Sen. Jim Inhofe’s staff wants to know more about why YouTube took down a video that showed an EPA regional administrator comparing the agency’s enforcement philosophy to Roman crucifixions.
The takedown, which POLITICO noticed early Friday, apparently took place at the behest of a “citizen media” activist who had originally posted the video on YouTube, Inhofe spokesman Matt Dempsey said by email.
Dempsey said the video of EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz originally came from a YouTube channel called “Citizen Media for We The People,” run by someone named David McFatridge.
That name also appears on the YouTube error screen that replaced Inhofe’s Armendariz video link. It reads: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by David McFatridge. Sorry about that.”
Dempsey wrote that “we will be looking into an official response for YouTube to the claim brought forward by David McFatridge of ‘Citizen Media for We The People,’ in the morning.”
“In short, the video we cut and posted to our YouTube channel came from a YouTube channel, ‘Citizen Media for We The People,’ that said reuse is allowed and we attributed the site in the description of the video,” Dempsey added. “Further in our original website post for our media advisory, we also included a link to the original source. …. Finally, it appears as of late yesterday afternoon that Citizen Media for We The People took down all of the video content relating to Armendariz’s hourlong comments.”
The video excerpt posted by Inhofe has inspired outrage among critics of EPA regulations, as well as calls by several Republican House members for Armendariz to either step down or be fired.
The “Citizens Media” channel includes videos about fracking, gay rights protests and other causes. McFatridge could not immediately be reached for comment.
Based on all of the above facts put together, it appears the video was pulled by the person who originally posted it because of the political responses to it. Based on the other videos listed on the channel, it would appear McFatridge probably was a supporter of the comments.
More on the comments from Fox News:
Al Armendariz, the EPA administrator in the Region 6 Dallas office, made the remarks at a local Texas government meeting in 2010. He relayed to the audience what he described as a “crude” analogy he once told his staff about his “philosophy of enforcement.”
“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean,” he said. “They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they’d crucify them.
“And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years,” he said.
Armendariz went on to say that “you make examples out of people who are in this case not complying with the law … and you hit them as hard as you can” — to act as a “deterrent” to others.
UPDATE: McFatridge doesn’t appear in the FEC database as a contributor to any federal campaigns. You can google him and find all sorts of comments he’s left on news articles – most of them related to gay activism and some related to his environmental causes as mentioned by Politico.
David McFatridge of Queer LiberAction says, “Last night members of Fort Worth’s Queer LiberAction where confronted by a radical religious group during a free speech event held in Sundance Square. Original planned to be held at 3rd and Houston but was moved to 4th and Houston in order to avoid a direct confrontation with the group. At which time the religious group ,not getting the direct confrontation desired moved toward 4th and Houston. Fort Worth’s Queer LiberAction held their ground. This religious group may be the first to be prosecuted with the newly passed hate crimes legislation if violence occurs in any future events. The free speech event ended peacefully, this time.”
UPDATE: Lachlan Markay of Heritage Foundation has the video now from another location.
He also has more on Fatridge:
The YouTube video’s owner appears to be the same David McFatridge listed as an activist for the radical environmental group the Sierra Club. McFatridge has been active in a number of anti-hydraulic fracturing campaigns.