Altered Video Of CNN Reporter Jim Acosta Heralds A Future Filled With Deep Fakes

Altered Video Of CNN Reporter Jim Acosta Heralds A Future Filled With \Deep Fakes\
Trump says more reporters may lose White House credentials
NEW YORK — U.S. President Donald Trump claimed on Friday that a White House-released video depicting contact between a staffer and a CNN reporter wasnt altered, and he seemingly threatened to revoke the White House press credentials of more reporters.

Trump insisted that the video distributed by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was simply a "close-up" and "was not doctored."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted the video, which shows Acosta asking President Donald Trump a question on Wednesday as the intern tries to take his microphone away. But a frame-by-frame comparison with an Associated Press video of the same incident shows that the one tweeted by Sanders appears to have been altered to speed up Acostas arm movement as he touches the interns arm, according to Abba Shapiro, an independent video producer who examined the footage at APs request.

"Nobody manipulated it. All that is is a close-up," said the president, who then attacked the reporter for asking the question and called him "dishonest."

During Lyndon Johnsons presidency, the Secret Service denied clearance to Robert Sherrill, a reporter for The Nation who had gotten into physical fights with government officials. During the George W. Bush presidency, Trude Feldman, who worked for various news outlets, was suspended for 90 days after security cameras recorded her looking through a press aides desk late one night. In the 1970s, President Nixon tried to get Washington Post reporters banned from the White House.

A frame-by-frame comparison with an Associated Press video of the same incident from Trumps postelection news conference Wednesday shows that the video tweeted by Sanders appears to speed up CNN reporter Jim Acostas arm movement when he makes contact with a White House intern who was trying to take away Acostas microphone. The speedup appears to make the gesture more threatening.

The New York Times editorialized in favour of restoring Acostas pass, saying it signalled Trumps view that asking hard questions disqualifies reporters from attending briefings. The newspaper said that if Sanders was so offended by physical contact, what did she have to say when her boss praised as my kind of guy Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana, who was sentenced to anger management classes and community service for body-slamming a Guardian reporter last spring?

Trump, in remarks Friday, also did not back off his administrations decision to suspend Acostas press credential, which allows the CNN correspondent access to the White House grounds.

CNN has labelled Sanders characterization of Acostas exchange with the intern as a lie. Its position has been supported by witnesses including Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, who was next to Acosta during the news conference and tweeted that he did not see Acosta place his hands on the White House employee. Rather, he said he saw him holding on to the microphone as she reached for it.

"Hes a very unprofessional guy. I dont think hes a smart person but he has a loud voice," Trump told reporters in a testy 20-plus-minute exchange before he left for Paris and a World War I commemoration ceremony. "You have to treat the White House with respect. You have to treat the presidency with respect."

The tweeted video also does not have any audio, which Shapiro said would make it easier to alter. Its also unlikely the differences could be explained by technical glitches or by video compression – a reduction in a videos size to enable it to play more smoothly on some sites – because the slowing of the video and the acceleration that followed are too precise to be an accident.

The president said he had not decided if Acostas pass would be reinstated and he suggested there "could be others" who lose their credentials. He belittled several of the reporters gathered around him. He said one had asked "a stupid question," and he singled out April Ryan, a correspondent for Urban Radio Networks, calling her "very nasty" and "a loser."

As visual journalists, we know that manipulating images is manipulating truth, said Whitney Shefte, the associations president. Its deceptive, dangerous and unethical. Knowingly sharing manipulated images is equally problematic, particularly when the person sharing them is a representative of our countrys highest office with vast influence over public opinion.

Ryan, who is also a CNN contributor, tweeted in response: "I love this country and have the most respect for the Office of the President. I will continue to ask the questions that affect America, all of America."

Trumps latest attacks on the media came in the wake of his free-wheeling and contentious news conference two days earlier, and followed demands by several journalists and organizations — including the American Society of News Editors, the Associated Press Media Editors and the White House Correspondents Association — that Acostas press pass be reinstated.

