In what some Democrats have been calling a historic speech, President Obama laid out the framework of American values and interests last night in his seventh State of the Union address. As for Republicans, while some did find areas of agreement on trade and infrastructure, others simply wanted to change the speech.
After the speech, the official House Republican YouTube page posted a video of the President’s State of the Union speech. With further inspection, Think Progress found that their version edited out some of Obama’s climate change rhetoric.
In his speech, at the 43:25 minute mark President Obama says: “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”
In the Republican version on YouTube, the entire section is skipped, as if the President didn’t say it. The edit tries to cut to another view of the audience, but shows a clear change in the President's words, skipping to a later sentence.
But that isn’t the only edit. At the 44:51 minute mark, Obama’s comments about torture, drone use, and anti-Semitism were also edited out. The quote cut out reads as follows: “As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained. It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world.”
Here is the GOP's video of the speech. The two edits occur at the 43:25 and 44:51 marks:
The House Republican YouTube page is led and anchored by Speaker of the House John Boehner, who appears on the cover page and has many other videos posted.
If it turns out the edits were intentional, it wouldn't be the first time a government official attempted to censor climate change content. In 2005, White House official Philip Cooney was found to have repeatedly edited government climate documents to cover up links between fossil fuels and global warming.