Post a doctored video of Trump on Twitter and you’ll probably end up getting more (left-wing) followers, but air one on live television and you’ll get fired.
That’s what appears to have happened to a staffer at Fox News affiliate Q13 in Seattle after the now-former employee aired what was clearly an altered video of President Trump giving his first ever address to the nation from the Oval Office on the issue of border security.
The video the staffer aired was altered to give Trump an overly-large mouth and to make him at one point push his tongue out in bizarre fashion. The colors of the video were also adjusted to make him look more orange.
“Hopefully, we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security,” the president said, pausing to lick his lips strangely.
A local radio station was tipped off about the altered video and produced a side-by-side comparison (see below).
“A listener to my program sent me a video that appears to show a deceptively edited video of President Trump’s speech from the Oval Office,” KTTH’s Todd Herman reported Thursday. “We performed a side-by-side comparison of the video from our listener, apparently taken by a smart phone recording of Q13, to the raw video of Trump’s speech from CNN. That comparison revealed the Q13 video creating a loop of the President licking his lips — making it seem bizarre and unbalanced — it also seems that someone distorted the President’s face and may have added an orange tone to his skin.”
The Fox affiliate quickly suspended the editor responsible and issued a statement to KTTH late Wednesday. “This does not meet our editorial standards and we regret if it is seen as portraying the president in a negative light,” Q13 news director Erica Hill told the station.
Hill followed that statement up Thursday morning with the announcement that the editor had been fired. “We’ve completed our investigation into this incident and determined that the actions were the result of an individual editor whose employment has been terminated,” she said.
Hill did not specify if the staffer created the video or used an already doctored one, the Seattle Times notes.
Below is the video posted on MyNorthwest.com that shows the altered version of Trump’s statement that aired on Q13 next to the undoctored version from CNN:
Note: The Seattle Times’ report on the altered Trump video includes a problematic claim: that Press Sec. Sarah Sanders posted a video of Jim Acosta “putting his hands” on a White House staffer that the Times says fact-checkers concluded “had been altered to distort and exaggerate Acosta’s movements.” However, after initial claims that the video had been deliberately doctored, follow-up analysis by fact-checkers determined that the formatting change to a GIF unintentionally made the video look “sped up,” as BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel explained:
There’s no evidence that the video was deliberately sped up — but the change in format, from a high-quality video to a low-quality GIF, turns the question of whether it was “doctored” into a semantic debate. This video analysis by BuzzFeed News demonstrates what the GIF conversion process does to video. While it’s not technically “sped up” by intent, it effectively is in practice. The video-to-GIF conversion removes frames from the source material by reducing the frame rate. The GIF-making tool GIF Brewery, for example, typically reduces source video to 10 frames per second. Raw, televised video typically has a frame rate of 29.97 frames per second.