It is the essential function of a free press in every democracy to independently gather and report information in the public interest, a right that is enshrined in the First Amendment, said Julie Pace, APs Washington bureau chief. We strongly reject the idea that any administration would block a journalists access to the White House.

"It is the essential function of a free press in every democracy to independently gather and report information in the public interest, a right that is enshrined in the First Amendment," said Julie Pace, APs Washington bureau chief. "We strongly reject the idea that any administration would block a journalists access to the White House."

The New York Times editorialized in favour of restoring Acostas pass, saying it signalled Trumps view that asking hard questions disqualifies reporters from attending briefings. The newspaper said that if Sanders was so offended by physical contact, "what did she have to say when her boss praised as my kind of guy Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana, who was sentenced to anger management classes and community service for body-slamming a Guardian reporter last spring?"

Sanders, who hasnt said where the tweeted video came from, noted that it clearly shows Acosta made contact with the intern. In her statement announcing Acostas suspension, she said the White House wont tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job.

During Lyndon Johnsons presidency, the Secret Service denied clearance to Robert Sherrill, a reporter for The Nation who had gotten into physical fights with government officials. During the George W. Bush presidency, Trude Feldman, who worked for various news outlets, was suspended for 90 days after security cameras recorded her looking through a press aides desk late one night. In the 1970s, President Richard Nixon tried to get Washington Post reporters banned from the White House.

Despite losing his White House pass, Acosta travelled to Paris this weekend to cover Trumps trip to meet with world leaders. He tweeted a photo of himself standing in front of the Eiffel Tower early Friday.

Abba Shapiro, an independent video producer who examined the Wednesday footage at APs request, noticed that frames in the tweeted video of the exchange at the news conference were frozen to slow down the action, allowing it to run the same length as the AP one.

After their exchange, Trump told Acosta: “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN. You’re a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible. And the way you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way.”

Sanders, who hasnt said where the tweeted video came from, noted that it clearly shows Acosta made contact with the intern. In her statement announcing Acostas suspension, she said the White House wont tolerate "a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job."

The move to punish Acosta by removing his access to the White House is believed to be unprecedented. The Trump administration barred another CNN reporter from attending an open media event in July but until now has not gone as far as removing a credential, known as a “hard pass,” which enables a journalist to enter the White House grounds.

While the origin of the manipulated video is unclear, its distribution marked a new low for an administration that has been criticized for its willingness to mislead.

CNN has labeled Sanders characterization of Acostas exchange with the intern as a lie. Its position has been supported by witnesses, including Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, who was next to Acosta during the news conference and tweeted that he did not see Acosta place his hands on the White House employee. Rather, Mason said he saw Acosta holding on to the microphone as the intern reached for it.

Despite video, right-wing personalities continued to spread online the false allegation that Acosta had been seen “pushing and shoving a female White House aide.” A HuffPost reporter noted that the brief video shared by Sanders was made by an editor from Infowars, the site led by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

After news of Acosta’s press pass suspension broke, numerous journalists came to his defense. Jeff Mason, the former president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said he was seated next to Acosta at the news conference and that Sanders’s characterization of what happened was false.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he might not return CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s pass to get into the White House and that other journalists may lose their credentials as well, after he argued with Acosta at a post-election news conference on Wednesday.

“In an explanation, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied,” the network stated. “She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened. This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support.”

“I haven’t made that decision, but it could be others also,” Trump said as he departed the White House on Friday for a commemoration of the end of the First World War in France. He insulted Acosta, saying “I don’t think he’s a smart person but he’s got a loud voice.”

Unprompted, he brought up April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, who often asks argumentative questions of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Trump.

“It’s the same thing with April Ryan,” Trump said. “You want to talk about someone who’s a loser. She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. She gets publicity and then she gets a pay raise.”

