In the middle of an already long hectic news cycle, the Trump administration dumped a new controversy in the United States’ lap on Wednesday, revoking CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s access to the White House. As part of their promotion of their claims against Acosta, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders used a doctored video drawn, seemingly, from the conspiracy-driven far right media outlet InfoWars — because of course.
The video slows down and speeds up part of the interaction that’s been the focus of concern to make it look like Acosta is in the wrong. The administration accused him of an attack on women because when a female aide went to take his microphone after President Donald Trump tried to shut him down during a Wednesday morning press conference, the high profile reporter gently but firmly resisted.
There was no assault, and Sanders’ claims otherwise stand as a mockery to the many victims of assault who are actually out there, including those who have credibly accused her own boss, Donald Trump.
No doubt, staffers sat around and examined the situation for any point they could utilize to go after the reporter, and it feels unlikely that anyone sitting in the actual room or watching the interaction through some other means had the concerns Sanders has raised jump out to them.
Sanders is sticking to her drummed up, false attack anyway.
Captioning a doctored video (and referring to Acosta’s press credential), Sanders posted:
‘We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video.’
We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video. pic.twitter.com/T8X1Ng912y
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
The problem is that there’s no clear documentation. The video appears to have been edited to slow down the aide’s approach and speed up the part where their arms intertwine, making it look like Acosta delivered what some have mocked as a “karate chop.”
That just didn’t happen, though. The aide reached for the mic first, and Acosta, as mentioned, resisted, and that was that. The administration has dragged the national political conversation down into the mud by making some point out who started it — but if they’re going to play this game, there are plenty of others who can play it better, and the aide “started it.” She wasn’t personally acting in a repugnant fashion in the first place, though — she was just doing her job. There is no appearance of any issue until the administration decided there’d be one because they don’t like Jim Acosta.
As reporter Elise Jordan put it:
‘The White House Press Secretary tweeted a doctored Infowars video, solidifying her position as the most dishonest Press Secretary in history. That is something.’
The White House Press Secretary tweeted a doctored Infowars video, solidifying her position as the most dishonest Press Secretary in history. That is something. https://t.co/rQgJnGfQq1
— Elise Jordan (@Elise_Jordan) November 8, 2018
CNN’s Matt Dornic added a message addressed to Sanders directly:
‘Absolutely shameful, @PressSec. You released a doctored video – actual fake news. History will not be kind to you.’
— Matt Dornic (@mdornic) November 8, 2018
They don’t seem to care, persisting in their bubble they’ve tried to insulate from reality. It’s more of the familiar Hail Mary approach most have come to expect from the Trump administration.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot