The Truth About The Acosta Video

November 9th, 2018 | R. Rados
jim acosta video

In an attempt to discredit Paul Joseph Watson and the Trump White House and to make themselves look like victims of Trump's war on media, journalists have discredited themselves. Of course, there will always be idiots who believe everything mainstream journalists say when they put words like expert into their headlines, but for the rest of us, mainstream journalists have obliterated whatever credibility they had left by trying to convince us that a certain video was doctored when it clearly wasn't. 


Even leftist bloggers at Vice and Buzzfeed have turned to real forensic and video experts to honestly claim that there is no evidence the Jim Acosta video tweeted by Trump's press secretary was doctored. It's astonishing that anyone even had to turn to "experts" to prove what our own eyes can clearly tell us. This whole debacle reminds me of the Blue Dress and Laurel/Yanny debates, which ended up only having one right answer. Just like those absurd tricks of the eyes and ears, this whole debate has only one answer: the video is not doctored. 


Unlike the Blue Dress and Laurel/Yanny debates, this whole debacle is more serious than most want to admit. We have several mainstream journalists and Trump opponents working simultaneously to mislead us. 


This is serious. 

What I think happened


The White House used the video as an excuse to revoke Jim Acosta's press pass, even though they didn't have to. Acosta, on his own, has been pushing to have his pass revoked for some time by being a petulant, disrespectful asshole. There was a level of dishonesty on part of the White House and Trump's supporters when they tried to claim that Acosta had somehow committed assault. 


He didn't. 


In response, CNN first denied the claim that Acosta touched the White House aide and they even cut out the footage from a segment in which they were speaking directly with Jim Acosta about it. You can watch that here:
When that didn't work, they tried to claim the video was doctored. 


It wasn't.


Despite side-by-side comparisons of the "doctored" video and the original showing no evidence of purposeful tampering, the story spread and was picked up by every major mainstream news network in the US and Canada.


It's almost like they think we're all idiots with no functioning eyeballs or brain cells.
Originally, this started with Acosta, CNN and journalists trying to deny that a woman was almost man-handled by Acosta in the era of #MeToo. Rather than own up to it, they tried to pretend it never happened. As of now, they're still pretending Acosta didn't overpower a woman on live television—because the video is "doctored".


That's what this is all about. Jim Acosta didn't assault her, but he overpowered her and disrespected her—which is just as bad in 2018. Rather than allow that to become the headline, journalists are giving us the "doctored video" headlines instead. 


When we add together Trump's perceived war on journalists with the hatred that most journalists have for Trump, this is what we get. Mainstream journalists believe Trump wants to destroy them, so they've come together to save one of their own from the wrath of Trump and #MeToo. To do so, they are throwing aside their own integrity and declaring war on the truth.


Journalists are no longer journalists, they're activists. 



The Media's "Experts"


The first red flag that popped up came in the form of hand-selected "experts" chosen by the Associated Press and Washington Post, one of whom is a man named Abba Shapiro. Shapiro is a self-proclaimed expert on photography and video production, but he also appears to not be much of a Trump fan—if his Twitter feed is any indication.


It might be unfair to assume someone who retweets infamous Trump-hater, Rob Reiner, is incapable of being unbiased when determining if the White House video was doctored, but leftist Vice and Buzzfeed have already noted forensic specialists and other video experts who claim there is no evidence the video was doctored. Paul Joseph Watson and the White House have denied the video was doctored. So who are we supposed to believe?
The rest of the "expertise" offered in Associated Press reports doesn't actually validate or authenticate Abba Shapiro's claims, it merely talks about the implications of the White House releasing a doctored video and using it to suppress poor, hard-done-by journalists like Jim Acosta. Here is an excerpt from an Associated Press article that was syndicated and re-published by the National Post:



But a frame-by-frame comparison with an Associated Press video of the same incident shows that the one tweeted by Sanders 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 that frames in the tweeted video were frozen to slow down the action, allowing it to run the same length as the AP one. The tweeted video also does not have any audio, which Shapiro said would make it easier to alter. It’s also unlikely the differences could be explained by technical glitches or by video compression — a reduction in a video’s size to enable it to play more smoothly on some sites — because the slowing of the video and the acceleration that followed are “too precise to be an accident,” said Shapiro, who trains instructors to use video editing software. 


Sanders, who hasn’t said where the tweeted video came from, noted that it clearly shows Acosta made contact with the intern. In her statement announcing Acosta’s suspension, she said the White House won’t tolerate “a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job.” While the origin of the manipulated video is unclear, its distribution marked a new low for an administration that has been criticized for its willingness to mislead. The White House News Photographers Association decried the sharing of the footage. “As visual journalists, we know that manipulating images is manipulating truth,” said Whitney Shefte, the association’s president. “It’s deceptive, dangerous and unethical. Knowingly sharing manipulated images is equally problematic, particularly when the person sharing them is a representative of our country’s highest office with vast influence over public opinion.” 




Here is what a forensic expert and image analyst had to say, as per Vice's Motherboard



But Hany Farid, who studies digital forensics, human perception, and image analysis at the University of California, Berkeley, told Motherboard that he does not think the video was doctored. Though he agreed that the entire video was, of course, slowed down and zoomed in to focus on the moment of physical contact, he does not see any evidence to suggest that it was selectively edited to exaggerate Acosta’s motion.

“From my review of the various videos of the press conference, I believe that the video tweeted by the Press Secretary is misleading but I don’t see unambiguous evidence that it has been doctored,” Farid told Motherboard via email. “A combination of a reduction in the quality of the video, a slowing-down of the video, and the particular vantage point of the CSPAN video gives the appearance that there was more contact between the reporter and the intern than there probably was. In particular, if you look at original, higher-quality videos from other vantage points you can more clearly see that while there was some contact between the reporter and intern, he did not strike her as his hand comes down.”



All that's left now is for us to judge for ourselves. That's something journalists don't seem eager or willing to let us do.