Media Blow A Gasket Over ‘Doctored’ Bloomberg Debate Video

Michael Bloomberg had a very bad night on Wednesday.

The former New York City mayor got hammered in his first debate for the Democrat presidential nomination. While he had soared up the charts since entering the race, he quickly plunged back to Earth after his dismal performance, in which he often rolled his eyes and looked like a deer in the headlights.

But the billionaire got back at his opponents with a clever video he posted on Twitter the next day. The clip starts with Bloomberg saying, “I’m the only one here I think that’s ever started a business. Is that fair?” The camera then cuts to every other candidate running for the nomination, but not one utters a sound.

Pretty funny, especially the crickets chirping.

But the media lost their minds over the clip, which had clearly been altered to make his point that Bloomberg is, in fact, the only candidate who ever started a business.

Marc Caputo, a reporter covering the 2020 presidential campaign for the liberal site Politico, was filled with angst.

“In Bloomberg’s edited video, his question about starting a business goes unanswered for 22 seconds. But it was actually 2,” he wrote on Twitter. “Comedic effect of the cricket chirping aside, the viewer might not know this deceptively edits in video that didn’t happen like this.”


CNN political reporter Dana Bash was also aghast.

“There is a video that his campaign tweeted this morning that didn’t happen. It is a deceptively edited video,” Bash said. While she noted the campaign said the clip is meant to be funny, she said “we are so concerned about things that are doctored, deep fakes on the internet.”

“New York Times reporter Azi Paybarah compared it to a similarly criticized video put out by President Donald Trump’s campaign after the State of the Union, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) was depicted tearing up his speech during its more poignant moments. Pelosi did rip up the speech, but only after Trump concluded,” Free Beacon reported.

Business Insider wrote Bloomberg’s video was “incredibly misleading,” and liberal outlet Talking Points Memo called it “doctored.” NBC News fact checked the video, with reporter Maura Barrett calling it “manipulated.”

Others got their undies in a wad, too.

Jesse Lehrich, a Democratic strategist and former spokesman for Hillary Clinton, said “between this deceptively edited video, the TV & radio ads that imply Obama endorsed him, the paid social media/texting that’s designed to seem organic…  Bloomberg is weaponizing disinfo in ways that fundamentally undermine democracy.”

On and on it went.

Finally, a Bloomberg staffer came out to quiet the mob.

“It’s tongue in cheek,” Bloomberg press secretary Galia Slayen said in a statement. “There were obviously no crickets on the debate stage.”

Phew.

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