White House press secretary Sarah Sanders Wednesday evening shared a video CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who appears to have been changed to make his actions at a press conference more aggressive against a White House trainee.
The mounted video looks authentic: Acosta seemed to quickly interfere in the arm of an assistant while he was holding a microphone while he was questioning President Trump. But in the original video, Acosta's arm seems to move only in response to a fight for the microphone. His statement, "Sorry Madam" is not included in the video shared by Sanders.
Critics said the video – which accelerated the movement of Acosta's arms in a way that radically changed the journalist's response – was misleadingly modified to mark political points. This edited video was shared for the first time by Paul Joseph Watson, known for his videos on conspiracy theory on the far right infowars website.
Watson stated that he had not changed the speed of the video and that he had claimed to have modified it as an "impertinent lie". side by side comparisons Jonathan Albright, research director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, argues that crucial parts of the video seem to have been sped up or modified to distort action.
The video quickly became a flash point in the battle against viral misinformation, transforming a live interaction watched by thousands of people in real time into another ideological struggle. But he also highlighted the fact that video content – long regarded as an unparalleled verification tool of truth and confirmation – has become as vulnerable to political distortion as anything else.
Albright said that videos like this have an even greater risk of perpetuating misinformation than completely falsified news videos because they contain a grain of truth and will probably be considered accurate data.
"The most dangerous type of fake news, reporting and evidence, is when you go into the finer details, the nuanced things that are fashioned to present a certain point of view or decision or news about it. somehow, "he said. "It's not generated by AI or completely wrong – it's something real, but that has been literally stretched … and turned into dummy evidence.
Sanders tweet of the mounted video, in which she stated that the White House "would not tolerate inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video," contains at least 20,000 retweets and over 2 million views. Watson video, posted two hours ago, was seen at least 740,000 times.
Matt Dornic, Communications Manager at CNN, tweeted The sharing of the video by Sanders was "absolutely shameful". "You released a tampered video – fake news. The story will not be good with you, "he wrote.
Sanders did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
At the White House press conference, Acosta and Trump quarreled over whether Trump had "demonized immigrants" by calling "an invasion" a caravan of migrants from Central America. After a long exchange, a trainee from the White House took the microphone from Acosta, who held it. "Excuse me, ma'am," said Acosta in the original video, though the audio was removed from the edited version.
On Wednesday night, Sanders accused Acosta of "getting her hands on a young woman" and announced that her press credentials would be suspended "until further notice". Defenders of the press called the action an unprecedented reprisal against a journalist.
The second interaction was meticulously analyzed and compared to a twenty-first century "Zapruder film", the amateur video closely examined by the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy in 1963. On social networks, it is quickly become an object of massive ideological division, in which the same scene is open to very different interpretations.
Watson wrote on Infowars that Acosta "clearly uses her left arm to physically resist the woman" and that he "has mastered it". banned this year by Facebook, Google and Twitter for sharing offensive or threatening content.
In other video According to Sarah Burris, editor-in-chief of the left-wing political blog, Raw Story, the recording was slowed and annotated to show the four times the White House intern touched Acosta while trying to take the microphone. He has been seen over a million times.