Mike Tyson, who is currently in Toronto, Canada, campaigning for the re-election of controversial mayor, Rob Ford, sat down with local news anchor, Nathan Downer, and the newsman really lived up to his name when he quickly put a dampener on the interview and set Tyson on a verbal rampage.
"Some of your critics would say, 'This is a race for mayor, we know you're a convicted rapist. This could hurt his campaign.' Now, what do you respond to that," Downer asked Tyson during the live telecast.
"Hey, I don't know who said that. You're the only one I heard said that. You know what I mean? And I don't have no comment to that," Tyson replied calmly, but clearly agitated. "Because it's negative. You're being negative. And I met the mayor. There's nothing they can do about it."
After pondering what had just happened for several moments, Tyson interrupted the other guest on the show, who was obviously trying to diffuse the situation, and it was clear that the gravity of what Downer had brought up had hit Tyson. "It's so interesting. You come across like you're a nice guy, but you're really a piece of shit. F*** you," Tyson bursted out.
"Hey, we're doing live TV," Downer said. "I don't care. What are you going to do about it," Tyson retorted.
From there, things got uncomfortable as Downer tried to regain control of the interview, but clearly, there was no coming back from bringing up Tyson's past. Tyson became more agitated, staring straight at the reporter, hand twitching in his lap. With every question Downer asked in redirect, Tyson only appeared more upset and answered with choice adjectives to describe the anchor. Downer was also visibly nervous throughout the rest of the conversation, which ended with Downer saying, "Thank you for coming," which was met with an abrupt "f*** you" from Tyson.
Tyson was indeed convicted of raping then-18-year-old Desiree Washington in 1991. He served six years in prison, during which time he converted to Islam. He's also battled demons since his time served, including drug and alcohol addiction. Tyson has adamantly maintained his innocence since his conviction.
Our question for Downer is: What the heck were you expecting? Tyson was, in essence, sandbagged on live TV and he already has a reputation for displaying volatile behavior. The first rule of hosting live TV is to not set up any land mines for yourself, and Downer pulled the pin on a grenade and then sat it next to himself on the couch.
You've got to admit, Downer has some huge cajones. Maybe not a whole lot of sense, but definitely cajones.
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