Desperately Seeking Free Republic
There used to be a time when sites like Daily Kos were the ones debunking this kind of garbage against Democrats - so it is nothing short of disappointing to see Markos himself becoming a proponent of unsubstantiated garbage and badly reducing the credibility of Daily Kos to that of sites like Free Republic. Markos earlier this week:
There was a concerted effort by Clinton's ad people to make Obama look darker, more sinister, and with a wider nose. The evidence is indisputable.
Whoever cut that ad for her doctored the picture so Obama looks darker. Let's not be euphemistic: the only rationale for doing that is to exploit racism.
The media seem to have decided Clinton does not need to explain this ad. They seem to have concluded she doesn't need to answer for it. They seem to have concluded that it would be untoward for the black candidate to complain that the blonde lady exploited white racism. Do you think that might have something to do with the fact that white people run the media?
Whoever created that ad should resign, and the fact that Hillary Clinton not only approved that ad but hasn't demanded any resignations tells you everything you need to know about her.
The media that went breathless trying to paint the Clintons as racist earlier in this primary is....um, racist? Well, well. Why read Free Republic and NRO and TNR or watch MSNBC or Fox News...we can get all the "news" that is "fit to
Some Obama backers cry "racism." We find the accusation to be unsubstantiated.
A March 3 post by an Obama supporter on the liberal blog site Daily Kos framed the question starkly in its headline: "Is the Clinton Campaign Now Engaged in Intentional Race-Baiting?" A March 4 follow-up by another blogger on AMERICAblog.com asked, "Why is Obama's skin blacker than normal in Hillary's new attack ad?." The blogger concluded that the image had been intentionally darkened, going on to charge that Clinton is "using racism to win." Both of these posts have attracted hundreds of comments and have been re-posted on other widely-read Web sites.
Here's one of the frames from the YouTube version:
Here's nearly the same frame as posted on Clinton's Web site, which to our eye is noticeably lighter:
And here's a high-quality version recorded by the Campaign Media Analysis Group, a unit of TNS Media Intelligence, as it appeared at 5:27 p.m. March 3 on station KCEN in Waco, Texas:
The CMAG version is lighter still. We've made no color corrections nor otherwise manipulated these images. We simply took freeze frames directly from each video in its original format.
Ad Versus Debate
All of that said, when we compared the video of Obama in the Clinton ad (any of the versions above) with the video of the debate as it appears on YouTube, there are pronounced differences in color.
Here's the YouTube version of the debate clip:
However, Obama's skin tone is somewhat darker in MSNBC's streaming version of the debate on its Web site:
Our conclusion: Had the bloggers compared the CMAG version of the ad to the MSNBC version of the debate, they would have a far less compelling case for intentional darkening in the Clinton ad. To our eye the Clinton ad has a noticeably less reddish hue, but whether it looks darker or not depends on which version of the ad is being compared to which version of the original debate footage.
Update, March 6: We received several e-mails about our article that attempted to further the discussion. The two Kos bloggers who originally posted the story contacted us separately with thoughtful e-mails arguing generally that the matter deserves serious discussion but not challenging the substance of our article. Both said they found no fault with our conclusions about the charges of racism. Troutnut said he didn't "contest [our] assertion that the netroots' accusation of race-baiting is ‘unsubstantiated,’ " and Jeff Cronin admitted the “Race-Baiting” headline on Kos "was phrased in starker terms than I would have liked."
Another blogger who posts under the handle Berni_McCoy on DemocraticUnderground.com falsely accused us of having "POSTED A DOCTORED VIDEO" of Clinton’s ad. Since his mistaken claims are attracting some notice in the blogosphere, we will point out his error here.
He compared the Windows Media video of the ad posted on our site with a QuickTime version of the ad that he obtained from Clinton’s campaign Web site. He then displayed frame shots from these two versions and stated "the difference is clear." He concluded that we are "completely wrong" or "directly falsifying the 'facts.' "
McCoy, however, falsely said that our Windows Media video is derived from the Clinton QuickTime version, which it is not. Our video is a copy of the high-quality video recorded by CMAG as it appeared on the air in Texas. So what McCoy imagines is evidence that we "doctored" video obtained from the Clinton Web site is actually evidence that supports what we said in the first place: Versions of the Clinton ad from different sources show different shadings, and the YouTube version on which the "racism" claim rests is the darkest of the lot.
Here's what Big Tent Democrat said at Talk Left (emphasis mine):
Because the continuing pattern of railing against everything Clinton and defending, excusing and praising everything Obama has been prevalent in the Media and the blogs, I think the point has been reached, as it was during the 90s with rabid Republicans, that most people simply do not pay attention to these shrieks from the usual suspects. Their outrage at everything Clinton and their effusive praise or defense of everything Obama is of course the subject of SNL parody, but consider this wild post by Spencer Ackermann that seems beyond parody:
Samantha Power blurts out something not entirely unreasonable that she meant to be off the record. Now the Clintonites, in yet another cynical burst of manufactured outrage, say Obama has to fire her. How interesting.
It is now considered in some circles "not entirely unreasonable" to call Hillary Clinton "a monster" - words once reserved for the likes of Stalin or Hitler, or at least George W. Bush or Dick Cheney (I kid, never would I condone calling Bush a monster - just an idiot.)
That Ackermann then proceeds to repeat a ridiculous and debunked charge against Clinton tells you all you need. My gawd, some folks have simply gone off the deep end and do not even know it. If they ever have an actual point to make about Clinton, no one will be listening.
PlainWords at MyDD offers this wisdom:
Daily KOS has posted a story accusing the Clintons of making Obama's face look darker! See http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/3 /5/14345/50395/126/469746. One of Obama's top aides, a Samantha Power, has called Hillary a "monster." While all decent American are justifiably shocked at this latest horrific act by Horrible Hillary, it is only the last in a stream of unsurpassed evil by this woman. Let's look at the record:
As we all know, she killed Hoffa. The body is buried near Maine High School, which she attended, according to a diary that was recently discovered, and then lost; but a lot of people have seen the actual diary and can verify the truth of what it says.
And then there is the Kennedy assassination. For this one we have absolute proof. There is a photograph of the grassy knoll in the Warren Commission archive that shows her in the background with a rifle. It's hard to see, but if you enhance it and then increase the contrast and outline the third tree, and then run a noise-suppression algorithm and use a line-drawing subroutine, you can clearly see the outline of her left eyebrow, and that stick thing next to it is the rifle.
And let's not forget that Hillary was responsible for the Holocaust. She killed millions in Europe in the 1940s, and it was all the more monstrous because she did it before she was even born!
More recently, reliable sources say that people associated with her campaign were caught asking voters to take a careful look at Obama's record and see if it lines up with his rhetoric, and they have even pointed out some of the stupid things he has said and done, such as admitting that he does not have the experience to answer that "3am call."
To top it all off, Hillary supporters had the nerve to point out that Obama's voting record on the war is the same as hers, and they even got Joseph Wilson, the guy who called Bush on lying about WMD, to write that "Obama's gyrations on Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran are ... the machinations of a political opportunist looking to avoid having his fingerprints on any issue that might be controversial, and require real judgment, while preserving his freedom to bludgeon his adversary for actually taking positions..." We know that Hillary had to be behind Wilson's remarks, because ... she just is. It's a fact that she herself has stooped to trying to get people to compare Obama's actions to his words. And she has thick ankles. She is a mean and evil monster, and we hate her. And she should stop trying to be President.