As anti-American rioting continues tonight in as many as 20 countries around the world, the White House has finally decided to make a definitive display of power — against YouTube. And YouTube isn’t backing down.
As Twitchy reported earlier, the White House contacted YouTube and requested they review the video which the Obama administration insists is responsible for sparking the attacks against several American diplomatic outposts. Press secretary Jay Carney told reporters today that the riots were “in response not to United States policy, and not to, obviously, the administration,” even as mobs in Gaza burned the American flag and an effigy of President Obama.
Choosing to get tough against a video rather than the mob is certainly the easier course, but not even Google, owner of YouTube, seemed intimated by this administration. A YouTube spokesperson said in a statement:
We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions. This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere. This video — which is widely available on the Web — is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube.
For the moment, at least, it seems that Google is a greater champion of First Amendment rights than the White House, and that’s a very awkward position for Americans to be in, considering YouTube’s recent history of censoring videos which criticize Islam. That, coupled with desperate calls for the filmmaker to be jailed immediately, remind us that freedom of speech is perhaps in as much need of defense at home as our embassies are overseas.
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