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The Journal Gazette

  • Acosta

Friday, November 09, 2018 1:00 am

Expert: Acosta video was doctored

Associated Press

NEW YORK – A video distributed by the Trump administration to support its argument for banning CNN reporter Jim Acosta from the White House appears to have been doctored to make Acosta look more aggressive than he was during an exchange with a White House intern, an independent expert said Thursday.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted the video, which shows Acosta asking President Donald Trump a question 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 the one tweeted appears to have been altered to speed up Acosta's arm movement as he touches the intern's arm, according to Abba Shapiro, an independent video producer who examined the footage at AP's request.

Earlier, Shapiro noticed frames in the tweeted video were frozen to slow down the action, allowing it to run the same length as the AP one.

The alteration is “too precise to be an accident,” said Shapiro, who trains instructors to use video editing software. The tweeted video also does not have any audio, which Shapiro said would make it easier to alter.

“The irony of this White House video involving Jim Acosta is that if it is found to be doctored, it will show the administration to be doing what it accuses the news media of doing – engaging in fake information,” said Aly Colon, a professor in journalism ethics at Washington & Lee University.