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Wired Does a Smear Job on “Smear Video” Producer

John on May 15, 2008 at 9:38 am

Wired magazine is only to eager to go after anyone taking after Barack Obama. Yesterday they posted an article about a You Tube video critical of Obama under the headline Christian Warrior is Behind New Obama Smear Video. It’s an arresting headline, one that makes you wonder if this individual is part of some new religious militia. Well, no, not exactly…

The article identifies the producer of the video — which has received over a million views — as Jason “Molotov” Mitchell a small time Christian television producer. There was actually nothing else in the story about him being a “Christian Warrior” except for a screecap taken from another video which shows Jason asleep with an M-16 on his chest.

Apparently, Jason is a veteran.

I guess if you’re a Christian and a veteran then, technically speaking, you are a “Christian Warrior.” However the phrase and photo seem designed to paint Jason as a nascent political terrorist more than anything else. Why not simply identify him as a vet who is now a TV producer?

As of today, Wired seems to agree with that assesment, given that the same article now appears with a slightly altered headline: Christian Soldier is Behind Obama Smear Video. That’s better I suppose.

For those interested, here’s Jason’s video:

YouTube Preview Image

It’s certainly not flattering to Obama but it’s not clear to me that anything said in the video is untrue. Here’s Wired’s main charge against it:

Among other things, it regurgitates the false viral e-mail claim that Obama refuses to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem, and claims that the Democratic candidate has been a disciple of racism, Marxism, quasi-Christianity, Islam and anti-Semitism.

First of all, the video shows Obama standing on stage during the anthem with his hands at his side. I don’t consider this an impeachable offense, but clearly the claim isn’t false as Wired claims it is.

Secondly, given what we know of Rev. Wright at this point, the claim that Obama has been a disciple of racism, Marxism, quasi-Christianity and anti-Semitism is right on. It was, after all, Obama who identified Wright as his pastor and spiritual mentor. The video doesn’t add Islam to that list, so I’m not sure where Wired got that one, unless it’s the mention of his attending an Islamic school as a child. In any case, I guess it fit better with the “Christian Warrior” angle.

So let’s all take a moment and savor the irony a bit. By changing the headline, the editors at Wired have just essentially admitted that they did a smear job on someone for the sin of, well, doing a smear job.

What’s more, the video is a more accurate (albeit negative) take on Obama than the Wired article is on the video and its producer.

Well done, Kevin Poulsen and Wired editors!

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