This is really bad.
Yesterday, Twitter flagged an outrageously manipulated video clip posted by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) that deliberately alters the text of a question from activist Ady Barkan to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“No police. Mob rule. Total chaos. That’s the result of the Democrat agenda,” Scalise tweeted. “Ask yourself: Is this what you want in your town next?”
Good question! However, Scalise added what was supposed to be a link to the Biden interview with Barkan, who uses a computerized artificial voice because he suffers from Lous Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). The interviewer asks Biden if “we agree that we can redirect some of the funding” for police departments toward public safety and mental health services. Biden responds, “Yes.”
Scalise tweeted a version of the clip that inserts the words “for police” into Barkan’s question by duplicating his computer-generated voice.
That’s about as low as you can go.
- Twitter has been justly criticized by applying double standards in deciding what tweets to flag and what accounts to suspend, but there’s no criticizing this.
- Scalise has enjoyed a decree of sanctification as a shooting victim of the Bernie Sanders supporter who attacked a House softball team practice. This is a particularly grubby and stupid way to toss any lingering sympathy away.
- Why would he bother injecting “police” when the question already mentioned shifting funds from police departments to other areas? If the point is that Biden, who claims he doesn’t want to defund police, supports defunding police departments, isn’t that double-talk obvious on its own?
- Barkan, who contacted The Hill about the deception, tweeted to Scalise in part, “You owe the entire disability community an apology.” No, he owes everyone an apology. Count on a progressive activist to make everything about a minority group.
- I regard this as signature significance, as something that an individual with functioning ethics alarms won’t do, ever. The GOP should make him resign as Whip. No party should tolerate conduct like that, but both parties do.
- If a member of Scalise’s staff was responsible and the Congressman had no knowledge of it, Scalise is still accountable. Staff members don’t get ideas like this unless the culture where they work is already corrupt.