PBS Posts Full Archived 1991 Obama Harvard Video
PBS has posted their full archived tape of Derrick Bell’s 1991 protest at Harvard, featuring part of the introduction by now-President Barack Obama: The Story Behind the Obama Law School Speech Video.
(Obama begins speaking at about 6:32 into the video.)
Today, the website BuzzFeed published a clip of the speech along with an article explaining some past and current context for Obama’s remarks. The website claimed the clip was “not previously available online.” The editors at brietbart.com responded that the video on Buzzfeed had been “selectively edited” and said that they would release the full footage tonight on Fox News.
But there’s nothing new about the clip or Obama’s role in the controversy at Harvard Law School. In 2008, as a part of our quadrennial election special The Choice 2008, FRONTLINE ran the same footage of the speech as a part of an exploration of Obama’s time at Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1991. It’s been online at our site and on YouTube since then. You can see that part of the film below.
FRONTLINE producers obtained the footage from the same source as BuzzFeed did this week: the archives of WGBH, Boston’s PBS station. The footage was shot in 1990 by a team of local news producers for the WGBH Ten O’Clock News. FRONTLINE is produced at WGBH and our producers were alerted to the footage in the station archives in 2008.
In light of today’s controversy, and breitbart.com editors’ claims that the footage had been edited, we pulled the full archived tape. In includes not just Obama’s speech, but other footage from the rally and portions of Derrick Bell’s speech. You can watch it in full below.