The Biden campaign released an ad Wednesday night that relies on manipulative editing to criticize President Trump. The ad, posted below, features a clip of Trump speaking before the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2018.
“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” Trump said at the time. In the ad from the Biden campaign, that remark is met with an outburst of laughter.
But, that’s not what actually happened. Freelance writer Jeryl Bier compared the video and audio of the Biden ad with an unedited video of Trump at the United Nations General Assembly and discovered the Biden campaign “edits the sequence to make it appear as if the audience reacted with an outburst of laughter to Trump’s original boast.”
Was there an outburst of laughter after Trump’s boast? Nope. Bier noted, “I realize that it’s a campaign ad and those are notorious for deceptive editing, but if the whole point of your ad is that leaders are laughing at Trump, it seems that editing the video to make the laughter seem more direct is not a point in your favor.”
The media has rushed to criticize Donald Trump for sharing “doctored” photos and videos. The media was outraged when Trump shared a video of a CNN meteorologist confirming Trump’s claim that Alabama was originally considered to be in the path of Hurricane Dorian. The clip used a repetition technique when the meteorologist said Alabama in order to emphasize it. It wasn’t deceptive, but the media called the video “doctored” anyway. Trump was also accused of sharing a doctored video of Nancy Pelosi, because the video (produced by Fox News) was actually just a series of clips of Pelosi slurring her speech cut together (with transitions) for the purpose of time. And more recently, there’s the example of Trump tweeting a photo of him giving a medal to the hero dog Conan, which caused a huge media storm.
To “doctor” something is to falsify or alter something with the goal of deception. The media has falsely accused Trump multiple times of sharing “doctored” photos and videos. Will they jump on Biden’s actual doctoring of a video to appear more damaging to Trump?
Let’s wait and see, but don’t count on it.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis