Well, this took a lot of gall.
CNBC’s Eamon Javers reported on the kerfuffle between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s political crew, and a SOTU video that President Donald Trump shared on Facebook and Twitter.
The video featured two moments from Trump’s State of the Union Address. The first moment was Trump giving honors to 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman — and 400-combat-mission veteran — Charles McGee. The second was Pelosi ripping the text of Trump’s speech in half, something she’d prepared in advance as caught on video by the New York Post.
Here’s the clip Trump shared:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2020
And here is Pelosi’s pre-torn copy of the speech (video of her actually doing it at the link within the tweet):
Lmao: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi apparently made tiny tears into her copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address — so that her speech-ripping moment could go off without a hitch." https://t.co/OBUdZwyBoV
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) February 5, 2020
Pelosi’s office demanded that Twitter and Facebook remove the clip Trump shared, complaining that “The latest fake video of Speaker Pelosi is deliberately designed to mislead and lie to the American people, and every day that these platforms refuse to take it down is another reminder that they care more about their shareholders’ interests than the public’s interests.”
Facebook refused, saying on Twitter, “Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn’t make those remarks and the Speaker didn’t rip the speech?” Twitter told Pelosi’s office, “that it will not remove the Trump video under its current rules,” according to Javers.
Javers’ CNBC writeup also included this wee tiny bit of obfuscation, which made it appear that the edited video was deceptive. He wrote:
The video in question showed Pelosi’s viral State of the Union moment ripping up text of the Trump’s speech Tuesday night, but was edited to make it appear that she ripped the speech even as Trump saluted a Tuskegee airman in the audience. In fact, Pelosi’s speech ripping gesture came at the end of the President’s speech, and her office said it was in response to the totality of the speech and what Pelosi saw as misinformation in it.
I found it curious that in a report brimming with quotes from Pelosi’s office that Javers blithely summarized what Pelosi herself said about ripping up her copy of Trump’s address. The same Pelosi who golf-clapped Trump at his 2019 SOTU address, snubbed the president’s traditional introduction on Monday, and mugged for the cameras throughout both speeches, had lots to say about why she tore up the speech.
She said it was an “entirely appropriate” thing to do and even “the courteous thing to do.” Pelosi also claimed that Trump “shredded the truth in his speech,” which she described to reporters as a “manifesto of mistruths.”
Or as Glenn Reynolds blogged on Thursday:
Pelosi keeps saying that Trump’s speech was full of lies, and that not one word was true. So the tremendous economic growth didn’t happen? Black workers aren’t doing better? The bottom quartile hasn’t progressed faster than the top 1%? Gen. McGee wasn’t really a Tuskeegee Airman? If you’re going to denounce lies, maybe name one?
So it doesn’t matter where you edit in the clip of Pelosi ripping up Trump’s text, because in her own words her action was meant to “clearly indicate to the American people that this is not the truth.” She tore up the honors rendered to General McGee and his great-grandson. She tore up the reunion between an enlisted Army man and his family. She tore up the memory of a murdered daughter. And in her own words, she’s proud of all that, because there was not “one page I could spare that didn’t have a lie on it.”
Those were some big, juicy quotes Javers decided to leave out, which made Pelosi’s complaint against Twitter and Facebook appear much stronger than it actually was. But as Glenn also asked (link above), “If we had an actual press, maybe someone would ask her about that.”
The ball’s in your court, Javers.