Yesterday in Donald Trump's first press conference following the midterm elections that a number of Democrats had sent to Congress on Tuesday, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta had a controversial interaction with the president. These few seconds have initiated a nationwide discussion about the doctoral video in the intervening 24 hours.
"They are hundreds and hundreds of miles away. This is not an invasion, "Acosta said, referring to the" caravan "of asylum seekers that Trump had demonized in the US before the elections. "I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN. If you did it well, your ratings would be much better, "Trump replied. When Acosta tried to ask another question, a White House intern took the microphone from him ̵
This four-second bill, during which Acosta moved his hand to push away the intern's arm, was conquered by C-SPAN and other news agencies but two more versions were shared: one from Infowars and one from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders .
We hold you to our decision to revoke that person'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
Many retail outlets reported that the videos and doctors were treated, including The Washington Post and Fast Company . Something was different, of course, but with all the speculation, it was difficult to understand exactly what made her different. So I got in touch with a friend of mine, the video producer Jamison Hermann to get a better grip on him.
At first glance, he says that "they havetened the clip to emphasize the movement" – the video becomes faster when Acosta's hand touches the intern's arm. "You can see that the hand raised in the background moves faster, and your face turns faster, and the guy on the left side lets his microphone fall faster to the waist," he explains. Superimposing the two videos in a frame, he says, is the best way to show exactly how it's different: The press officer's video accelerates the moment Acasta's hand touches the intern's arm.
Video comparison by courtesy of Jamison Hermann (@jhermann)
"This is not just frame blending that would happen if you transcoded different frame rates," said Hermann. "It's a sloppy speed change on the footage itself."
The design director of The Verge William Joel, agrees. "I can not say with certainty that Infowars is accelerating or slowing down their footage, but there is a suspicion that if the two clips are overlaid, the only discrepancy is the moment in question," he says. "If this was really a result of ghosting or a difference in frame rate on different source materials, one would expect the same image to be mirrored over the entire clip, not just at a certain moment."
While the video was shared by the government, it actually seems to be prescribed, as this administration lied with no visual aids, it did not have to be real. The real problem here is how Sanders and the President allegedly lied to the public – and every night in the room – to lock up a reporter they did not want to ask directly. It was raw power exercised in the service of expanding its control.
The video that Sanders shared was a lie, and had made the same allegations against Acosta using the same clip as C-SPAN and NBC to Infowars and Sanders, their followers would likely believed the demands of the government. President Trump is virtually incapable of delivering a speech without making a few falsehoods about his enemies or his achievements. What's amazing about this incident, however, is how far Sanders is willing to lie on behalf of the president. The technical details of the video, whether handled or not, were a pretext for Trump's ongoing attacks on the press.
In the era of deepfakes, there is a conversation about it when cheap and simple image manipulation means Seeing is believing is no longer a gospel. Half a century ago, images of the civil rights movement – by protesters attacked by dogs and sprayed with fire pots – convinced President Lyndon Johnson and the American public that the full eligibility of Black Americans was the right choice. On the other hand, Donald Trump seems to undermine public confidence in what he sees in order to consolidate his power as President and Cow Citizen to accept his increasingly brutal policies. What is often misunderstood in propaganda is their intention: It's not about misinforming but getting people to ask what is real, what's provable. It should divide.