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Free Speech at Risk yet Again

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Dems demand Twitter, Facebook take down edited video of Pelosi ripping up State of the Union speech posted by Trump

Democrats are calling on Twitter and Facebook to take down an edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., ripping up the State of the Union address — claiming it’s designed to “mislead” people.

“The latest fake video of Speaker Pelosi is deliberately designed to mislead and lie to the American people, and every day that these platforms refuse to take it down is another reminder that they care more about their shareholders’ interests than the public’s interests,” Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, said Friday.

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“This video is clearly another deceptive effort by @realDonaldTrump to mislead and manipulate the American people,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas

On Thursday, Trump posted the video, made by Turning Points USA, which shows the “powerful American stories” that Trump highlighted in his State of the Union address interspersed with the moment immediately afterward when Pelosi tore up the speech.

The video appears to be a continuation of the point made by Republicans that Pelosi, in ripping up the speech, was also ripping up the stories of those Americans that Trump highlighted in the address — including stories of a Tuskegee airman, Americans killed in combat and a military family being reunited.

But Democrats objected to the video because it implies that Pelosi ripped up the papers after each story was told — which she did not.

The video was also posted to Facebook. Hammill was quizzed by Facebook spokesman Andy Stone about what he found objectionable to the video: “Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn’t make those remarks and the Speaker didn’t rip the speech?”

“What planet are you living on?” Hammill responded. “This is deceptively altered. Take it down.”

Along with Escobar, other lawmakers rushed to condemn the video and social media platforms for not removing the video.

“.@Twitter must take this misleading video about @SpeakerPelosi down now.,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., tweeted.

“This video is doctored. It has been up, and pinned to the President’s page, for nearly a day. Trump posted it to deceive Americans about @SpeakerPelosi’s actions and record,” Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., said. “If I posted a doctored video it would be a clear violation House Rules. Twitter should take this down.”

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Republicans, meanwhile, pushed back against the efforts by Democrats to censor the video.

“They’re arguing it’s deceptively edited to misinform and want twitter to censor it,”  National Republican Senatorial Committee senior adviser Matt Whitlock tweeted. “But.. she tore the speech that had those stories. Repetition to highlight exactly what she was tearing is not ‘misinformation,’ these Reps are gaslighting.”

 

The video is the latest controversy in the fallout over the State of the Union. The House on Thursday voted to table a Republican-led resolution to condemn Pelosi.

The vote, which fell along party lines, 224 to 193, effectively killed the measure introduced on Wednesday by Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, amid widespread GOP furor over Pelosi’s actions. The resolution called the speaker’s public shredding of the address “a breach of decorum” and said it brought “discredit on the House.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. The thing they cannot walk away from is Pelosi planned her childish act. She had slightly torn the edges of a few pages well before the end of the speech to check they would rip properly. It was not a tantrum reaction, it was planned.

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