Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shared an altered video of CNN’s Jim Acosta — who has had his press credentials revoked, essentially banning him from attending briefings hosted by the White House. The White House says that Acosta’s exchange and supposed swipe towards an intern who was reaching for his microphone as the reason why his credentials have been revoked. However, the video — and the truth — has been manipulated.
The testy exchange started when Acosta challenged Trump on his rhetoric surrounding the migrant caravan on their way to the United States. Acosta accused Trump of using fear to galvanize his base, in what many reported was an effort to stop losing Republican control of the House. Ultimately, Republicans lost enough seats to hand control to Democrats.
Trump spent the first half the post-midterm conference mocking Republicans who lost, then turning on the press, eventually mocking reporters, journalism, and Acosta. Trump’s rhetoric was quite the opposite of Obama’s first post-midterm conference back in 2010.
But Trump’s attacks on Acosta during the news conference weren’t enough for the White House. Later in the day, Sanders posted a string of tweets in which she accused Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.”
Less than an hour later, Sanders tweeted out the doctored video, writing, “We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video.”
However, comparing the actual footage with the footage tweeted by Sanders shows obvious manipulation of the video.
The intern’s reach for the mic is slowed down, and the “chop” motion is accelerated. Here’s an annotated side by side comparison: pic.twitter.com/wLCG5GVdo1
— Aymann Ismail (@aymanndotcom) November 8, 2018
Peter Baker, Chief House Correspondent for The New York Times and a MSNBC analyst explains:
White House Photographers Assn says it “is appalled to learn that the White House spokesperson may have shared a manipulated video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s interaction with a White House intern during a news conference. … Manipulating images is manipulating truth.”
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) November 8, 2018
We have come to this: Our elected leaders have antagonized the press, enabling attacks by disgruntled citizens, and sees no problem sharing manipulated videos and the truth to appease their base.
Featured image via screen capture