Friday, December 15, 2006

Smoking Gun?

In an effort to promote a movie called "638 ways to kill fidel" the producers of that film have put up an obviously edited videotape of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen advocating for the assassination of castro. The video which appears on You Tube splices together two different sound bytes and takes part of Ros-Lehtinen's statements completely out of context. It's done in such a way as to make it look like she's advocating for a U.S. government assassination of castro. Now CBS 4 has a more complete version of the relevant part of the interview. Judge for yourself whether this was a manipulation.

I don't think my readers have any doubts about my opinion on the matter but I'll state it anyway. This is a stunt to sell movie tickets or DVDs or whatever. Taken in their entirety, and in relation to the question, her comments make a lot of sense and are reasonable. Why would you edit out the part after she talks about a possible assassination where she mentions that castro should face a trial of his peers? Of course it's to mischaracterize her. Par for the course for communist propagandists.


Rick said...

You're CBS4 link doesn't get me there.

Henry Gomez said...

Ok changed it. Look for the video with the headline that says: "Raw Video"

nguirado said...

It seems to be par for the course for a group of unethical, mostly left film-makers.

Rick said...

I don't know, Henry. I certainly agree with your assessment that this is part of an aggressive marketing strategy by the film's makers. But to say that it's misleading or misrepresents what Ros-Lehtinen is actually saying, is something I don't really agree with you on.

The fact that RL "welcomes the assassination of Fidel Castro" is not at all affected or put in context by her other thoughts that were edited out. That statement, by itself, makes it very clear where she stands. And I think that her backing away from the statement and not remembering it is an indication that perhaps she realized that it wouldn't play well outside of her South Florida district.

I'm sort of on the fence as to whether her comments are all that offensive. Pat Robertson said that Chavez should be assassinated and everyone got all excited. Does this rise to that level? Probably not, but it certainly pushes the envelope.

As far as the film makers being "communist propagandists"...c'mon, Henry. Unless you know something about them that I don't, which could certainly be the case, these people made a film and are trying to sell it. I'm not saying they're doing everything the right way, but to paint anyone who doesn't think Castro's throat should be slit in his hospital bed as a communist is pretty radical.


Henry Gomez said...

Rick, you made a lot of points so I'd like to address them.

First, I personally don't care if she volunteers to assasinate him personally. And I don't think many of her constituents do either. But the you tube clip was created to imply that she was advocating for a US sponsored assassination attempt. The movie is called 638 ways to kill castro and is about such attempts. The fact is that Ros Lehtinen was not in power when those attempts did happen under someone you no doubt admire, JFK.

Secondly the question, as it was phrased but barely audible in the raw footage drew a comparison to Hitler and mentioned the theoretical question of whether one could assassinate him in 1939 whether one would do so. I guess each person has their own answer to this question but I'm not going to blame anybody for saying yes.

Ros Lehtinen said that she looks forward to the day that Cuba is free and Democratic and whether that comes as a result of an assassination, a coup d'etat or some other change she wouldn't shed a tear for Castro. Again I think she sums up the thoughts of her constituents. Is this appropriate for a congressperson? Well I don't know, but I think speculating about in answer to a hypothetical question posed by an interviewer is different than actually having the power to do it, as mentioned JFK did.

The Pat Robertson quote was different in several ways. The first which I'm sure I don't have to remind you of is that Chavez for good or bad was elected democratically. Fidel has never won a democratic election for any office in Cuba. Secondly Robertson's remarks were made in response to Chavez statements that the US was trying to kill him. Robertson said "maybe we should." Obviously, as a supposed man of God this thought is controversial.

Let me ask you this. If you went back in time and could make it so the producer of this film would not edit the video to appear as it does on you tube but instead it appeared as in the raw footage, would there be any controversy?

I doubt it. In the parts the were edited out she reminded the interviewer (and the people that were presumably going to see the movie) of the atrocities that castro committed. That he is no ordinary head of state.

It's a hatchet job plain and simple.

Rick said...

Let me ask you this. If you went back in time and could make it so the producer of this film would not edit the video to appear as it does on you tube but instead it appeared as in the raw footage, would there be any controversy?

Yes. In fact, I went to view the CBS4 video with the mindset that there was going to be something there to change my mind. And there just wasn't. You can tell me that someone has killed 1 million people but you will never convince me that an U.S. Govt. official should be welcoming the assassination of anyone on film. I suppose that's the reason why Bush & Co. love to use the phrase "brought to justice." Same thing, really. More PC.

As far as JFK goes, authorizing a covert operation is a little different than advocating the assassination of a country's leader in a filmed interview. I know, I know...he's the most ruthless and heinous man in history responsible for the deaths of tens of thousand and is going to banished to Hell for ever...I know. He's still a the leader of a country.

Finally, not to nitpick, but as long as we're talking about parsing statements and taking things out of context, here's the link to Robertson's statement. The whole thing. It's a smidge more than "maybe we should."

Henry Gomez said...

I was paraphrasing on Robertson and never meant to defend his statement. But your statement that "authorizing a covert operation is a little different than advocating the assassination of a country's leader in a filmed interview."

Well, I don't know what to say. You hold someone who talks about something to higher standard than someone who actually attempted the same thing. So I guess it's OK to kill foreign leaders as long as we keep it a secret?

Wow, Rick you left me speechless.

You see things the you want to see them. Hey it's your life, knock yourself out.

Rick said...

I'm not saying either one is okay, Henry, but I don't think one can really make a comparison between the two for the purposes of determining whether RL's "comments make a lot of sense and are reasonable."

I have no idea why your last sentence was needed, but whatever.

Sometimes I wonder why I ever try to keep things civil.