Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Michelle Obama's "Whitey" Video, Common Sense, and Michelle Malkin

It's in the news, sort of: Michelle Obama presumably called white people "Whitey" - a lot - during a church service. And got videotaped doing it.

News and Views:
  • "Discuss: The Mysterious Michelle Obama "Whitey" Tape"
    WOAI.com (June 3, 2008)
    • "Michelle Obama may have called white people "Whitey" during a church service. Larry Johnson at the "No Quarter" blog claims to have four sources that have confirmed the video exists.
    • "The videotape purports to show Michelle Obama sitting on a panel with Louis Farrakhan at the then Jeremiah Wright-helmed Trinity United Church of Christ making racist remarks about white Americans, liberally employing the derogatory term ‘whitey’ while doing so.
    • "If this story turns out to be true it only brings to light that the Obama's believe the values system of the Trinity church. More to come on this story later in the week...."
  • "Killing "Whitey" or Not? Rightbloggers React to Michelle Obama Rumors."
    Village Voice (May 27, 2008)
    • "Here's as fine an example of message discipline as you're ever likely to see: Michelle Obama is rumored to have spoken negatively on a videotape about someone named "Whitey" (perhaps the beloved Dead End Kid played by the late Billy Benedict). Google Michelle Obama plus variations on the phrase "railing against Whitey" and you get (at the moment) thousands of results. Keep hype alive!
    • "The rumor was promulgated by Clinton supporter Larry Johnson, but the response among online Clintonites has been disappointing: while some rose to the bait ("If it's true, I think the sooner it gets 'out there,' the better"), even at the large, and largely pro-Clinton, Talk Left the rumor was mainly restricted to reader comments.
    • "But that's okay—rightbloggers are better at this sort of thing anyway, and in a series of posts last week improvised such fanciful changes on the rumor as would make Thelonious Monk sound like a lounge pianist....
A video like that, unless it had been made before Obama's pastor's "God damn America" sermon went public, would be too good (or bad) to be true. Surely nobody connected with the Obama campaign would be stupid enough to make remarks like that - whether or not he or she was aware of a video camera.

Even Michelle Malkin seems dubious:
  • "Where is the purported Michelle Obama 'whitey' video?"
    Michelle Malkin (June 3, 2008)
    • "Many readers are wondering why I have not written a single word about the rumored Michelle Obama 'whitey' video.
    • "Simple: Larry Johnson, the main source of the rumors, is not, not, not to be trusted.
    • "Moreover: The story keeps changing.
    • "First, the rumor-mongers claimed, Obama appeared on tape with Louis Farrakhan. Now, the rumor is that the tape comes from this event where she appeared with Mrs. Farrakhan at a Rainbow/PUSH conference in 2004 (via reader Bill):...
Maybe Malkin learned something from the Kaffiya SNAFU ("Rachael Ray, Dunkin' Donuts, Michelle Malkin, and Common Sense" (May 29, 2008)).

Again, my usual disclaimer: this blog isn't political, but American leadership is - and this country is going to decide who sits in the Oval Office for the next four years.

As I indicated before, I'd be surprised if this video actually exists. Aside from the rumor getting 'better' with each retelling, I have difficulty believing that anyone so closely connected with a presidential candidate could be quite that stupid and/or daft.

Straight from My Imagination: Another Twist to the Rumor

Since it's pretty obvious that my views are not strictly liberal, and that this is a blog, I must be a 'rightblogger' - at least, to those people who see the world in terms of right and left.

As such, I feel obliged to provide another (quite imaginary) twist to the Michelle Obama "Whitey" video rumor. Try this on for size:

Although the rumors are presumably from a Clinton supporter, why not say that they're from a sort of 'black ops' section of the Obama campaign? It actually makes sense: spread this wild rumor, get the opposition whipped up to the point where they're making obviously crazy statements, and then demonstrate that there is no such video with the polish and eloquence that Barack Obama is so famous for.

No, I don't believe that for a moment. Aside from having no evidence, I think a ploy like that would be insanely dangerous. Besides, how could Obama prove that the (purported) video didn't exist?


Jersey Lou said...

Regardless of the validity of such a video: you can bet your bottom dollar Obama will be as bad for the country as Clinton if he wins.


Brian H. Gill said...

Jersey Lou,

I'm inclined to agree with you.

Clinton's advantage would have been is that she is, in my opinion, much more aware of the realities we face than Obama is, domestically as well as internationally.

I don't approve of her policies, but at least she's more obviously living in the same world we do.

Brian H. Gill said...

Jersey Lou,

Here's that URL, as a link.


After this, I may be leaving this task up to people commenting on this blog's posts. (This blog's host, blogspot, supports link tags in comments.)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. There is no sense speculating about such a video until someone makes it public.

Brigid said...

And if it shows up on Youtube or really just about anywhere on the web how is one to tell if the audio hadn't been edited to fit the desired reality of the poster?

I don't particularly like Clinton or Obama, but I frown on tactics like this.

Brian H. Gill said...


I'll agree that doctored videos are quite possible. Visual effects should be fairly easy to fake on YouTube, with that service's heavy-handed compression.

However, taking an existing video of Michelle Obama and dubbing a convincing impersonator's voice over it - for more than a sound bite's worth - would be a very impressive accomplishment: to say the least.

An alternative, making a convincing 3D virtual Michelle Obama, a setting for the model to go in, and then animating that, would, I think, be even more difficult.

It's well to be wary, but convincing fakes are hard to make.

(Although I know: there are fake videos out there. For example, a hilarious clip, showing Obama saying that we need change: then someone says that a woman needs change. "Obama" reaches to his belt, and makes change from one of those belt-mounted coin dispensers. I don't know where that clip came from, unhappily.)

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.