Mike Bloomberg tweeted a doctored debate video. Is it political spin or disinformation?
Category: News & PoliticsVia: john-russell • 7 months ago • 40 comments
Following his lackluster performance in Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate , former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg tweeted out a doctored video that made it look like he had a hugely successful moment on the debate stage, even though he didn’t.
And while politicians putting out campaign ads that take their opponents’ words out of context or are selectively edited to misconstrue their opponents’ positions is a practice basically as old as time itself, some experts are calling the Bloomberg video dangerous and unethical in a digital age rife with disinformation.
The 25-second clip starts with the mayor asking a question he really did pose in the debate: “I’m the only one here that I think has ever started a business — is that fair?”
What follows is a series of close-ups on everyone from former Vice President Joe Biden to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) keeping quiet, looking confused and uncomfortable, all backed by background noise of crickets chirping.
Put together, it makes it look like Bloomberg had an epic mic-drop moment in which he thoroughly owned all of his opponents on the debate stage.
But that’s not what really happened .
In reality, there was a brief awkward silence after Bloomberg asked the question, but then he proceeded to talk about his vision for mentorship programs for young entrepreneurs.
When he finished, one of his opponents — Sanders — actually went on the attack to complain about a “corrupt political system, bought by billionaires like Mr. Bloomberg” that help the richest people pay fewer taxes.
Of course, every campaign makes videos and ads that make their candidate look good. Stretching the truth is a normal practice in politics, and it’s no surprise that Bloomberg’s or anybody’s team would put out a slickly edited, somewhat humorous video like that one.
And, yes, it’s also incumbent on the public to be discerning when a politician says or does anything.
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