May 19, 2022

Rep. Scalise slammed for altering video featuring disabled activist Ady Barkan in “deep fake” tweet

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Republicans are seeing their misbegotten party about to be relegated to the dustbins of history, thanks to the abysmal presidential performance of one Donald Trump, according to most recent polls.


So desperate have some members of the GOP become that they have taken to even more audacious lies and subterfuge in an attempt to halt the precipitous slide in their electoral prospects.

Today’s case in point is Congressman Steve Scalise, a Trump-loving right-winger who would be a barely noticeable footnote to history had he not been shot by a disgruntled man likely driven mad by the unfettered criminality of the Trump administration at a Republican congressional baseball practice.

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Scalise’s brush with death apparently erased any fear of God that he may have had, judging by his willingness to so blatantly break the commandment against bearing false witness towards his neighbors that was revealed today.

Scalise’s deceptive sin came in the form of a “deep fake” video that he circulated on Twitter today, one so false that the social media platform was moved to append a “Manipulated media” tag to the post.

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While it may not be immediately obvious upon viewing it without context what part of the post had been manipulated to deserve the Twitter warning, a warning that by all rights should have been supplanted by an immediate deletion of Scalise’ offending tweet, progressive activist Ady Barkan — who suffers from the incurable degenerative disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and can now only communicate with the aid of an electronic voice box – provided the details of how his actual words were deliberately replaced with those more convenient to the lies that Scalise was trying to peddle.

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Given the generic electronic voice that Barkan is forced to use due to his affliction, manipulation of his words can be done fairly seamlessly.

That Congressman Scalise was so devious and of such low moral standing as to try this malicious trick is a stunt that motivated many a Twitter respondent to call for Twitter to ban both the post and the man who posted it.

Versa Sharma of NowThisNews went so far as to accuse Scalise of the additional infraction of copyright infringement.

Twitter is still insisting on allowing posts filled with falsehoods to remain on their platform if they are posted by someone whom they deem a politically significant public figure in the name of the public interest.

If you disagree with this policy, it’s up to you to let @Jack — Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO — know how you feel.

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The inconsistency with which phony political propaganda is treated is unacceptable, allowing the manipulation of social media posts in service of political goals with no regard to the truth whatsoever.

This has to stop.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Sarah K. Burris at RawStory.

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Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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