Friday, May 02, 2008


Mickey Kantor and War Room

I've watched the film numerous times... and I never stopped to actually think about the scene where Carville and Stephanopoulos are looking over exit poll data. It is one of my favorite parts of the movie... nothing gets me going like exit poll data (I kid you not).

So I was very much surprised to hear that Mickey Kantor (Campaign Chair of Clinton/Gore '92) being accused of not only degrading the people of Indiana but also Black people.

Upon initial look at the undoctored clip, I quickly dismissed the second part of the clip (the one where he says that the people of Indiana "white ni88ers" in the doctored clip). Its clear that there was not only not enough time to utter such a phrase but also that his lips don't seem to be saying that at all. What is he saying in that second part? I'm not sure. I just know its not what the doctored clip has him say.

Now the first part is more interesting. Upon first view, I bought that Kantor said the people of Indiana are "sh8t". It seemed that way.

Then, DA Pennebaker, the mind behind War Room, produced the official transcript.

Here's what Kantor supposedly said:
MICKEY KANTOR: Look at Indiana. Wait, wait. Look at Indiana. Forty-two, forty. It doesn't matter if we win. Those people are s----ing (oh, excuse me) in the White House. How would you like to be... Look at Texas, go down to Texas.

Now, I went back after reading the script and watched the clip again. We get "in the white house" for sure. The BIG question is whether he says "sh8t" or "sh8tting". The difference is key. If he says, "sh8t" it means that he is probably referring to the people of Indiana. If he says "sh8tting", then Pennebaker's version is probably right.

After reviewing the tape, I find "sh8tting" to be more believable than "sh8t". Its very difficult to discern, but he is (to me) using a two syllable word. And the word that rhymes with "hit" only has one.

I buy Pennebaker... and besides, why the devil would they allow this to be in the initial film if Kantor was saying what the doctored clip claims he was saying?

Now, I know that initial film reviews mentioned that Kantor did utter some not nice words. But they heard the same version that I did. It was my experience that I heard the same "hateful" words towards Indianans on first viewing.

But upon further review, Pennebaker's version holds and Kantor is found "not guilty" by this person.

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