Surprise! OFB Kantor/Clinton "War Room" smear exposed as Cheetos-flinging wankfest, dirty trick
Our story thus far:
An as yet unnamed Obama supporter [JedReport?] doctors a “War Room” clip to insult IN voters before the IN primary, featuring Clinton supporters Carville and Kantor, and it gets propagated (somehow) onto the A list, who never (I have to assume) checked the YouTube's provenance or got a transcript, and who should have known better.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint, the thing goes viral before it gets debunked. What I’d like to know is who blogwhored the YouTube to the A list, but we’ll never know that. No doubt Hillary will lose a few votes because of this. Well done, Obama supporters! Ain't this new kind of politics grand?
Well, now we have a transcript, and would you believe it, there's nothing to the story at all*. Jake Tapper--who took his post down when problems began to surface--actually does some reporting:
Official Transcript: Kantor Never Impugned Hoosiers
Forgoing for a moment the dirty trick of the doctored clip from “The War Room,” which falsely had Mickey Kantor using a racial slur, the filmmaker behind the documentary has posted the clip on his Web site to clarify that other point of confusion -- what Kantor was referring to when he cursed.
Tilmmakers Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker write: "We would like to respond to some erroneous statements made today about our film, THE WAR ROOM. These statements alleged certain remarks to Mickey Kantor that simply are not true. The transcript of the scene in question confirms this."
The official transcript:
MICKEY KANTOR: Look at Indiana. Wait, wait. Look at Indiana. Forty-two, forty. It doesn't matter if we win. Those people are s----ing (oh, excuse me) in the White House. How would you like to be... Look at Texas, go down to Texas.
MICKEY: Yeah. Thirty-nine, thirty-nine.
CARVILLE: Perot's kind of holding, isn't he?
GEORGE: He held.
MICKEY: Yeah, he held. His numbers held. I'm sort of surprised, frankly.
So Kantor was NOT insulting Hoosiers, he was experiencing a moment of schadenfreude about the Bush (Sr.) White House.
And now Jake asks a very interesting question:
[W]ho did the fake clip with Kantor saying the N word?!
It's the definition of a dirty trick -- and from what I can tell all the YouTube links have disappeared. Fingerprints gone.
Well, I'm sure the self-correcting blogosphere can answer these questions.
WKJM? Lord Kos? Atrios? Kevin? Anyone? Here's hint: Ben Smith has the editor's name. Why don't you? Surely it makes sense to show that the Obama campaign is not, in fact, engaging in "dirty tricks"?
NOTE * Although when you play the tape backwards, you hear "Hillary is dead." Is that a giveaway, or what?
NOTE We're giving "wankfest" a trial run as an alternative to haka, here.
UPDATE Interestingly, Tapper says there were at least two videos circulating; as I read it, one had Kantor using the N word, and the other had Kantor swearing, and insulting Hoosiers in the subtitle. Tapper posted the second but not the first. Two videos does make it look more like a coordinated effort, does it not? Goodness, I wonder by whom? (Wait! Don't tell me! Powerful Clintonian Mind Control™ rays did it!)
UPDATE Amato does the right thing:
I’m sure by now you heard about the Mickey Kantor smear story from the movie “War Room.” You can read it through the link. The point of a smear is to get it out there in the ozone no matter if it’s right or wrong.
Anyway, I woke up to the story like most people and was given the video snippet that has since been pulled to check out by a good friend. [Oh? So it was blogwhored, then? To Atrios, too?] My first thought was that since the War Room was released in 1993, why hadn’t it been used against the Clintons by the right wing noise machine a long time ago? They would never have let something like this get by their antennas.
It’s sad that smart liberals fall for this again and again. Someone feeds bad information to Drudge and all the mainstream media run with it like he’s a reliable source, without doing the basic vetting it needs and then the blogosphere piles on, always assuming the worst.
Well, one thing "smart liberals" -- as opposed to stupid racists and Hillary shills like me -- could do would be to hold themselves accountable for what happened. No provenance, no vetting, no media critique; that's "pretty bad." Why not do a "Lessons Learned" post or two explaining the sequence of events? I did that when I got burned by the right, and it was painful, but ultimately very useful, and good for the blog. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Or is the A list as opaque as they complain that our famously free press is?
I mean, I'd still like to think we're all comrades in arms, here, but I'm really not the one who's making that hard, on anything that involves substance.
UPDATE HuffPo's Sam Stein disgraces himself completely. The headline of his story reads:
Clinton Adviser Claims Indiana Slur Video Is Conspiracy
A conspiracy, by definition, involves more than one person, and nowhere in the story does Kantor say anything about more that one individual.
Of course, it's obvious that more than one person was likely to be involved, since the thing was blogwhored, and there were multiple versions of it. But that's not what Kantor says, so Stein's headline is just wrong. Could he be attempting to pre-emptively discredit the idea that more than one person was involved?
UPDATE Conservative operative and early Obama endorser Bareback Andy has, as of yet issued no retraction and seems unaware that an actual transcript has been released by the director. Typical. Nor has "creative class" [cough] operativ John "Poverty stricken on $75K" Avarosis. Typical. Cole, to his credit, will have none of it. This story really has a way of separating the mensches from the Boiz, doesn't it? Not, I hope, that the process is complete.