. He is based in Austin, Texas, and you can follow him on Twitter at @NacioMartinez.