April 20, 2007 6:19 PM PDT

YouTube deletes video of McCain singing 'Bomb Iran'

YouTube confirmed Friday that it had erroneously deleted and would restore a video of presidential candidate John McCain singing an impromptu ditty about starting a war with Iran.

The Arizona senator joked about attacking the sovereign nation during a campaign stop in South Carolina this week, singing, to the tune of the Beach Boys song "Barbara Ann": "That old, that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, anyway."

According to a video recorded by what appears to be a camera phone held by someone at the back of the room, the audience laughed at McCain's rendition of the classic song (the video was restored in the last several hours and can be seen here).

But the clip was deleted by YouTube, which is owned by Google. A spokesman for YouTube, who asked that his name not appear in this article, said, "We appreciate the prompt feedback from our community regarding the McCain video. It was flagged by our users, we reviewed it and it was mistakenly removed. We have examined the situation and have since reinstated the video."

The spokesman refused to answer any other questions, such as when, exactly, the video was deleted or what procedures are in place to ensure that political candidates don't use YouTube's complaint procedure to squelch critics. The popular video-sharing site permits users to flag videos as "inappropriate."

The New Yorker magazine reported in February that, despite the Bush administration's public claims not to have any plans to bomb Iran, the Pentagon has secret plans to carry out a bombing attack if authorized by President Bush. McCain said bombing Iran, which is accused of aiding the Iraq insurgents, may be necessary to protect Israel.

This is not the first time a controversy has erupted over political videos removed by YouTube. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has documented other videos that it says should not have been deleted.

The EFF has filed suit against Viacom on behalf of MoveOn.org and Brave New Films, saying a satire of the The Colbert Report was removed from YouTube following a "baseless" copyright complaint.

"It is time to draw a line in the sand and make clear that taking down political speech first and asking questions later is absolutely unacceptable behavior," Adam Green, civic communications director at MoveOn.org, said in response to the McCain video deletion.

Recently, another anti-Bush video surfaced on YouTube. This one pokes fun at World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz--who is currently embroiled in a controversy over a hiring that violates the organization's policy--in the style of NBC's popular TV show The Office. Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards is mocked in a video showing him spending more than two minutes fussing with his hair and camera makeup.

See more CNET content tagged:
Iran, YouTube, MoveOn.org, spokesman, song

16 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Liberal Media Is Smiling
Because they're going to have a field day with this.

Case in point ... this "technology" article.

I didn't know we had the technology to remove a video from
YouTube. That's amazing! ;-)
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Reply Link Flag
media
What is this "Liberal media" of which you speak, and where may I find it?

I thought that Fox ran the world.
Posted by perfectblue97 (326 comments )
Link Flag
media
What is this "Liberal media" of which you speak, and where may I find it?
Posted by perfectblue97 (326 comments )
Link Flag
LIberal media is a business like any other
if they could make more money by not 'being liberal', surely they would. they are a business that acts in unison with govt. why are they supressing the story of how Congress has removed a clause from legislation requiring Bush to ask Congress for permission before attacking Iran. those of us who know of this action don't find McCain's 'joke' to be funny.
Posted by malcolmkettering (4 comments )
Link Flag
Liberal Media, eh?
Typical knee jerk partisan response.

Never occurs to you that the equally partisan folks who frequent sites like MoveOn.com would pull the same stunt on material that they wanted squelched.

I daresay the partisan disease has reached the point that the right is blind the the left eye, and the left blind in the right.
Posted by outlier6 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Quick off the draw
They seemed to act against this clip faster than they act against IPR violations.
Posted by perfectblue97 (326 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not free speech protected
This comment is mis-informed: "It is time to draw a line in the
sand and make clear that taking down political speech first and
asking questions later is absolutely unacceptable behavior."

YouTube has no obligation, legal or otherwise, to anyone to
keep posted videos online. They can take down whatever they
want for whatever reason they like. Free speech protection
applies to government interaction with the public, in that you
cannot be legally prosecuted for what you say nor prevented
from saying what you like. None of this applies to YouTube!
Posted by Lucky Lou (88 comments )
Reply Link Flag
commerce
nice when a 200000000 pound gorrila listens to its customners. So, yes, they are not forced to take anything down or leave anything up, but their customers want that clip in particular to be seen. Google saw they were going to alienate more customers by taking the clip down than they would by leaving it up. Sort of like a commercial democracy. Majority rules.
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
EXACTLY.. F*** MoveOn.Org
For the same reason they don't publish the truth on MoveOn.org.. they don't have to... YouTube can do what it wants with whatever in wants in regard to removing content. There is no fee associated with YouTube, therefore no expectation of maintaining content.. it's FREE.. so therefore, they can remove what they want.. f**kin moveon.org jerk
Posted by djpaisley (80 comments )
Link Flag
Exactly. Just like Imus and Stern
Don Imus has the free speech right as an American to say (almost) whatever he wants. And the media conglomerates have the American right to fire him for alienating their customers with a comment that was way out of line, even for him.

Same with Howard Stern. Except he was so vulgar, the FCC got involved. Some would call that censorship, others argue that the public airwaves belong to the public at large. In any case, now he's on sat radio, and everyone is happy -- at least until sat radio becomes so widely available that people start worrying about their kids again. But by then we'll have Windows2015 ("the most secure operating system ever") and this will have iron-clad parental controls on all media content (although no parents will use them).
Posted by dmm (336 comments )
Link Flag
What if the Liberal Media are actually at the Center?
(though woefully incompetent)

That would mean the people who label critics as traitors are
atcually a bit out of touch, wouldn't it?
Posted by Mark Greene (163 comments )
Reply Link Flag
On that note, most Americans are Dems or lean Democratic
42% Rep or leaning Rep

52% Dem or leaning Dem


as of about one week ago

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.galluppoll.com/content/default.aspx?ci=15370" target="_newWindow">http://www.galluppoll.com/content/default.aspx?ci=15370</a>


If you care about where Americans actually stand, the
summaries on the Gallup site are a good place to start:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.galluppoll.com/content/default.aspx?ci=15370" target="_newWindow">http://www.galluppoll.com/content/default.aspx?ci=15370</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.galluppoll.com/topics/" target="_newWindow">http://www.galluppoll.com/topics/</a>
Posted by Mark Greene (163 comments )
Link Flag
Liberal media...
If you keep moving left you can eventually accuse centrists of being right wing extremists. The press and the Democrats have been doing this for years.
Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebrox (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.