Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mike Lee Doesn't Want To Be Filmed

This has left me without words. From former US Senate candidate Pete Ashdown:

Seeing Mike Lee was going to do a “Meet & Greet” in Salt Lake City today, I went to see for myself what this Republican candidate for U.S. Senate was all about. I asked him several questions and got answers that I agreed and disagreed with. I would tell you more about our discussion of his endorsers, the 4th & 14th amendments, his desire for term limits but his repeated votes for Hatch and Bennett, and why our government is a “tyranny” in spite of the supremacy clause of the Constitution, but unfortunately his campaign wouldn’t allow me to record anything.

And, of course, Pete got a recording of them telling him why they don't want to be recorded. The fun begins at the 3 minute mark:

Now, anyone in that meeting can say that Mike Lee said in the meeting that he likes to eat babies. There's no proof that he did or didn't say that. Chances are, he didn't say anything about eating babies. But, that rumor gets started. And it becomes a he said/she said debate, with nobody having proof.

Now, if the person who started that rumor was allowed to film the event, then Mike Lee would have to say "I like to eat babies" for that rumor to spread. Mike Lee can say "It was edited. I said not to believe people who say that I like to eat babies." Now, if there was someone else recording the event who is a Mike Lee supporter (or staffer or intern), they can post the full video on Youtube as proof that the "I like to eat babies" quote was taken out of context.

And, there's a flip side. Let's say Joe Public, whether he is a Mike Lee fan or not, records the event. At the event, Mike tells an inspirational story about the founding fathers. Joe public has the video, uploads it to YouTube and sends it out to his friends and family (people who won't normally attend political functions), who get to see an inspiring story, and decide that they, too are Mike Lee supporters.

It's 2010. You can find good cameras and tripods for relatively cheap these days. Even setting up the camera in the back of the room and leaving it to record is easier than trying to police whether people are recording you for evil (or good) purposes.

As it stands, 156 have seen the video that Mike Lee doesn't want to be filmed. And they have probably started telling their friends on Twitter and Facebook. And I'm sure that not everyone who hears about it will watch the video. They will just know that Mike Lee doesn't want to be filmed.

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