White House shares manipulated Infowars video to justify CNN press ban

White House shares manipulated Infowars video to justify CNN press ban

Read this slowly: The White House’s press secretary has tweeted a manipulated video shared by the editor-at-large of conspiracy theorist outlet Infowars to attempt to justify its decision to suspend the press credentials of CNN’s chief white house correspondent. CNN’s Jim Acosta had his press pass pulled by the White House earlier today after press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed he had “plac[ed] his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job”. The journalist had being trying to continue asking president Trump questions during a contentious exchange at a White House press briefing. In the video Infowars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson can be seen following the modern political disinformation playbook — avoiding personally claiming the incident constituted an assault while repeatedly showing manipulated, slowed down footage, stripped of its audio, to make it look like an assault — all the while suggestively reframing what happened to whip up hyperpartisan sentiment (‘what if this had been a conservative reporter ranting at Obama’ etc) in order to manipulate his audience to side with the president against CNN. Acosta placed his hands on a woman. In the unedited footage Acosta can be seen essentially brushing off the intern’s attempt to grab the mic — and addressing her politely at the crucial moment, when the side of his hand is resting on her arm. Acosta then asks Trump more questions which Trump does not answer. Now Infowars conspiracy theorists creating doctored videos to try to spin hyperpartisan junk news is not new or news. I’ll say that again: The White House is using a manipulated video shared by conspiracy theorists to justify suspending the press credentials of CNN’s chief white house correspondent. We’ve reached out to the White House to ask why Sanders chose to share the Infowars video — rather than sharing unedited footage of the incident.

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Read this slowly: The White House’s press secretary has tweeted a manipulated video shared by the editor-at-large of conspiracy theorist outlet Infowars to attempt to justify its decision to suspend the press credentials of CNN’s chief white house correspondent.

CNN’s Jim Acosta had his press pass pulled by the White House earlier today after press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed he had “plac[ed] his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job”.

Acosta disputes this.

The journalist had being trying to continue asking president Trump questions during a contentious exchange at a White House press briefing.

During this exchange Trump cut over him verbally — saying “that’s enough” — at which point a female White House intern moved towards Acosta and attempted to take the microphone out of his hands.

The journalist dodged and then blocked several attempts to take the microphone by using his arm and the side of his hand against the intern’s arm, addressing her with “pardon me ma’am” as he did so, and indicating that he was trying to ask Trump another question.

You can see what happened in a video shared by NBC News which captured footage of the incident (below). In the footage the intern can be seen stopping trying to remove the mic after Acosta speaks to her. He goes on to ask Trump if he is “worried about indictments coming down in [the Russia] investigation”.

Trump does not answer, repeating “that’s enough” and “put down the mic”.

Getting no answers, Acosta does then relinquish the mic.

BREAKING: White House aide grabs and tries to physically remove a microphone from CNN Correspondent Jim Acosta during a contentious exchange with President Trump at a news conference. pic.twitter.com/fFm7wclFw2

— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 7, 2018

Far right conspiracy theorist outlet Infowars quickly spun into action after this episode — publishing a couple of posts on its website couching Acosta’s actions as a “physical confrontation with female White House staffer”, and asking in a lengthy video post whether Acosta “assault[ed] a woman?”.

In the video Infowars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson can be seen following the modern political disinformation playbook — avoiding personally claiming the incident constituted an assault while repeatedly showing manipulated, slowed down footage, stripped of its audio, to make it look like an assault — all the while suggestively…

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