Bil Browning

Maybe this "worthless white n---er" matters this time around

Filed By Bil Browning | May 02, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Bill Clinton, Clinton advisors, election 2008, George Stephanopoulos, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hoosiers, Indiana, James Carville, racial slurs

[UPDATED:] The video is fake. I hope they catch the little slimeball that posted this to YouTube. I've removed the video and the allegation from the post. Know what's just as bad as a racist? Using institutionalized racism to create a non-story. It's like asking someone "When did you stop beating your wife?"

I'm pissed that I fell for it. I apologize to the readers for getting duped.

Mickey Kantor, who served as campaign chairman during Clinton's 1992 run for the White House and says he has offered help and advice to Sen. Clinton, insisted that the tape was a fraud and that he was exploring legal steps against the individual who posted it online.
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Indeed, a review of the original copy of the 1993 film The War Room, from which the excerpt was taken (around the 4:40 mark) is virtually inaudible. The sound suggests, if anything, that instead of saying "How would you like to be a worthless white n****r?" Kantor says, "How would you like to be in the White House right now?"
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"Indiana was not even on our radar screen," he said, "And I was talking about the polling and not the people... If you look at The War Room, this is not the way Carville or George interpreted my statement. This is frankly libelous."


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Not real. It's from the 1994 movie "The War Room" - and Kantor is talking about Republican operatives who put out a memo with faked poll numbers. The expletives are about the Republicans, not about Indiana. Rent the movie and watch the whole scene and it becomes clear this is a hack editing job to make Kantor say something he isn't saying.

He shouldn't be saying the N-word, but he isn't talking about Indiana voters.

Tread lightly, Bil.

The "white niggers" part was dubbed. It's in a different voice and clearly doesn't match up with Kantor's lip movements.

He did clearly say "those people are shit."

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 2, 2008 12:32 PM

Oh, My, God!!! Bil, I have been in enough locker rooms to hear "guys" talk among themselves to hear sexist, racist, intemperate remarks. These buffoons had a camera running?

OK, Clinton was not there, and I think that these individuals have a lot of explaining to do. They were obviously charged up and feeling their coffee, going over their stats and being policy wonks and probably trying to out do one another with their comments.

"One Upsmanship" with the camera running? Not a good idea. Just 18 years after that Indiana native Earl Butz told his "n---r" joke on air force One. As bad as talk of this type is on the national level it remains common on the local level of politics. OK, obviously, Mickey Kantor does not have a high opinion of Hoosiers, but his candidate was governor of Arkansas! Second to the bottom in public schools! He probably only has a high opinion of himself. I would pass it off as his just being a short term smartass.

In discussing this clip Andrew Sullivan and Ben Smith have referred to us as Indianans. What is an Indianan? Anything close to a Hoosier?

I fell for the video clip too, and after posting to it on Visible Vote I additionally post the report by Ben Smith from the Politico with an explanation concerning the statement from the director of the War Room that it had been dubbed. I first saw the clip on The Drudge Report, and I see that Matt Drudge also has now removed the link to the video. If the video is a fraud, its fabricator is in big trouble.

I wonder how cynically this was being used. Sure, Politico and the Huff Po and Hoosier blogs (like us, I suppose) are going to cover it. But, um, what was Andrew Sullivan's motivation? Why is it so easy for some people to believe this who don't have much connection to it?

I mean, Sullivan's sticking to this:

Yes, he's a lawyer. So the residents of Indiana are just "shit", "worthless", and "white" but not "ni**ers." But as long as he didn't sympathetically call them "bitter," right? Kantor says he was referring to the Bush administration. The film's director says the clip has been doctored, but he doesn't exactly show how. Has the audio been altered? Or have the subtitles been faked? Or is it just that the remark - as muffled as it is - simply didn't register on first viewing - and only has salience now that the Clintons are trying to win Indiana?

I wonder why he focuses so much on how this is an insult to Indiana and not to Black people?

Also, I'm noticing that everyone has a different policy on how many asterisks make that word OK to publish....

LMAO, Alex. How many asterisks does it take to make a racial epithet OK? 1, 2-who, three. Crunch..Ooops. Wrong commercial. It's 3 licks for a tootsie pop, so that must be the standard in all things, right?

Anyway, I told Bil to hold off on publishing it because he didn't have the scoop on where it came from, whether it was real, or whether it added anything other than more negative drama bullshit to the discussion.

Turns out it adds fake, negative drama bullshit to the discussion and had already been debunked.

Oh, and Andrew Sullivan is a wanker. He's a Republican in sheep's clothing, so I don't know why anyone would care what he thinks about the Democratic race.

ABC reporter Jack Tapper over at Political Punch also has been covering the issue, and concludes that the segment with the racial slur is doctored but states that at the time the War Room was released some people had concerns about the "sh*t" remark.

eddie maldonado | May 2, 2008 4:47 PM

I wouldn't go so far to say it's fake.

It's not. I am a video editor and I was able to digitize the unedited version from youtube. The sh*t statement is there. And if you EQ (equalize, it's the 3-5 knobs you have on your amplifiers/receivers at home) the whispering, you can make out his whisper easier.

I'll be honest with you, I hear "worthless white n*gger". Not white house.

So actually I don't think it's fake at all. The "doctored" version is really just enhanced. They didnt add anything.

Whatever, he still doesn't hold Indiana in high regard.

It's interesting, Jerame, because just on this page, the Huff Po used 4, Bil used 3, and Sullivan used 2.

But everyone seems to agree that the "g"s have to go. "e" and "i"? That's up for debate.

OK, that's the last comment on this, because I think I'm going to go to hell if I dissect this any further.

Also, I'm noticing that everyone has a different policy on how many asterisks make that word OK to publish....
...
OK, that's the last comment on this, because I think I'm going to go to hell if I dissect this any further.

Interesting that writers such as Langston Hughes, Mark Twain, and more recently Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and James McBride (all Black except for Twain), plus many others that don't come to mind at the moment, did not regard the asterisks as required. Three rules: 1) Context is everything. 2) Context is everything, and 3) Context is everything.

Moreover, the quality of the writer, the quality of the audience, and the quality of the communication being attempted all has something to do with it --- but that's part of context, isn't it?

And finally, if that term truly is used in hate, a thousand asterisks still doesn't make it more publishable or more acceptable or more tolerable.

See ya in Hell!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 3, 2008 6:04 AM

It wasn't until this morning in asia that I learned it was a hoax. Do you know that the dispute had already been added to Kantor's bio on Wickipedia? I imagine by now it has been removed.