Peter Schmidt: Videos ‘Ripped’ From Online-Course Footage Bring Threats to Instructors

Today the Chronicle of Higher Education posted this story on their website:

The University of Missouri system has been besieged with angry letters and phone calls, and top officials at its St. Louis campus have asked an adjunct faculty member to resign, as a result of the conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart’s posting videos this week that appear to show two labor-studies instructors advocating union violence.

The videos, however, were a “hatchet Job”.

Yet, “both Mr. Giljum and Ms. Ancel [the instructors] said they have been barraged with angry phone calls and letters, and Mr. Giljum said he has received explicit death threats over the phone.”

I assume the contradiction does not go unnoticed. The story continues:

If Mr. Breitbart’s Web site has broadcast a misleadingly edited video, it would hardly be the first time. The site is notorious for having put up the video that purported to show a Department of Agriculture official, Shirley Sherrod, saying she had discriminated against a white farmer, when a review of her comments in context show that she said no such thing. (Ms. Sherrod, who was forced to resign after the video came out, has sued Mr. Breitbart.)

Mr. Breitbart’s Web site also publicized the 2009 hidden-camera videos of employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or Acorn, which appear to show the employees advising a pimp and prostitute on how to deceive the IRS about their activities and income. Law-enforcement officials who investigated the allegations have said the videos were edited to make it look as if the employees were actively engaged in wrongdoing when, in fact, they were not.

Mr. Breitbart had indicated in an April 18 interview on Hannity, Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, that he planned to “go after” educators and their union organizers.

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