Andrew Breitbart, who sponsored the heavily edited "pimp" videos that destroyed the anti-poverty group ACORN, is now using the same technique to go after two college professors for statements they allegedly made while teaching a course at the University of Missouri on Labor, Politics and Society.
According to MediaMatters, Breitbart's BigGovernment website has started running a series of videos from the class, claiming that they "instruct students on how fear, intimidation, and, even, industrial sabotage are important and, often, necessary tools."
MediaMatters' analysis of the videos, however, reveals that they have been edited to make it seem that the professors were endorsing the kind of "thuggish" tactics that they were actually rejecting.
In the edited version, lecturer Don Giljum appears to be saying, "Because I think if you look at labor's history over the years, you'll find that, you know, we've had a very violent history with violent protests-- [CUT] ...in certain instances, strategically played out, and for certain purposes, that industrial sabotage doesn't have its place. I think it certainly does."
The unedited video, however, shows that Giljum was actually saying, "I think if you look at labor's history over the years, you'll find that, you know, we've had a very violent history with violent protests and reaction to suppression. ... It certainly makes you feel a hell of a lot better sometimes, but beyond that I'm not sure as a tactic today, the type of violence or reaction to the violence we had back then would be called for here, and I think it would do more harm than good."
Even more deceptively, Professor Judy Ancel is shown saying, "Violence is a tactic, and it's to be used when it's appropriate-- the appropriate tactic." But the full clip makes it clear that she was quoting a 1960s student radical in a documentary film that her class had just watched.
In a statement reprinted by Crooks and Liars, Ancel further explained, "After students had watched a film on the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike and the assassination of Martin Luther King, they were discussing nonviolence. I said, “One guy in the film. . . said ‘violence is a tactic, and it’s to be used when it’s the appropriate tactic.’ . . . “ The class proceeded to discuss and debate this. Thus Mr. Breitbart’s editing has literally put words in my mouth that were not mine, and they never were mine."
The Brietbart smears are already being widely repeated by conservative websites under headings such as "Shut Down Labor Studies Now" and Union Leaders Teach Labor Studies Courses on Communism, Violence, Industrial Sabotage & Frying Cats.
Officials at the University of Missouri-Kansas City are standing behind Ancel and have also raised questions about whether the privacy rights of the students in the videos were violated by Breitbart's unauthorized use of their images.
However, Giljum -- who was already planning to retire on May 1 -- was forced to resign prematurely. He says that he was told to do so by a dean, who was being pressured by her superiors.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.