Youtube is capable of nearly anything: turning a 12-year-old into a singing sensation, attracting millions of hits for a music video and most recently, distorting the words of a university professor.
Just this past week, a user named Oompaloompa50702 posted a video clip of U.S. Naval War College professor Karl Walling purportedly justifying rape. But it turns out the video was edited to take Walling's speech out of context.
As Inside Higher Ed reports:
In the portion of the talk that was posted to YouTube, [Walling] is talking about Machiavelli's views on the goddess Fortuna, as a symbol of the luck or opportunity that can either help or hinder a leader's agenda. Walling is discussing Machiavelli's view that a strong leader does not surrender to Fortuna, but seeks to assert control. And he notes that to Machiavelli, it was not incidental that Fortuna was a female figure and the leader was a man, depending on a woman to back him.
In the video, Walling then proceeds to use explicit language when explaining Machiavelli's thought process. He states, "What does a leader do when the bitch won't put out? I do not mean to be vulgar, but rather to get to the heart of the matter from Machiavelli. If Fortuna will not cooperate, then make her do so. Real men, real leaders do not take no for an answer. Fortuna, said Machiavelli, is a woman, and when it is necessary if one wants to hold her down, to beat her down, moreover, she will like it." (Watch the video below).
Response to the video and Walling's characterization of women has been highly negative. As a result, the U.S. Naval War College suspended the professor with pay and forced him to apologize.
But Walling claims that the short video took his words entirely out of context. In fact, the way in which he explained Machiavelli's sentiments was an accurate depiction, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. He is currently considering pressing charges.
What do you think? Weigh in with a comment.
WATCH: The edited version of Walling's speech: