The Trump administration's approach to truth would make Ingsoc proud
By Joe Harker
The White House has been accused of sharing doctored footage of an incident that took place during a press conference. Jim Acosta of CNN was asking Donald Trump questions when an aide of the president attempted to take a microphone out of his hands. Acosta was accused of "absolutely unacceptable" behaviour for "placing his hands" on the aide. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shared the video and said Acosta's actions were "clearly documented" in it.
However, the video shared by Sanders has been accused of being doctored to make the incident look more violent than it was. The movement of Acosta's hand has been sped up in comparison to the rest of the footage to make it look like he is karate chopping the aide in the arm.
The footage Sanders shared was taken from InfoWars and altered to make it look like Acosta hits the woman trying to take the microphone off him, reports the Daily Mail. The footage zooms in and replays the contact between Acosta and the aide but when played alongside unaltered footage the reporter's arm moves at different times and speeds.
CNN have stood by Acosta, who has had his press pass for the White House revoked meaning that he is no longer allowed on the premises. The White House has insisted they did so because of the alleged attempt to hit the aide, but CNN argues that it is because the president did not like Acosta's "challenging questions". During the press conference Trump tried to get someone else to ask questions instead of Acosta and the microphone was taken away to silence the CNN reporter.
Writing in The Guardian, Suzanne Moore argues that the US press needs to learn to stand up to Trump. Too often the president insults the journalists asking him questions, calling Acosta a "rude, terrible person" and insulted another journalist who stuck up for Acosta. At what point should they decide enough is enough and walk out to show solidarity?
This is an unfortunate and appalling part of Trump's media strategy. For the man who tells anyone disagreeing with him they are "fake news" his administration certainly plays an active role in spreading it around. His administration has shared doctored footage and used it as evidence to silence a journalist who asked the president difficult questions.
For too many in the US the truth is whatever the Trump administration says it is. Acosta did not strike the aide attempting to take the microphone off him but they have shared doctored footage and used it as a reason to block him from returning to other press conferences. Most of Trump's supporters will latch onto the doctored footage and treat it as evidence that Acosta and CNN are bad and shouldn't be trusted. They will believe the lie because they support the liar.