The blogosphere has been abuzz this week with a video misleading viewers to believe that Rep. Michele Bachmann riles up a campaign crowd in Iowa with the line, "Who likes white people?"
The video was pirated from Robert Stacy McCain's blog, the Other McCain, after he covered a Bachmann appearance at a rainy August 5th Christian music festival, during which Bachmann shouted to the drenched crowd "Who likes wet people?" She followed the question with a statement to her Christian audience on God's power over the weather, which was cut from the edited version. The blogger took the video from McCain, added a caption to read "Who likes white people?" and the video instantly became viral thanks to Perez Hilton, CBS News, and Wonkette. Now the blogger who edited the stolen video has removed the video from YouTube and apologized to McCain, but has still damaged the reputation of Bachmann and could face legal repercussions from both her and McCain.
The blogger who wrongly edited the video issued his apology to McCain yesterday, writing:
I want to apologize for misusing Stacey Robert McCain’s [sic] original video...I was angry so I decided to take Mrs. Bachmann’s line out of context to make her seem more overtly racist in light of her recent signing of that Iowa marriage pledge that said black children were better off under slavery than in Obama’s America. Whether or not I dislike Michele Bachmann, it wasn’t right to deliver a dishonest blow like that. I wanted to apologize to Mr. McCain and all of you directly...[…]
I have removed the video from my Youtube channel.
Beyond the libelous action against Bachmann's campaign, McCain also has the claim of copyright infringement against the blogger for pirating his video. This further extends against Perez Hilton, who branded the edited video with his own watermark.
CBS News even labeled the video as the number one selection in Michelle Castillo's "Top 5 Viral Videos of the Week" before fact checking it, saying:
Everything that comes out of Michele Bachmann's mouth is gold. A new video has her asking a crowd of people, "Who likes white people?" It doesn't make any sense, so many explanations are surfacing from "White People Soul Power" being the band that played before, to the fact it was raining and Bachmann is asking about "wet" people.
With a simple online search, the entire lineup of the musical festival would have been available, clearing up any confusion in band names. No attempts were made to contact a videographer, either, which would have led to McCain and the accurate conclusion that everyone watching Bachmann was, in fact, soaking wet.
McCain's attorney is considering further action against the blogger, and with a written admission of his malicious act, Bachmann's campaign would not have trouble taking action against him either.