Ryan said in a tweet that she has “the most respect for the Office of the President” but will “continue to ask the questions that affect America, all of America.”

What appears to be the same video was shared two hours earlier by Paul Joseph Watson, the editor-at-large of Infowars.com, a far-right conspiracy outlet whose content has been barred from almost every major tech content distributor, including Apple, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube, generally for violating their policies on hate speech.

Trump’s relationship with the journalists who cover the White House fell to a new low on Wednesday after the confrontation with Acosta, who provoked the president by asking him whether he had “demonized” immigrants in the run-up to Tuesday’s midterm election. After increasingly heated back-and-forth between the men, Trump told Acosta “you should let me run the country, you run CNN,” and cut off his questions.

Acosta, the chief White House correspondent for CNN, was engaged in a tense exchange with President Donald Trump during a press conference at the White House when a White House intern walked up and tried to take the microphone away from him. Acosta held on to the microphone and kept trying to question Trump.

When a White House intern tried to take a microphone from Acosta, he blocked her with his arm. Sanders later accused Acosta of “placing his hands” on the intern and said his White House credential had been suspended “until further notice.”

Acosta was holding the microphone in his right hand. At one point, the intern reached under Acostas left arm to try to grab the microphone, and he appeared to gently block her with his arm. Here is the moment as broadcast live on NBC:

Acosta responded by calling Sanders a liar. She subsequently tweeted a manipulated video clip that showed Acosta’s arm touching the intern’s arm as she tried to take the microphone. The video does not show Acosta putting his hands on the woman.

CNN has defended Acosta and assailed the White House for taking his credential. The White House Correspondents’ Association said in a statement that “revoking access to the White House complex is a reaction out of line to the purported offence and is unacceptable.”

The White House Correspondents Association condemned the suspension of Acostas credentials, saying the White House should “immediately reverse this weak and misguided action.”

U.S. President Donald Trump said he might not return CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s pass to get into the White House and that other journalists may lose their credentials as well, after he argued with Acosta at a post-election news conference on Wednesday.

“The question is: did the reporter make contact or not?” Sanders said in a statement distributed to reporters. “The video is clear, he did. We stand by our statement.”

“I haven’t made that decision, but it could be others also,” Trump said as he departed the White House on Friday for a commemoration of the end of the First World War in France. He insulted Acosta, saying “I don’t think he’s a smart person but he’s got a loud voice.”

At the press conference, Acosta had been repeatedly challenging the presidents characterization of a Central American migrant caravan as an invasion.

Unprompted, he brought up April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, who often asks argumentative questions of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Trump.

The CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter asked Sanders for the source of the video. “Surely you dont trust InfoWars…?” he said on Twitter.

“It’s the same thing with April Ryan,” Trump said. “You want to talk about someone who’s a loser. She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. She gets publicity and then she gets a pay raise.”

A video shared on Twitter by the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, makes Acostas movement appear more violent.

Ryan said in a tweet that she has “the most respect for the Office of the President” but will “continue to ask the questions that affect America, all of America.”

Trump’s relationship with the journalists who cover the White House fell to a new low on Wednesday after the confrontation with Acosta, who provoked the president by asking him whether he had “demonized” immigrants in the run-up to Tuesday’s midterm election. After increasingly heated back-and-forth between the men, Trump told Acosta “you should let me run the country, you run CNN,” and cut off his questions.

When a White House intern tried to take a microphone from Acosta, he blocked her with his arm. Sanders later accused Acosta of “placing his hands” on the intern and said his White House credential had been suspended “until further notice.”

Acosta responded by calling Sanders a liar. She subsequently tweeted a manipulated video clip that showed Acosta’s arm touching the intern’s arm as she tried to take the microphone. The video does not show Acosta putting his hands on the woman.

CNN has defended Acosta and assailed the White House for taking his credential. The White House Correspondents’ Association said in a statement that “revoking access to the White House complex is a reaction out of line to the purported offence and is unacceptable.”