How about "we'll give you no more money until Sullivan and Clough are fired"?
Were the Smithsonian to relent, to then refuse it the right to show the video would have the effect of cutting off the public's noses to spite the Trustees' faces, if you'll forgive the phrase.
stupid poll. durr.
The Smithsonian is free, right? So this is something that would be available freely to the public at large, as opposed to housing it someplace like the MOMA or SAM, where there is an admission fee.

So, yes, the free museum that attracts multiple thousands of visitors per week should be allowed to house the video, if only for the reason that they have a large, guaranteed audience.
@4: SAM is free also. That price of admission is only "suggested", except for special exhibits.
My Great Aunt helped to uncover the fact that the Smithsonian has a contract with the Wright Brothers descendants that says if they admit the Wright's were not the first to fly they have to give their plane back. Lots of the history at that museum is heavily influenced by money.
If the Smithsonian does in fact put the video back up then it absolutely should be allowed to, if only to spite the haters who pulled it down in the first place.
@6, was your great-aunt Stella Randolph? It's interesting that you support your claim with a link to a website that discredits her suggestion. The conspiracy theory about the clause in the Smithsonian contract is almost always based on the belief that Gustave Whitehead flew before the Wright Brothers, but he certainly did not. A bunch of unsupported hearsay evidence was produced after the fact, but nothing substantial, and even a cursory look at Whitehead's machines will tell you they were bogus.

Note that the Wright flight was extensively documented and photographed, while Whitehead's were supported only by patently ridiculous claims -- it's technically impossible to photograph a machine moving at 70 MPH, the "eyewitness" was a passenger, the flights were held at night to avoid crowds, etc.

The real reason for the contract clause was because the Smithsonian had been claiming for decades that their former Secretary Samuel Langley was the first to fly, but his aircraft was unmanned, while his manned flights were failures. The Smithsonian knew his claim was a lie but maintained it in their exhibits for almost half a century. The contract was designed to put a permanent end to this Langley claim, not the Whitehead one.

Your assertion that the promotion of the Wright Brothers was in some way dishonest, and was motivated by money, is absurd. it's quite the other way around; historians had to fight the Smithsonian's lie for many years before it was corrected.

The real point of the "first flight" argument isn't really about who actually flew first, which rather depends on what you mean by "flew", but whose work pointed the way to the aviation industry. That work was indisputably performed by the Wright Brothers. Langley did make valuable contributions, but Whitehead and most of the other even more dubious claimants with their bird-wing machines did not.
God, Fnarf, you really need a t-shirt with "...Less" printed on it.
Always glad to hear your input, Mr. Cornball.

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