A video of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber saying a “lack of transparency” was crucial in fooling ‘stupid Americans’ which caused controversy was subsequently deleted by the University of Pennsylvania only to be reinstated after a backlash.
The clip, which featured Gruber speaking at the October 2013 Annual Health Economics Conference, first emerged on YouTube yesterday and was viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.
However, after the story made headlines across the board a full version of the video was pulled by the University, being replaced by a message which read, “This video has been removed by the user.”
The removal of the video prompted complaints from many, including Bloomberg columnist Megan McArdle who tweeted her disgust at the University for engaging in political censorship.
This is pretty shocking behavior by my alma mater. Why would @Penn pull down a public video that has political implications?
— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) November 10, 2014
The University also refused Fox News permission to play the clip on air, according to Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitments, the organization that first circulated the video.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) November 10, 2014
Presumably the University was unaware of what has become known as the Streisand effect – whereby the attempt to censor information only results in it becoming more widely distributed.
The clip of Gruber making his “lack of transparency” comment had already been uploaded to innumerable different YouTube accounts, but the Unversity’s ham-fisted effort to censor the video after the fact provides a disturbing insight into the mindset of those making such decisions.
Following the backlash, a new version of the video was uploaded to the University’s conference page, but the institution has failed to offer an explanation as to why it deleted the original footage.