Topic: Media Research Center
Occam's Razor tells us, essentially, that the most likely explanation for how something happened is usually the simplest one. The Media Research Center should keep that in mind when it goes conspiracy-mongering.
The MRC gave that a go in an April 1 MRCTV post by Craig Bannister:
The White House website has censored a video of French Pres. Francois Hollande saying that “Islamist terrorism” is at the “roots of terrorism.”
The White House briefly pulled video of a press event on terrorism with Pres. Obama, and when it reappeared on the WhiteHouse.gov website and YouTube, the audio of Hollande’s translator goes silent, beginning with the words “Islamist terrorism,” then begins again at the end of his sentence.
Even the audio of Hollande saying the words “Islamist terrorism” in French have, apparently, been edited from the video.
According to the official White House transcript of Hollande’s remarks, Hollande refers to “Islamist terrorism.”
Of course, if the White House really was trying to "censor" Hollande, it wouldn't have released an uncensored "official White House transcript." But that didn't occur to Bannister, apparently, so dedicated was he to the "censorship" narrative.
Later that day, the White House fixed the video and issued a statement with it:
A technical issue with the audio during the recording of President Hollande's remarks led to a brief drop in the audio recording of the English interpretation. As soon as this was brought to our attention, we posted an updated video online here with the complete audio, which is consistent with the written transcript we released yesterday.
And that's when Bannister went into full conspiracy mode:
This acknowledgement raises some interesting questions:
- If the audio was, indeed, lost (for just that comment) during recording, how did they resurrect it?
- If there were two versions of the video, why did they originally pull the glitch-free version, then post the one with the audio missing, in the first place?
- In the version in which the translator’s audio is lost for the “Islamist terror” comment, why is Hollande speaking in French still audible – except for when he mouths the words, “Islamist terrorism”?
- Why is audio of Hollande audible for the entire comment, except the words “Islamist terrorism”?
- Why is the version of the video with the glitch still on the White House website, right next to the acknowledgement that it has an error?
Three days later, Bannister still wasn't done being conspiratorial, declaring that "the White House’s audio-drop alibi is a sham and they, clearly, didn’t want people to see the 'complete audio' version with Pres. Hollande daring to utter the words, 'Islamist terrorism.'"
At no point does Bannister address the main issue: If the White House truly wanted to "censor" Hollande, why did release a transcript of the video with his full, uncensored remarks?
Sometimes the simplest response -- a technical error -- is the simplest one, Craig.
Of course, such a conspiracy -- no matter how much of a sham it is -- can't be wasted just at MRCTV. Tim Graham complained in an April 6 NewsBusters post that "the liberal media" didn't report on the faux conspiracy.
But he touts the outlets that did -- "This story was a staple of weekend news coverage on the Fox News Channel, and Rush Limbaugh shared the MRCTV scoop on Monday. ... Liberal newspapers haven't yet noticed the Hollande-scrubbing story, unlike the New York Post, The Washington Times, and Investor’s Business Daily" -- failing to mention that those are all right-wing outlets that would jump on any anti-Obama conspiracy.
Graham also notes that the video of the purported "censorship" came "Via MRCTV's Ben Graham," failing to disclose that Ben is his son.
The MRC attempt to delve into anti-Obama conspiracy-mongering -- something it wouldn't do not that long ago -- is just another way it's slowly turning into WorldNetDaily.
UPDATE: Bannister is still at it, whining in an April 13 MRCTV post that "nobody is willing to challenge White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest about the White House’s self-contradicting explanation of how the audio of French Pres. Hollande’s 'Islamist terrorism' disappeared – and then reappeared – from the White House’s video." BAnnister adds: "The censorship of a foreign head of state is a big deal, especially when it comes to the matter of terrorism. These questions need to be asked." Again, Bannister doesn't mention that the transcript has been available the entire time, undermining the whole "censorship" narrative.