As previously reported by NewsBusters editor Matt Sheffield and others, FNC’s Special Report with Brit Hume on Thursday evening noted how YouTube users had ganged up to flag as “inappropriate” a humorous 90-second video by director David Zucker that mocks the Democrats for their approach to international bad guys like Osama bin Laden and Kim Jong-Il.
Zucker’s video begins with a shot of an actress playing Secretary of State Madeleine Albright meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il. The announcer gravely intoned: “In the year 2000, in an effort to stop the North Koreans from building nuclear weapons, President Clinton's Secretary of State Madeleine Albright gave North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il a basketball signed by Michael Jordan.” After “Albright” hands “Kim” a basketball, the two share a champagne toast. An on-screen graphic informs: "We're Not Making This Up."
Another scene showed the fake Kim gleefully slam dunking the basketball, as the announcer got to the point: “In a post 9/11 world, making nice to our enemies will not make them nice to us. On the contrary, to them it is a sign of weakness....The security of the United States is not a game. Can we afford a party that treats it like one?”
To show how pathetic the Democrats have become, Zucker's video shows “Albright” mowing the lawn outside a North Korean nuclear plant, shaking a pair of pom-poms as Kim plays basketball, and singing Kumbayah with a couple of Middle-Eastern looking men while a bunch of guys with suicide bomb vests sneak out of a backdoor.
As Hume explained on Thursday’s “Grapevine” segment of his Special Report, “Hollywood filmmaker David Zucker has produced a satirical political ad that depicts former Clinton administration Secretary of State Madeleine Albright giving a basketball to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and cheering for him in a game, mowing the grass outside a North Korean nuclear facility, painting a cave for Osama bin Laden — there you, there you see the grass — and changing a tire for a terrorist. Republicans decided not to use it, but someone posted it on the video-sharing site YouTube.”
“But soon YouTube flagged it, meaning that viewers first saw an advisory telling them the video was inappropriate for some users, a warning usually reserved for profane or sexually explicit material. YouTube is catching heat for this and has since removed the advisory. A spokeswoman couldn't say why the video was originally flagged.” FNC's The Big Story also explored the YouTube censorship issue, with host John Gibson interviewing David Zucker.
The cave-painting and lawn-mowing is just a joke, but what about that basketball? In real life, NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell accompanied Albright on her trip to North Korea. Here’s how she ended her report on the October 24, 2000 edition of MSNBC’s The News with Brian Williams (remember that?):
“As Albright and Kim say goodbye at a farewell dinner, she tells him to call anytime; he asks her for her e-mail address. And her gift to this reclusive leader? An autographed Michael Jordan basketball. Clearly, say U.S. officials, Kim, an avid basketball fan is a lot less isolated than his people. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Pyongyang, North Korea.”
The final pictures of Mitchell’s news story showed Albright, Kim and their aides sharing a champagne toast, everyone smiling broadly.
In the Zucker spoof, "Albright" wore a bright blue suit; in real life, the Secretary wore a black suit with a gold pin. But the smiles and the champagne were a match.
All that was missing were the pom-poms.