Apparently, the fact that they clearly acted like assholes and scared the shit out of Nevada State Democratic officials isn't enough for some Bernie Sanders supporters, who have become really fixated on proving nobody actually threw chairs. Bernie Sanders himself has gotten in on the act, telling George Stephanopoulos that no chairs were thrown, and that his supporters were just "rude" and "boorish," as well as another claim that new video evidence disproves:
...one of the things that bothers me about media coverage of Nevada-- I saw a story on the New York Times, 'chairs being thrown.' You see any chairs being thrown? There weren't any. They had a bunch of police officers. To the best of my knowledge, George - I wasn't there - nobody was touched. What happened is there was no violence. What happened is people were rude, that's not good, they were booing, that's not good, they behaved in some ways that were a little bit boorish, not good, but let's not talk about that as violence.
I happen to agree with Bernie that journalists who described the events in Nevada as "violence" were overstepping, but the chair-throwing reports were, and still are, supported by multiple eyewitnesses.
Having said that, I'm coming around to the idea that those reports may have been influenced by a chaotic Rashomon effect that you can read more about here (or maybe both things happened, there wasn't much video of the back of the ballroom). But I've also discovered that Bernie Sanders is definitively wrong, somebody was knocked down in the melee, and I've got the video.
After pro-Bernie media figures got on my case for making the obvious point that one 30-second video of a guy not throwing a chair doesn't constitute "proof" that no chairs were thrown, I decided to review hours of available video to see what was really there. Cenk Uygur and other Bernie supporters have been shopping a 30-second clip as evidence nobody threw a chair, and describing it as a guy raising a chair in frustration, putting it down, and then "they hug it out."
I managed to isolate about two minutes of video surrounding that moment, from four different angles, and those extra angles and extra seconds tell a very different story. In the video below, you can see, first of all, that the guy didn't just raise the chair, he was advancing on the stage with it, and it took two guys to stop him, one of whom was a staffer for the Nevada Democratic Party Executive Director Zach Zaragosa. What you can also clearly see is that just after they fight the chair free, a group of about five or six people are helping up a woman who was knocked down in the fracas:
Now, because Bernie Sanders supporters are shit at holding a camera still, it's impossible to tell if she was hit by the chair, or took an elbow, but clearly she was knocked down, and required help getting up. The chair guy fucked off to the left, and someone completely unrelated to the fracas "hugged" his dumb ass. That's not "hugging it out," that's hit-and-run.
Here's the chair incident from two other angles, showing just how far the man advanced toward the stage before being stopped, and that something was thrown from the back of the ballroom right before that:
What you can also see from the multiple angles compiled below is that just before the man charged the stage with that chair, something was thrown from the back of the ballroom, and the chair incident was closely preceded and followed by the loud metallic bangs of Bernie supporters trying to break through the barrier to the stage. Amid all that and the screaming and the jumping around, maybe the folks onstage reflexively looked away, and filled in the chair-throwing picture in their heads:
But then again, like I said, I looked at hours of video, and there was very little of the back of the ballroom, where that unknown projectile came from, so maybe those multiple eyewitnesses are right. At best, Bernie Sanders fans can "boast" that they were definitely prevented from throwing that one chair. Congrats.
I'm going to assume the best about Bernie, and hope that once he sees what really went on, he'll revise his characterization. Saying "Would you please pass the jelly?" is rude, this was intimidating and threatening behavior that stopped just short of violence because two guys prevented it. Put a leash on those puppies, Bernie.