A friend of mine linked this video on Facebook. In it, Ron Paul is questioned by a badgering Lawrence O’Donnell about a quote Paul gave in Congress about the Civil Rights Act. It is a 4 minute video that makes Paul look unsure of himself and, in an uncharitable interpretation of him, could even leave him looking racist. Check it out:
However, after I watched it, I noticed that YouTube linked a longer clip of the video. When I watched the second video in its entirety, I came away with a very different take on what Paul has to say. If you care about this sort’ve thing, watch the second video about 4 minutes in. You’ll see Paul excoriate O’Donnell for going beyond the topics that Ron Paul and O’Donnell’s producers had agreed on beforehand; hence why Paul appears flustered and unprepared in the beginning of the clip. You’ll also see Paul regain his feet and explain that Martin Luther King Jr. actually used principles of civil disobedience and law repeal–what Paul sees as libertarian principles–to gain civil rights for African Americans. Here’s the second video:
The interview and its posting are unfortunate on a number of levels. First, O’Donnell comes across like a civil rights freedom fighter in the first video, but a jerk in the second one. What is he trying to prove by asking Paul a heated question without allowing him to prepare beforehand? At best, it’s bad journalism, at worst, it’s intentionally devious. Second, that someone would edit the video without the full context of Paul’s last statement is typical of people who have no substantial arguments against his libertarianism. I don’t doubt that certain Ron Paul supporters would do the same thing, but if this is what political debate devolves to, that’s pretty bad.