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If you thought the media’s slanted coverage of President Donald Trump’s first prime time address from the Oval Office was bad, just wait. It gets worse.
It appears that a segment of Trump’s address was edited by one news outlet — with results that show the president in a very bad light.
Todd Herman, a radio host at KTTH in Seattle, reported that a listener alerted him via Twitter to video of what was aired by KCPQ, Q13 Fox, in Seattle.
That video on the tweet appears to be a smart phone recording of the beginning of Q13’s coverage of the address — a segment of the Trump speech leading in to a voice-over by the KCPQ anchor.
— Jeff Wallis (@jeff_wallis) January 9, 2019
That’s not what viewers of the speech saw.
“We performed a side-by-side comparison of the video from our listener … to the raw video of Trump’s speech from CNN,” Herman wrote.
For anyone who thinks the media can be trusted, the results are shocking.
In the Q13 video, Trump’s skin is a very orange tone. Additionally, the video is zoomed in on him, to make his head appear large.
Also, in the raw footage, the president licks his lips once while speaking, probably to moisten them before immediately going on. In the Q13 video, that action appears to be “looped,” so Trump is shown licking his lips repeatedly, which looks a bit disturbing and creepy.
Herman wrote that Q13 had issued a statement saying it was looking into the matter and acknowledging the incident does not meet the station’s “editorial standards.”
“We are investigating this to determine what happened. This does not meet our editorial standards and we regret if it is seen as portraying the President in a negative light. The editor responsible for editing the footage is being placed on leave while we investigate further.”
This kind of apparent breach of public trust is something the media as a whole can ill afford.
Public trust is already low. As much as the media likes to blame Trump for that, there are too many instances of “fake news” to ignore the fact that they are doing it to themselves.
A 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy showed that the pubic does not believe the media is fulfilling their duty to report in an unbiased and informative manner.
The survey was conducted with input from 19,000 adults in the United States. Only half of those surveyed believe that there is enough information available for individuals to be able to sort through the bias in order to find the facts for themselves.
In addition, only 27 percent felt “very confident” in their own ability to do so. That means the remaining 73 percent questioned their own ability to find the truth in the over-abundance of biased reporting.
“Reporting” with bias is bad enough coming from a news station. But a blatant attempt to smear the sitting president of the United States with deceptive video editing would be wholly unethical.
The public deserve better and should demand it. News reporting is supposed to be just that. It is not supposed to be activism and character assassination.