White House presses YouTube on ‘Muslims’ pic

Rep for Internet giant sez vid is 'clearly within our guidelines'

As protests spread across the Middle East over an incendiary movie ridiculing Islam, the White House has asked YouTube to review whether the 14-minute trailer for “Innocence of Muslims” violates the Internet giant’s terms of use.

“We reached out to YouTube to call the video to their attention and ask them to review whether it violates their terms of use,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

YouTube already has blocked access to the video in Egypt and Libya, but a spokeswoman on Wednesday said that it otherwise “is clearly within our guidelines and will stay on YouTube.”

“This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere,” the company spokeswoman said.

Carney said at the White House daily briefing that “protecting speech, even offensive speech, is a foundational principle of our democracy. But we can nevertheless denounce and condemn expressions of speech that we find offensive, and we have made that clear around the world, as well as here in the United States.”

Just exactly who is behind the movie still remained a mystery, although several news sources have pointed to Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported that the org Media for Christ, based in Duarte, Calif., took out a permit for its production. The org has denied that it has anything to do with the project.

Gawker reported today that Alan Roberts, listed as the director in casting notices, and is best known for helming soft-core porn productions. But it is unclear whether he, like other cast and crew members who have come forward to claim they were duped about the true nature of the project, knew that it had an anti-Islamic theme.

The project is believed to have screened in late June at the Vine Theater in Hollywood. A producer for Current TV’s “The Young Turks” was to show a picture of a poster for the movie, then called “Innocence of Bin Laden,” that he snapped back then, intrigued about the nature of the project.