News

A Seattle TV station aired doctored footage of Trump’s Oval Office speech. The employee has been fired

A Seattle TV station aired doctored footage of Trump’s Oval Office speech. The employee has been fired
Top Stories
The city’s Fox affiliate, Q13, beamed out doctored footage of Trump’s Tuesday address, according to the Seattle Times. The station’s broadcast showed Trump with a larger-than-normal head. His skin had a Cheetos-orange tint. And during his speech, the president’s tongue hung out of his mouth between sentences. It is unclear if the footage ran live as Trump was giving his speech, or was replayed in later broadcasts.

Trump delivers a televised address to the nation on funding for a border wall from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC on January 8, 2019. CARLOS BARRIA/AFP/Getty Images

The distorted clip was first pointed out Wednesday by Seattle conservative talk radio host Todd Herman of KTTH.

“A listener to my program sent me a video that appears to show a deceptively edited video of President Trump’s speech from the Oval Office,” Herman wrote on the station’s website. “We performed a side-by-side comparison of the video from our listener, apparently taken by a smart phone recording of Q13, to the raw video of Trump’s speech from CNN.”

Q13 quickly jumped into action.

On Thursday morning, Q13 news director Erica Hill responded to the Seattle Times with a statement. “This does not meet our editorial standards and we regret if it is seen as portraying the president in a negative light,” she stated.

Later that morning, Hill released a follow-up statement about the action Q13 had taken in response to the video.

“We’ve completed our investigation into this incident and determined that the actions were the result of an individual editor whose employment has been terminated,” Hill said.

Hill did not reveal whether the terminated employee actually created the fake Trump video, or was responsible for allowing the footage to hit the air.

As the Times pointed out, the Q13 doctored footage falls into the category of “deepfakes” – footage that’s tweaked with advanced apps and other technology to create clips of actual figures in situations they were never in or saying what they never said.

Famously, filmmaker Jordan Peele tricked the internet last year with a doctored PSA featuring former president Barack Obama on the dangers of believing fake news. As real as the footage looked, it was actually just digitally tampered with to appear legitimate – hence the very point Peele was hoping to make.

“We’re entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time – even if they would never say those things,” the fake Obama said in the clip. “For instance, they could have me say things like, I don’t know, Killmonger was right. Or Ben Carson is in the sunken place. Or, how ’bout this: Simply, President Trump is a total and complete (expletive).”

Trump is seen on a television in a restaurant in Queens a borough of New York City, as he address the nation on funding for a border wall from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC on January 8, 2019. – JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

More seriously, people are using such techniques to edit in the faces of women and celebrities into pornographic clips. For example, as The Washington Post reported in December, actress Scarlett Johansson has had her image superimposed into dozens of graphic sex scenes in the last year.

“Nothing can stop someone from cutting and pasting my image or anyone else’s onto a different body and making it look as eerily realistic as desired,” Johansson told The Post. “The fact is that trying to protect yourself from the internet and its depravity is basically a lost cause . . . The internet is a vast wormhole of darkness that eats itself.”

The Trump deepfake that was broadcast to Seattle-area viewers does not even come close to the sophistication of the best faked footage.

Twenty years ago, then-Toronto mayor Mel Lastman called in the army to shovel some snow — and the ridicule from other provinces continues to this day

I saw this crazy-yellow product, says chef Rob Gentile. And I looked at (my chefs) and said, ‘What the hell is this?’

With the arrival of Burtynsky as a high-profile advocate, the science campaign to define and identify the Anthropocene gets a fresh publicity boost

The notion that detox diets and cleanses can purge our bodies of pollutants, pesticides and other toxic sludge is scientifically absurd, experts say
Read more on National Post
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Top Stories
President Donald Trump announced the recipients of his so called Fake News Awards, on Wednesday, his latest attack on the press that has drawn objections from within his own party. In...
Technology
The frightening future of digital fakery has arrived, in the form of a video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta. The footage on the right shows Acosta roughly handling a White House aide during...
Technology
Guess what I just got hold of some embarrassing video footage of Texas senator Ted Cruz singing and gyrating to Tina Turner. His political enemies will have great fun showing...
Top Stories
Trump Jr. tweeted a video of a doctored clip of the 1986 military thriller Top Gun Saturday. In it, President Donald Trump s face is superimposed over Tom Cruise s...
World
The New York Times is fighting back against accusations of “fake news” and dishonesty with a new TV advertisement. It’s the first time the NYT has issued a TV spot...