I would like you to review what you had for lunch.
I’m not asking you to change your eating habits. Just to review them.
Because I happen to know what you had for lunch. Give it some thought.
Now what does that sound like? It sounds like I think there’s something wrong with what you’re eating.
Of course, I don’t care what you had for lunch. I mean, sure, I want you to be healthy, but really, it’s your business.
I wrote the above just to drive home that when the White House says it was merely asking YouTube to “review” the video that has sparked outrage in the Arab Street, it’s really trying to get YouTube to remove the offending work.
From the Washington Post:
However, the video remained on the site as of Friday afternoon, and it is posted many other places on the Internet.
Messages to YouTube, and Google, which owns the site, were not immediately returned Friday. On Wednesday, a YouTube spokesperson said the video “is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube.”
President Obama and his aides in recent days have been making pious comments about America’s commitment to the First Amendment. At today’s briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “We cannot and will not squelch freedom of expression in this country.”
So the White House decided to signal its displeasure – that is, suppress speech – without seeming to suppress speech. A message from the White House evincing concern is a very intimidating thing to a large company like Google that could so easily be adversely affected by the federal government. Google, of course, owns YouTube.
Obama should stay out of Americans’ speech.
And I’ll stay out of your lunch.