According to a report on National Public Radio today, the White House asked YouTube to pull the “Innocence of Muslims” movie that is being blamed for the Middle East attacks. White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked about it during his press briefing today, and essentially punted.
On Twitter, NBC’s Chuck Todd attempted to clarify the situation:
@chucktodd: To clarify, the WH …asked YouTube to review the video to see if it violated their policies
As anyone who has dealt with YouTube knows, though, asking the video site to review a video for possible violations is how one starts the process of getting a video pulled from the site. Todd’s clarification amounts to a confirmation.
Added to Thursday’s news that the Department of Justice investigated and publicly identified the man believed to be behind the film, and the fact that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey called Rev. Terry Jones to ask him to rescind his support for the film, and the picture of a White House going out of its way to squelch free speech is clear.
Update: More from the LA Times.
Obama administration officials also flagged the trailer to YouTube and asked the company to review whether it violated the website’s terms of service.