The White House calls YouTube: how about yanking that video?

by Walter Olson on September 15, 2012

“Earlier in the week, YouTube said it found that the video was “clearly within” its guidelines.” [L.A. Times, Washington Post, Jesse Walker, Matt Welch, Paul Alan Levy; previously on calls to suppress putative "hate speech" in response to riots in the Middle East and elsewhere] Per news accounts, YouTube chose to block access to the video in certain Arab countries where outbreaks of violence have occurred. More: “Google rejects White House request to pull Mohammad film clip” [Reuters]

Meanwhile, L.A. County sheriffs swoop down to round up the alleged filmmaker for questioning, supposedly for probation violations. Ann Althouse has a thing or two to say about that. But see defense lawyer and former prosecutor Ken at Popehat (viewing arrest as not unusual if a defendant in serious fraud case involving aliases is observed to violate probation terms by doing business under alias)(more).

{ 11 comments }

1 John Cunningham 09.15.12 at 11:00 pm

Instapundit is on fire on this latest assault by Comrade Urkel’s brownshirts. see the pic
at 650 pm post Sat on Instapundit.

2 Bill Poser 09.16.12 at 1:18 am

I suppose that a charitable view would be that the Obama administration did not expect Google to accede to its request but made it so that it could point out to Muslims that it had done what it could but under the Constitution lacks the power to ban the video.

3 marco73 09.16.12 at 8:29 am

The video clip of the “arrest” is pathetic. This schlub tried to hide his identity during the perp walk with a towel, while being escorted by dozens of law enforcement officers. The cop scrum was completely surrounded by reporters and cameras.
The US has devoted more assets in bringing in this guy for questioniong, than in finding and killing those who executed our ambassador.

4 Reuven 09.16.12 at 1:15 pm

I have a problem with YouTube. I am a pianist, and I’ve put up recordings of me playing, recorded by myself on my own piano, of music written by Chopin and earlier.

Nearly every time, the video is blocked because of a phony infringement claim from some robo-claimer, and I’m forced to answer the charge. (Most of these times these claims are combined with an offer to pay them to clear it for me, etc.)

Now, if Google will pull videos of some musician playing Chopin, but they leave these ridiculous videos up on “principle” I scratch my head over their priorities.

5 Bumper 09.16.12 at 8:20 pm

Reuven,

Google makes its money from advertising. What do you think is going to get more eyeballs Chopin or a video purported to be the start World War 3. Google’s priorities are $$ and more $$. And since Google has deep connections within the federal government the initial request for strictly for show, and to let everyone know the video is still available for viewing.

6 wfjag 09.17.12 at 12:29 pm

I sure am glad that the play The Book of Mormon isn’t on YouTube. If it was, all those LDSers, enraged at the mocking of their religion would go out and –

and –

and –

vote!

7 Ron Miller 09.17.12 at 1:01 pm

I’m pretty confident Mormons will get out and vote they way they always have.

The real test of how strongly you feel about free speech is your tolerance of the message that you despise the most.

Everyone loves free speech until they see content they hate and think is worthless. Most of us have this problem.

8 wfjag 09.17.12 at 7:07 pm

“The real test of how strongly you feel about free speech is your tolerance of the message that you despise the most. ”

Actually, Ron, the failures I see in this matter are by the US gov’t and our so-called news media.

First, the US government has utterly failed to explain to the Muslim world how and why the First Amendment works. By allowing nearly everything to be published, the crap is usually exposed as crap. While I have not watched the “movie” I did watch the trailer. To call it a POS is to forget that fertilizer can serve a useful purpose, whereas a “movie” such as the Innocence of Muslims has none. By watching it, those whose faith is reasonably secure will realize that such worthless crap is no threat to their faith. It is by exposing such to view that it is shown that they have no merit in the market place of ideas or money. This is what the US government should be explaining, and that Muslims should watch the trailer and mock it, and mock anyone who supports it. Terry Jones, the Fla. minister who supports it, has 50 followers. In the Muslim world, most families have more members than that. It is further proof that the movie and its supporters are unworthy of anything but scorn. The US should never apologize for the First Amendment, and it was wrong to do so in this instance.

On the second point, our news media has missed the important story of what happened in Libya, which will become more apparent over time. Amb. Stevens’ murder was a calculated blow to bring chaos to Libya by organizations that are well armed and disciplined, which want a failed state from which to operate; or which, because they are well armed and disciplined seek to gain control of Libya and its resources, despite lack of popular support or numbers. For 41 years Gaddaffi maintained power by playing various tribal groups off against each other. These groups have long histories of deep-rooted blood feuds. Stevens was able to unite them against Gaddaffi, and after his overthrow, maintain a coalition to form a government. Tribal loyalties tend to be to an individual, not an idea or nation. Amb. Stevens’ death removes a linchpin for a coalition government in Libya. The likely result is either another dictatorship based on playing various groups off against each other, and using whatever means necessary to keep the various tribes cowed — like Gaddaffi did — or a failed state. A disciplined, dedicated, well-armed and trained movement will, thus, either take control, or will use the chaos of a failed state as cover to operate under. Unlike Afghanistan which had limited access to the Europe and from there to the US, access from Libya is much easier, and so it will be much easier to carry out attacks from Libya. Further, given Libya’s oil wealth, if control is seized, that immense wealth will fund the attacks. However, that risible YouTube movie had next to nothing to do with Amb. Stevens’ murder, but is receiving all of the attention from our so-called news media. Amb. Stevens’ murder was a great loss, but the importance of that is not being covered. But, perhaps that will change over time.

9 Richard Nieporent 09.18.12 at 4:52 pm

Everyone loves free speech until they see content they hate and think is worthless. Most of us have this problem.

Speak for yourself Ron.

10 Ron Miller 09.18.12 at 7:55 pm

Richard, you know they took a poll recently that reported that 15% of the responders thought that Mitt Romney killed Bin Laden.

Now the point I made above, you could not get 15% of the people to disagree with it. Because it is that manifest.

MOST OF US have this problem. It is a little self-deprecating because it acknowledges a weakness that many of us, including me, have. It is easy to believe is an ideal until that ideal threatens you.

Now, I am not suggesting that you have the problem. I know you never equivocated, even after 9/11, because you are stronger and smarter than the rest of us, as you have set forth in previous comments (probably because of that computer knowledge).

The nuance of all of this was probably lost on you in your haste to say something offensive. So I’m not knocking you, buddy.

Did you ever explain why your expert computer skills better qualifies you than other Americans to serve on a jury?

11 Richard Nieporent 09.19.12 at 8:35 am

Ron, your posts read like a stream-of-consciousness. How exactly did you get from my comment on free speech to my serving on a jury?

I know you never equivocated, even after 9/11, because you are stronger and smarter than the rest of us, as you have set forth in previous comments (probably because of that computer knowledge).

And don’t forget my Ph.D. in physics! It would almost seem that you were jealous of my accomplishments.

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