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So, this guy purports to show that the White House is trying to censor history by blacking out the "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner in the May 1, 2003 video posted on whitehouse.gov.

The video on YouTube is almost convincing, if you are not playing close attention. He says the black bar at the bottom is covering up something at the top: you see, he says, the White House shifted the movie up, to get rid of the banner, and left a black bar at the bottom.

But I happened to notice that the black bar at the bottom is about the same size as the CNN graphics crawl. And I also noticed that if you shifted the movie down to where he says it would be, that would make for some very odd TV cropping.

So I went to the page, and I looked at the May 1 video. It shows what he said. Then I clicked on the other May 1 video. And the May 2 video. And May 3, May 4, May 5, and two on May 6. I skipped up to May 31. They ALL have the same black bar. Every single one I clicked on.

Sorry, there's no Orwellian conspiracy here. They were simply blacking out the CNN graphics.

Not that I should need to tell the readers of this space, but do not just accept what people tell you. Think. Question. We now know this story was wrong after viewing just a few other videos on whitehouse.org, although I have no reason to think the Democratic activist who created and posted the video was intentionally deceptive.

But I heard another story today about a guy who has a message left on his answering machine saying he cannot legally vote in Virginia, because he is registered in NY. But how do we know this message was left by a Republican, and not by a Democrat? Even assuming the target was a Democrat (which we don't know from the stories), this message could have been left on his answering machine by a Democrat trying to make Republicans look bad.

Look at the evidence, which is scant: all we have is the message, not who sent it. We know both sides are not above dirty tricks. What is more likely: faking a call to make it look like a Republican did it, which is not a crime but is very dirty, or a Republican actually doing it, which might be a crime, and leaving evidence of that potential crime on the answering machine? Both are possible, of course, but if I had to wager, I'd wager it wasn't a Republican. Hell, maybe Timothy Daly, the target himself, left it.

I am not saying the Democrats or Daly did it. I am saying it is stupid to assume the Republicans did it, just like it was stupid of this guy in Minnesota to assume the White House was trying to hide the "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner from a video.

Update: Mike McIntee, the guy who posted this deceptive video, deleted my comments off the YouTube page, pointing out his error. So, I no longer believe he was simply lazy, I now believe, due to his coverup, that he was being intentionally deceptive all along. Funny that all these people think the supposed White House video manipulation was "Orwellian," when what is Orwellian is McIntee's manipulative claim.

Update: He deleted my followup comments and has now made comments moderated. "We must not let people know that I am lying!!!" slashdot.org

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on November 6, 2006 10:22 PM.

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