Steve Scalise is 54 years old and a member of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Louisiana. Dan Scavino is 44 years old and currently serves as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Director of Social Media. Both of these men are legally and by most standards considered to be adults. And yet, they have behaved in a manner more befitting 12-year-old children.
Steve Scalise tweeted a video that spliced together footage from an interview between, Ady Barkan, who has ALS and speaks using a computerized artificial voice, and Biden. In the original video, Barkan asks Biden if he can agree that “we can redirect some of the funding,” for police departments toward mental health services, to which Biden replies, “Yes.”
The clip tweeted out by Scalise, however, splices in the words “for police” from one of Barkan’s other questions to make it sound as if Barkan is asking Biden if he agrees they can “redirect some of the funding for police.”
Scalise used the tweet to promote the popular and false talking point that Democrats are responsible for sowing unrest as protests continue nationwide following shootings of Black people by police, adding in his tweet: “No police. Mob rule. Total chaos. That’s the result of the Democrat agenda.” Barkan did not appreciate Scalise’s little trick, saying …
“These are not my words. I have lost my ability to speak, but not my agency or my thoughts. You and your team have doctored my words for your own political gain. Please remove this video immediately. You owe the entire disability community an apology.”
I had never heard of Mr. Barkan until tonight, but he gets two thumbs up from me! Scalise did take the tweet down, but that isn’t the point. The point is that an adult, a member of one of the highest governmental authorities in the nation, would lie and cheat, for that is exactly what a doctored video is … a lie, an attempt to cheat. I thought Steve Scalise was a better man than that, but obviously I was wrong.
Dan Scavino also posted a manipulated video, this one purporting to show Joe Biden falling asleep during a live television interview. According to Snopes …
This was not a genuine video of Biden during a television interview.
This was a mashup combining a 2011 clip of singer Harry Belafonte and a misleading clip of Biden during the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The video of Belafonte comes from an appearance the then-84-year-old singer made on KBAK, a California television station, in October 2011. After the video went viral, Belafonte’s spokesperson released a statement blaming the singer’s “nap” on a technical glitch. The spokesperson said that Belefonte’s earpiece wasn’t working and that the singer was meditating while the issue was being worked out.
The clip of Biden comes from the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The manipulated footage appears to show Biden sleeping, but it’s clear in the original footage that Biden was never actually asleep.
The segment used in the manipulated footage comes from the moment during the DNC in which former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed Biden for president. In the full video from C-SPAN, Biden can be seen momentarily looking downward, but it doesn’t appear that he ever actually falls asleep.
The video shared by Scavino loops together a few seconds of footage from this video in which Biden either has his eyes closed or is looking downward and then plays it beneath unrelated audio of a person snoring.
Again, an adult with a responsible position, taking a salary of $179,700 per year that we the taxpayers provide, and this is the behaviour we must tolerate?
Personally, I would like to think the good people of Louisiana will abhor this juvenile behaviour on the part of their representative, Steve Scalise, and elect his democratic opponent, Lee Ann Dugas. And as for Mr. Scavino, I will take great joy in knowing that he is likely to be fired in about five months when Joe Biden takes office.
The real danger here, folks, is that far too many people get their ‘news’ from social media such as Twitter, Facebook, or others. These are people who are not highly educated, don’t understand much about how government works, or should work, and tend to believe whatever they read on their favourite social media platform. They won’t stop and ask a question, or go digging for further information, or seek a fact-checker to find the truth. Even though Scalise’s tweet was removed, by that time it had already received tens of thousands of views. The same is true of Scavino’s tweet. People saw, they will believe, and they will remember. Once seen, it is unlikely to be forgotten.
Just another of the many ways in which Trump and his band of thugs are attempting to rig this election in his favour. I wonder if there is a single republican in our government who actually possesses a conscience? Obviously, Steve Scalise and Dan Scavino do not.