You may recall this video. It was the first of two posted on Big Government's site two weeks ago alleging that UMSL Professor Don Giljum and UMKC Professor Judy Ancel were teaching impressionable young college students how to become union thugs, which they were not. I posted the unedited versions (as did Media Matters) proving that once again, the videos had been edited to give the appearance that these professors were saying something exactly opposite of that which was alleged by Breitbart and Co.
The excerpts that were made public showing the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) instructor Don Giljum and students as well as the UMKC instructor and students were definitely taken out of context, with their meaning highly distorted through splicing and editing from different times within a class period and across multiple class periods.
If this were a fair and just world, these professors would receive a profuse apology from Dana Loesch, Andrew Breitbart, their respective universities, and Don Giljum would be invited to rescind his resignation with a public invitation to teach the very same class again next semester.
But it isn't a fair and just world, so here's what happened instead. BigGovernment published a "confession" of sorts called a "first-hand account" from Phillip Christofanelli, a young Ron Paul devotee, ardent member of the St. Louis chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAF), was a Ron Paul delegate in 2008, and has a past association with another James O'Keefe project. That project, like every single one O'Keefe has been involved with, was also a hoax, intended to embarrass the university and paint the Young Americans for Liberty as discriminated-against victims. (For Christofanelli's full first-hand account of the "Gulag" fiasco, please see page 12 of the March 2010 issue of Young American Revolution)
At the beginning of Mr. Christofanelli's "first-hand account" of the professor fiasco, he says this:
Since that time, an organization known as Insurgent Visuals has released videos of the class, which have gained considerable media attention. To be clear, I am not Insurgent Visuals, nor am I associated with them. I did not edit any videos or put them online. I did, however, download the original videos off of the class website and give them out in their entirety to a number of my friends in order to obtain other opinions on the propriety of what occurred in the class, and of the steps I should take moving forward.
Ah, yes. The mysterious "Insurgent Visuals". Who are they? Was there a way to find out if there was any association with the peripatetic James O'Keefe?
As it turns out, the answer to that last question is...yes. Here is a screenshot of a cached Blogspot blog, now deleted.
As you can see, there are three writers listed. James O'Keefe, Bruce Bronson, and ".". The last name was the name posts were made under, but it's clear that it was just a generic posting account and little more, which is common on blogspot blogs with multiple contributors. I don't know who Bruce Bronson is, but here's O'Keefe's profile:
On the current Insurgent Visuals website, there are two listings that seem to correspond to the blogspot users. First, Bruce B. - Kansas City, MO:
Bruce has been involved with business for several years, and has always done journalism on the side. He's been through several training programs and workshops on journalism and is ready to put his training into action.
And then Jim O. - Columbus, OH:
Jim is a student at a major state school in Ohio. In his spare time he helps edit copy and help with social networking platforms.
Poor little Jim O. seems to be the dude at the bottom of the totem pole, with a blurry image. Here, let's compare a known photo of James O'Keefe with Jim O's picture.
And yes, James O'Keefe has a more professional looking website to correspond with his efforts to grab some tax-exempt dollars for his hack jobs over at Project Veritas. Still. There seem to be a lot of coincidental parallels.
The original URL for Insurgent Visuals was insurgentvisuals.blogspot.com. Here is their mission statement as originally published:
The mission of Insurgent Visuals is to educate society, motivate others to act within society, and take actions in society that demonstrate the need for change, and specifically what those needed changes are. We are unequivocally pro-life and anti-state.
Here is the mission statement as published on Insurgent Visuals' current website:
We are truthtellers using the medium of video to convey core values. Anchored on those ideas, we tell stories through the use of visuals. Our videos are edited, but never out of context. We are political, but apartisan. We are radical progressives correcting wrongs, and we also eschew beltway. The only corrective to journalistic malpractice is the use of truth by the people to tell the truths hidden by elites. We hope to be part of that correction.
The original blog, as cached, had 8 posts in 2008 and 2 posts in 2009. One of those posts was entitled Links for Video Editing. Another was entitled "Article from James: how to use documentaries for social change", which linked to this article on MediaRights.org. Among the bullet points given as advice to aspiring documentarians in that article: Be aware of opportunities to change public policy. Use the documentary to get media attention. I note, however, that it did not suggest being dishonest in how one edited events and video. Other interesting posts include this one, where the poster notes his favorite psychological studies. The first one listed is the Stanford Prison Experiment, where some students playing the role of prison officers became very authoritarian and subjected their prisoners to torture. The second is the Milgram Experiment concerning obedience to authority.
You be the judge. Are Jim O and James O'Keefe one and the same, and did they team up with their previous partner, Phillip Christofanelli to perpetrate another hoax on another university where Christofanelli just happened to be taking a class on unions, something that must have been incredibly antithetical to his worldview and perspective? Reading Christofanelli's first hand account is a little like reading the O'Keefe style edits, only in text instead of video. Perhaps it's a match made in heaven. Oh, I almost forgot this. On one of Christofanelli's YAF blog posts, he says he has a blog here. However, there aren't any posts on that blog, but it does have one follower, Greg Bishop. Coincidentally, Bishop happens to be a media guy. From his profile:
Born and raised in the Mid-West to a large family with strong principles and deeper values. A life long student and activist encouraging free thought in all venues. Broadcast producer, anchor, editor etc., a true multi-talented media technician with consistent production and continued education.
Christofanelli and Bishop appear to be connected via libertarian conservative principles, and ties to Springfield, IL.
Finally, let's remember CNN commentator Dana Loesch's involvement in this shameful smear of two university professors who were simply doing what they had done many times before, and should be doing long into the future.
The fact that Loesch is being dishonest should not be news to any readers of this blog, but this case is substantially different from the norm for a couple of reasons. First, it's different because the instructors targeted by the smear campaign have already received numerous threats based on the Right wing's deceptive attacks. And second, in this case, Loesch has unquestionably been the leader in pushing out the manufactured lies. Her role in this story is similar to the role Breitbart played in the Shirley Sherrod story.
Be sure to listen to the clips from Loesch's radio show over there to see how she continued to stoke the story even after she knew the video had been edited.
So let's put in context what Loesch is saying. She is admitting she had access to the full videos. Yet she is amazingly pretending that they were not edited out of context.
And yet, CNN continues to put her on the air, knowing full well that Loesch's native tongue is lies, just as Brietbart and O'Keefe's are.
After the original videos were pulled, they crafted a narrative without ever republishing them. They could do this because the videos were out in public view long enough to get traction before they were pulled. It took me awhile to find the videos again, but now I've saved it here so we have a full record of what they tried to do.
It is my fondest hope that these professors exercise all options available to them to seek restitution from Breitbart, Loesch and their accomplices. In the meantime, we at least have a full record of what it is they tried to pull over on everyone else.