A piece for the Blaze accuses James O’Keefe of deceptive editing. For example:
Schiller’s negative comments about Republicans and conservatives have gotten a great deal of attention.
He clearly says some offensive things, while being very direct that he is giving his own opinion and not that of NPR. Still — a wildly stupid move!
But you may be surprised to learn, that in the raw video, Schiller also speaks positively about the GOP. He expresses pride in his own Republican heritage and his belief in fiscal conservatism.
Yeah, Schiller reveals himself to be a huge fan of the Republican party in the Blaze’s clip. He describes an anti-intellectual move that he sees developing in the current Republican party. Then he starts waxing on and on about how he was raised Republican — but, since he is a pure Democrat, he catches himself and acknowledges that he has “voted mostly Democratic lately.” (“Mostly” my ass!) He loves Republicans’ fiscal conservatism, he claims (which I guess is why he votes for those fiscally conservative Democrats). Then he describes the current Tea Party as “fanatically” involved in people’s personal lives and “very fundamentally Christian, and I wouldn’t even call it Christian, it’s this weird evangelical kind of move.”
To characterize this as genuine praise for Republicans is to miss the rhetorical trick he is employing.
SPEAKING OF MISSING CONTEXT: Note where the Blaze clip ends: at time stamp 12:53:27. Do me a favor: go to the original video and scroll to that timestamp. Do it right now; I’ll wait. You’ll see it at about 30:24 on the running scroll bar at the bottom of the full video.
See what happened? The Blaze’s clip was neatly snipped right before the Muslim guy said this:
As a black Muslim, I am truly and highly offended by the racism and the bigotry and the Islamophobia that is coming out of the tea party or tea baggers or whatever you call them, what is NPR doing and what can we do to help ensure that this kind of situation can be curtailed and stopped?
Watch Schiller’s body language during this description of “tea baggers” as bigoted racists. He nods his head in clear agreement. You will also see him shake his head around the word “Islamophobia” before nodding again. If you actually watch it, the effect is one of pure agreement, with the brief head shake reflecting sympathy for the Muslim at the table who has to suffer through this Islamophobia and bigotry. He answers the quoted question by talking about how NPR is the voice of reason.
Why did the Blaze choose to cut the clip right before that passage?? Did the Blaze delberately choose to hide evidence that Schiller agrees with accusations that the Tea Party is racist, to bolster their claim that Schiller honestly praised Republicans?
I doubt that the omission was intentional, just as I doubt that O’Keefe’s editing intentionally distorted anything. Both were trying to make their points as effectively as possible, and both are subject to endless charges that “you left out this!” and “you left out that!”
But it is . . . ironic that a piece that complains of missing context should omit such crucial context itself.