The Future Is Now

On Wednesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, shared a video showing CNN’s Jim Acosta struggling with a White House intern to hold onto a microphone during a contentious exchange with Donald Trump. The video appears to have been doctored to make Acosta look more aggressive than he was during the exchange

Fact-checkers and other experts say the video, which was first shared by Paul Joseph Watson, a conspiracy theorist associated with the far-right website InfoWars, was deliberately sped up to make it look like Acosta chopped the woman’s arm with his hand. Authentic versions of the video that weren’t manipulated showed him slowly raising his hand, appearing to gesture to the president. The White House pulled Acosta’s press pass Wednesday, with Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeting that the White House will “not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video.”

In July I wrote a post about something called deepfakes. Deepfakes are videos that use a sophisticated type of software that makes it possible to superimpose one person’s face onto another’s body and manipulate voice recordings, creating fake videos that look and sound real.

“When you see video, you still think that you are peering into reality,” David Ryan Polgar, a tech ethicist, said. “The struggle now is that we are blurring the lines between reality and fiction. That’s extremely dangerous for our notions of truth, what happened, and what didn’t.”

It’s very telling that the American government is now disseminating doctored videos to spread its propaganda and to justify the president’s lies and abhorrent behavior. Authoritarian governments have a history of manipulating images and releasing propaganda films. But now it appears that our very own government, in the age of Trump, continues to deliberately create and promote false realities.

14 thoughts on “The Future Is Now

  1. Marleen November 9, 2018 / 9:57 am

    The change is really subtle, but significant.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Marleen November 9, 2018 / 12:06 pm

        Very. And people need to pay close attention.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The Haunted Wordsmith November 9, 2018 / 11:02 am

    I have a Twitter friend that just buys everything he says hook, line, and sinker. It’s sad really, and I don’t want to stereotype, but he really is one of those guys that blames everyone and everything else for his problems rather than his own decisions. The WH is not going to back down though. I bet even if the FBI proved the tape was doctored, they would say it happened.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 9, 2018 / 1:39 pm

      Yes, and gullible (i.e., stupid) people like your twitter friend, are lapping it all up. It is really sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. unexpectedincommonhours November 9, 2018 / 4:42 pm

    I watched the press conference live and was appalled at the young woman trying to take away the microphone. Jim Acosta did not do anything he shouldn’t have done. He tried to hold onto the microphone, and when his arm accidentally touched hers, he immediately backed away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sight11 November 9, 2018 / 6:58 pm

    You see the times have changed to an extent in which the people even seeing the real video will not support it, such is the level of hypocrisy and the feeling of partisan…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Somewhere Sea November 10, 2018 / 10:31 pm

    This post had the potential to ruin my day…as if we didn’t have enough to get angry about…

    Liked by 1 person

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