Facts Matter: Facebook video of Pelosi differs from original clip

  • Associated PressSpeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi meets with reporters May 23 at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

    Associated PressSpeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi meets with reporters May 23 at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

  • BloombergRudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, attended a meeting at the White House in July.

    BloombergRudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, attended a meeting at the White House in July.

 
 
Updated 6/1/2019 6:05 PM

An altered Facebook video showing Nancy Pelosi slurring her speech was manipulated to the point users questioned whether the speaker of the House was drunk, according to PolitiFact.com.

A version of the clip posted on the Facebook page for Politics Watchdog has been shared more than 2 million times, according to The Washington Post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The video, from a speech Pelosi gave May 22 during a Center for American Progress event, had been altered to make her voice sound garbled and warped, the Post said.

President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani posted a link to the video on Twitter with the comment, "What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Her speech pattern is bizarre." Giuliani's post has been deleted, according to the Post.

The actual video from C-SPAN's coverage of the speech is different from the video posted on the Politics Watchdog page and on Giuliani's Twitter feed, three experts consulted by PolitiFact.com agreed.

The Facebook video is "more slurred and lisping than the one on C-SPAN," said Siwei Lyu, a professor who studies digital media forensics at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He said there was a "clear frequency difference" in the audio that showed signs of stretching.

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University of Colorado Denver IT professional Cole Whitecotton told PolitiFact, "I can hear artifacts in the audio that would be consistent with the video being slowed and the audio being stretched."

Assistant professor at Drexel University Matthew C. Stamm said the video posted on Facebook contains duplicate frames which are an indication the clip has been modified.

Facebook does not prohibit false information or label it as false but "downranks" such material to make it less prominent in people's news feeds and includes fact checks around the disputed items, according to The Associated Press.

A few days later Trump posted on Twitter a different video from Fox Business made up of instances in which Pelosi repeated, rephrased or stumbled over some words. PolitiFact said the clip was edited to show her in "the worst light."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Trump misled crowd about Biden

Comments Trump made during a Pennsylvania rally claiming former Vice President Joe Biden deserted his native state are misleading, says The Washington Post.

"Don't forget Biden deserted you," Trump said during the May 20 rally in Mountoursville. "He's not from Pennsylvania. I guess he was born here, but he left you, folks. He left you for another state."

Biden was born Nov. 20, 1942, in Scranton, and his family ties in the area go back to 1851, according to The Washington Post. In 1952, when Biden was in fourth grade, his father moved the family to Wilmington, Delaware, to find work.

Biden told Ancestry.com that for the next 10 to 12 years he spent summers and holidays with his mother's family in Scranton and said he stays in contact with family and friends still living there.

"This guy talks about, 'I know Scranton,' I know -- well I know the places better," Trump said during the rally.

Asked about the claim, a Trump spokesman told the Post, "There's nothing here that's factually incorrect."

'Brady Bunch' episode not removed because of measles

A recent online claim that CBS and Hulu removed an episode of "The Brady Bunch" about the measles because it didn't fit their agenda is false, according to The Associated Press.

Episode 13 from the show's first season is not available on Hulu but it's not because of the storyline.

In the episode, the children get sick with the measles but recover with few adverse side effects, the AP said. A social media user claimed: "They can't have people remembering and knowing that the measles wasn't that big of a deal until big pharma and the CDC had to push their vaccines. Wake up."

Measles are not to blame for the missing episode, Hulu and CBS said. A Hulu spokesman told the AP that several episodes from the show's five seasons aren't available because CBS can't license the rights from those programs to air on its streaming services. A CBS spokesman told AP several episodes, including the measles story, have never been available for streaming.

"The Brady Bunch" star Maureen McCormick told National Public Radio she was "furious" anti-vaccine groups had tried to co-opt the 50-year-old episode and that her own daughter was vaccinated.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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