No Honor Among Thieves, No Curiosity Among Journalists: Perez Hilton Re-Pirates Video, CBS News Repeats Smear
Posted on | August 30, 2011 | 104 Comments
The piracy of my video and the smearing of Michele Bachmann continue, despite my having done two posts — here and here — explaining the true story. Here is a screen-cap from Perez Hilton’s site, showing that he downloaded and re-uploaded the pirated/edited “Who likes white people?” video, imprinting it with his own watermark:
Look closely, and you’ll see that Perez’s re-pirated version had already gotten more than 30,000 views (the screen-cap was done at about 8 p.m. ET today) which is of course in addition to the many thousands who had viewed the first ripoff/smear version at the “On Knees” anti-Christian blog. But wait — it gets better:
Yeah — Michelle Castillo of CBS News (!!) made this smear job the No. 1 selection in “Top 5 Viral Videos of the Week.” You can skip ahead to about the 40-second mark of the video:
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.
What about the explanation “surfacing” from the guy who was there with the video camera, huh? But never mind that now. Before I continue excoriating Castillo and CBS News specifically, let me say that I have no earthly idea who originated this bizarre supposition that Bachmann was referring to the name of a band. She actually said, “Who likes wet people?” — a joking reference to the fact that it had been raining all day at the Aug. 5 Christian music festival — and there was no band performing with “White” in its name.
Because here is the weird thing: The lineup for the entire concert is online! Bachmann had been scheduled to be there about 6 p.m. but ran late, and so she didn’t speak until after 8 p.m., following Tim Cooper & Friends on the main stage. I know this because I was at the festival to cover Bachmann’s appearance, but it doesn’t take Woodward and Bernstein investigative reporting skills to discover, on the Spirit Midwest Ministries site, under a tab labeled “news,” that their media contact person is Julie Barnes, whose phone number is 515-577-8035.
So any reporter who had seen that silliness about the “White People Soul Power Band” — c’mon, really? I mean, really? — could have spent less than five minutes online, learned that there was no such band at that festival, and called the festival’s promoters to ask them the blindingly obvious question: “Did Michelle Bachmann actually say that stuff about ‘white people’?”
Evidently, however, Michelle Castillo of CBS News doesn’t know how to do a Google search, or browse a Web site, or pick up a fucking phone — what a brilliant journalistic innovation that would be — and call Bachmann campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart (whose contact information is not top secret) and ask her what this is all about.
No, not at all. But please notice this curious fact:
Yeah, the time-stamp: “6:44 p.m. Aug. 30,” by which time Chris Moody’s accurate post at Yahoo News — identifying my video as the source from which the pirated/edited smear video was stolen — had been a top item at Memeorandum for more than 24 hours!
But wait, it gets better, because here are my two posts on this topic:
- Monday Aug. 29, 9:10 p.m. — MY VIDEO of Michele Bachmann’s Christian Testimony Used in SMEAR JOB
- Tuesday, Aug. 30, 10:58 a.m. — Lowlife Who Pirated My Video Apologizes for Smearing Michele Bachmann
If Michelle Castillo has the advanced journalistic skills necessary to click that second link, she will discover that, when informed that his copyright infringement was the subject of contemplated legal action, the video pirate had published an apology and deleted the video from his YouTube channel early this morning, more than 12 hours before Castillo included his piracy as the No. 1 selection in the CBS News “Top 5 Viral Videos of the Week.”
As a veteran of 25 years in the news business, I promise you that if I were Michelle Castillo’s boss, I’d have several choice words to say to her, the mildest of which would be, “YOU’RE FIRED!”
And I’ll have a few more things to say about the egregious incompetence being practiced by the mainstream media in regard to this story, but first I’ve got to call my lawyer. CBS is going to be getting a letter from my lawyer P.D.Q., and if Michelle Castillo is not instantly terminated for this astonishingly shoddy excuse for journalism, I’d be greatly surprised.
UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! As for the Professor’s remark about funding my retirement, it may take years of expensive litigation to force the thievish scoundrels to pay up, and in the meantime I’ve got bills to pay, so please hit the freaking tip jar.
UPDATE II: Linked by Bob Belevedere at The Camp of the Saints — thanks!
Just got off the phone with my lawyer, who was finishing up the demand letter to Perez Hilton, whose site has a statement about their willingness to protect the intellectual property of others, with contact information for complaining about copyright violation.
In such letters, it is customary to demand that a retraction/apology be published with the same prominence as the original item about which complaint is made. But having included pirated video in their “Top 5 Viral Videos” round-up, what will CBS News do?
Besides firing Michelle Castillo, I mean . . .
See? That’s what’s called “fair use” — employing a brief clip from my video in pursuit of truth, as opposed to recycling the pirated ripoff smear video in pursuit of a lie, which is what CBS News has done without even the slightest suggestion of effort toward what lawyers call “due diligence.” (Take notes, kids, this could be on the final exam.)
Meanwhile, our fellow fedora-wearer Ed Driscoll takes a walk down Memory Lane, to that long-ago era when Ken Layne was interested in truth.
UPDATE IV: Maetenloch at Ace of Spades HQ:
Even though it wasn’t what she said and made no sense in context, Ken Layne of Wonkette ran with it proclaiming Bachmann to be a crazy racist. But when it was shown to be a blatant hoax (with the original poster apologizing) he refused to make any corrections and has doubled down on the snark.
Now, I think some people may be misunderstanding my end of this situation. Bachmann is the one with the case for defamation, and that’s her business. My lawyer is pursuing action for copyright infringement, and you see how — with the pirated/edited video having been re-uploaded by Perez Hilton and recycled by CBS News — the original pirate set in motion a chain of events that is now beyond his control.
Already, I’ve seen at least two other versions of the pirate’s ripoff version re-uploaded to other YouTube accounts. (My lawyer is sending takedown notices as quickly as time permits.) Evidently, people do this kind of stuff — re-uploading ripoff videos — all the time, seeking to gain extra views to their YouTube accounts through online thievery.
The YouTube pirates may be doing this in ignorance of copyright law. Ignorance of the law is no defense, of course, but in most cases the original copyright owner is a big commercial enertainment outfit — Time/Warner for example — and once the pirated video is deleted from YouTube, their interest in the pirate ends.
In my particular case? Not so much.
“Good Lord these people are stupid.” You can say that again, brother. This left-wing anti-Christian jackwagon ripped me off and dishonestly edited my video to create a false smear against Michelle Bachmann, an honorable member of Congress, deserving of admiration and respect. The pirated smear video was then posted at numerous Web sites, recycled by other pirates, and included as the top item in a “viral video” roundup by a major news organization.
I rattled the tip jar to get enough money to travel to Iowa to cover the campaign leading up to the Ames Straw Poll. I stood in the rain and mud at that festival to get video of Bachmann’s Christian testimony. And you’re going to take my hard work, funded through contributions from my loyal readers, hijack it and pervert it into a vicious smear?
Don’t you see what an overwhelming incentive I have to extract the maximum legal penalty from your sorry ass? And don’t you know that there are many thousands of people — including some very shrewd lawyers — who have been waiting many years for just such an opportunity as this, with some anonymous blog-pest like you caught red-handed in undeniable wrongdoing?
You had better pray God will have mercy on you.
Because my lawyers sure as hell won’t.
UPDATE V: Linked by Donald Douglas at American Power — thanks!
UPDATE VI: Mike at Cold Fury mentions the “fake but accurate” standard that CBS made infamous.