Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr clobbered pundits who are calling out Bloomberg’s campaign for supposedly deceptively editing a video of Wednesday’s Democratic debate.
Media luminaries who are calling Bloomberg’s edited video a deepfake worthy of censorship are doing so out of desperation, Carr told his Twitter followers in a Thursday night thread. They are desperate to nix anything that threatens the establishment’s ability to craft narratives, he added.
“Political satire is one of the oldest and most important forms of free speech. It challenges those in power while using humor to draw more people in to the discussion,” Carr noted. “Equating this type of political speech with doctored deepfakes or illegal content is a serious mistake.”
Political satire is one of the oldest and most important forms of free speech.
It challenges those in power while using humor to draw more people in to the discussion.
Equating this type of political speech with doctored deepfakes or illegal content is a serious mistake. pic.twitter.com/ZN2zSmvpIg
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) February 21, 2020
Carr was referring to a video in which former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg asks his Democratic opponents if they have ever started a business. The video is edited to show the candidates sharing a moment of awkward silence while crickets chirp in the background.
Carr aimed his remarks at Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler, who said in a tweet Thursday that the video could lead to a wave of “fake videos” littering the media ecosphere. President Donald Trump nominated Carr to become a commissioner of the FCC in 2017.
“One has to seriously question the credibility of any campaign that would push out such a manipulated video,” Kessler wrote. “These reaction shots are unrelated to the two-second moment in the debate.” He also suggested the video created a “slippery slope.”
One has to seriously question the credibility of any campaign that would push out such a manipulated video. These reaction shots are unrelated to the two-second moment in the debate. This is a dangerously slippery slope that will lead to a nuclear war of fake videos. https://t.co/W1XFzCsLeI
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) February 20, 2020
Kessler is simply fighting against the dying light, according to Carr.
“Established gatekeepers are working hard to maintain control over political narratives in light of the democratizing power of online speech,” he told his Twitter followers.
Carr included in his thread a screencap of a tweet Thursday from MSNBC commentator Ben Rhodes, who called the video “pure disinformation.” (RELATED: Bloomberg Racks Up Three Major Endorsements After Arguably Lackluster Debate Performance)
Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman Julie Wood called the edited video “tongue-in-cheek. There were obviously no crickets on the debate state,” she said in a press statement addressing the media scrutiny.
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