The larger question is why a publicly-funded entity like WGBH is charging individuals for information, especially when that information gives greater context to the President's 1991 remarks? WGBH refused to give Breitbart.com the video and didn't even respond to the request for the footage -- but they'll reply to Buzzfeed and license them portions of the video? Isn't that preferential?
Additionally, if the President's embrace of Bell was unimportant, why did Buzzfeed choose not to pay the hundred bucks to license those seconds? If it wasn't a big deal, why cut it? Cut the critics off at the pass; render them unable to accuse you of once again suppressing information.
Buzzfeed's argument that PBS already aired the video is insufficient, given that PBS didn't air it uninterrupted and overdubbed the video with commentary. There were parts of Obama's speech obscured as a result, specifically "Open your hears and minds to Derrick Bell."
It's significant when we're vetting the President during an election year, don't you think, Buzzfeed?
In fact, back in 2008, PBS's Frontline already showed the clip in question, unedited. By the way, Dana, the speech occurred in 1990, not 1991. President Obama has been thoroughly vetted since at least 2007.
The web is abuzz today about video of a speech Barack Obama gave in 1990 (some reports have incorrectly identified the speech as occurring in 1991) at Harvard Law School defending the actions of Professor Derrick Bell. Bell, the law school’s first tenured black professor, had protested Harvard’s failure to offer tenure to women of color as law school professors. Online publisher Andrew Breitbart, who died last week, had said he possessed the speech and hinted that he would release it, arguing that it provided evidence that Obama has long held radical political beliefs.
But there’s nothing new about the clip or Obama’s role in the controversy at Harvard Law School. In 2008, as a part of our quadrennial election special The Choice 2008, FRONTLINE ran the same footage of the speech as a part of an exploration of Obama’s time at Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1991. It’s been online at our site and on YouTube since then.
In light of today’s controversy, and Breitbart.com editors’ claims that the footage had been edited, we pulled the full archived tape. It includes not just Obama’s speech, but other footage from the rally and portions of Derrick Bell’s speech. You can watch it in full below.
While BuzzFeed did not publish all of the available footage of the event — a manager here noted that they were paying for each second of footage — they did post the entirety of what was available of Obama’s speech. While other cameras could have shot additional material from the event, no other footage of the event exists at WGBH.
On Sean Hannity's radio show, Breitbart.com bloggers Joel Pollak and Ben Shapiro previewed the distorted version of the PBS clip on the Breitbart.com site.
From the 03.07.2012 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
Earlier today, Sean Hannity gave his listeners a heads up on what to expect tonight from the highly anticipated unaired Obama college video hyped by the late Andrew Breitbart, with an interview with Breitbart.com editors Ben Shapiro and Joel Pollak. “On Hannity tonight, you will see the full tape of what we are going to reveal of this particular controversy — remember there’s a whole series of events, tapes and things that Barack Obama participated in that were not vetted, that were not searched for, we know where they are, we are going to be focusing on this particular controversy and we are going to release the full tape that Andrew Breitbart knew about was planning for and it’s not just going to be about Barack Obama and his views, although that’s a big part of it,” Pollak said. “You are going to see information tonight on Hannity that proves the cover-up between the mainstream media, between academia and between Obama’s supporters everywhere to make sure that this information never made it to the public, never made it into the campaign, never made it to the American consciousness.”
The editors are calling the video release “the vetting.”
Keith Boykin, the Daily Voice editor who attended Harvard with Obama, said that "there was nothing hidden in the speech" and debunked the Breitbart/Loesch cronies' spin.
Daily Voice editor Keith Boykin, who attended Harvard University with President Barack Obama, expressed confusion on Wednesday over the controversy surrounding video of Obama introducing Dr. Derrick Bell in 1990.
Breitbart.com published video of Obama speaking about Bell, a racial justice pioneer who developed the critical race theory. Breitbart.com has labeled the professor a “racialist” and compared him to controversial Pastor Jeremiah Wright.
“The whole idea that somehow Barack Obama or others want to hide this, why would anyone want to hide this speech?” Bokyin wondered during an appearance on MSNBC. “We had sit-ins and demonstrations. He didn’t do all that. But he came and stuck his neck out at a time of critical importance when Professor Bell was about to leave.”
So, to sum it up, Loesch and her cronies are flat-out unscrupulous right-wing pinheads who have no regard for the truth and facts.