10/16/2008 03:41 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Supporters Labeled Protesters in AP "Raw" VIDEO >>

Setting the visual record straight

Here's the title of the video issued by AP:

Raw video: protesters crowd debate site.

Here's the AP synopsis of the segment:

While there were some McCain supporters outside of the final presidential debate site, AP cameras captured many more Obama supporters in Hempstead, NY, where Obama and McCain spar Wednesday night. (Oct. 15)

Here's the syllogism:

Protesters crowd debate
AP cameras captured many more Obama supporters
Therefore all Obama supporters are protesters

Here's the rewrite:
While there were some McCain supporters outside of the final presidential debate site, AP cameras captured many more anti-McCain protesters as well as many more Obama supporters

The spliced-in and the spiced-out

Apparently all Obama supporters in this "raw" video are unwashed, throwback, peacenick, hippie-freak punkrockers. Susty is all for the big tent of integration, but integration means balance and proportion -- it's about finding common ground and knowing there's always going to be a little pepper mixed in with the salt and vice versa. The producers and editors of this quickly turned-around AP vid have clearly only focused their lens, like that of a magnifying glass aiming sunlight at ants, onto those who are voicing anti-McCain sentiments rather than those issuing pro-Obama sound bites. There is a place for the pink hair as well as the collared shirt and there needn't be one "balanced" place where both are present in equal proportion nor at all. However the dissonance in the texual overlay belies an intention, conscious or otherwise, to drag down bonafide Obama supporters to the level of those McCain rally members who shouted hate speech about Obama. One is left to ponder which footage has been sent to the digital trash can....

Synopsis of the "raw" Associated Press video news segment

anti mccain t-shirt stop war on immigrants protester final presidential debate 2008 obama supporter latino whistle Hofstra University associated press ap photo

Perchance we see the type of t-shirt which so troubles Mr. McCain to see worn at Obama rallies. One of those sloganed t-shirts that he found worthy of mention during last night's debate. A t-shirt with verbage tantimount to yelling "kill him" or "terrorist." Not. This shirt reads "stop war on immigrants."

Then there's the person wearing a papier-mache McCain-head with stickers pasted over the face reading "McCain endless war." One clue that tells you this person is anti-McCain is the way they verbally mock that candidate's propensity for blurting out the phrase "my friends" to large groups of people whom he has never personally met. The producers would have chyroned a lower-third with the protester's name and a subtitle reading "Anti-McCain protester," but the frame was simply too cluttered to accomodate the text.

Next comes the bongo drummer with hair dyed crimson and t-shirt reading "who would Jesus bomb?" Due to the need for the viewer to read the t-shirt, again no room for that Anti-McCain chyron.

Ah, here's a pretty young girl. We know that she is Sarah Payne because this "raw" video now includes overlayed chyron graphics. A fact is a fact. Sarah Payne, that's her name. The chyron also tells us she's an Obama supporter while we hear her say:

We're out here today calling attention to the fact that John McCain's policies are four more years of the same failed economic stuff that got us into this mess in the first place.

Ok, she may be aping the wonk-speak put forth by the Obama-indoctrinated, but her anti-McCain critique is not ad hominem but rather critical of McCain's proposed policies. Therefore, it's not too bad to call label her an Obama supporter. And she has with her some imaginative diner menus with dishes like "baby give back to the wealthy ribs" including a tab for every single tax-payer of over $27,000 which she claims is the cost of McCain's policies to the American tax payer.

Who's up next? Kelly Jacobs, Obama Supporter. Says she, "My sign says McCain is too old and Governor Palin is too stupid. Of course I shortened it down so it would all fit."

The sign she holds reads precisely: He's too old, she's 2 dumb.

And there you have it. Support for Obama in the form of protest against McCain. At least that how a slap-dash AP video would have you see it.

Thank goodness Obama's best supporter is himself vis a vis his ability to focus and articulate his vision for leading America. And as with all good leadership, we will find ourselves put under the magnifying glass, not to be burned, but rather to be shown and then know who we are and what we are capable of.