January 21, 2015

John Boehner's office says it was entirely inadvertent, but I have my doubts.


In the website’s “enhanced webcast” of the State of the Union speech, President Obama’s comments criticizing Republicans for saying they are “not scientists” when it comes to climate change are erased.

At the 43:25 minute mark, President Obama is supposed to say “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”

Instead, the entire section is skipped. Obama’s comments resume with “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.”

But wait! There's more!

The 43:25 minute mark is not the only place where the video is edited. At the 44:51 minute mark, a section is edited out where Obama spoke of respecting “human dignity,” prohibiting torture, and speaking out against anti-Semitism. The section that is edited out reads as follows: “As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained. It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world.”

The official response from Boehner's office was:

Boehner’s Press Secretary Michael Steel told ThinkProgress Wednesday afternoon that the video edits were not intentionally made. “It was inadvertent.” Steel said via e-mail. “We are working with YouTube to figure out what happened.” This post has been updated to reflect that rebuttal.

Yeah, right. Blame YouTube. Because all anyone had to do was embed the White House version of the speech without ever touching the MP4 version. So somehow the edited version conveniently removing references to Republicans' lame excuses for denying global warming along with torture mentions are edited out. They're in completely different areas of the video!

Let's say, for example, that some eager-beaver staffer was clipping those pieces for some rebuttal or something. All the video editing software I have cuts the pieces you want and gets rid of the rest. So for it to be inadvertent they would have had to clip those parts and then restore what they discarded. Makes no sense.

A far more likely explanation: They edited it and thought they'd never get caught.

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