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'Bizarre' Clip of Trump in Oval Office Gets Editor Fired

Employee at Fox affiliate Q13 canned
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2019 6:23 AM CST

(Newser) – If President Trump looked sunburned, and perhaps parched, in his Tuesday night address from the Oval Office, you may have been watching a Fox affiliate out of Seattle. An editor from Q13 has now been fired for what MyNorthwest.com calls a "bizarre and unbalanced" clip of the president that was apparently altered. In it, Trump's skin and hair look oversaturated—the Washington Post describes his skin tone as having a "Cheetos-orange tint"—and a brief lick of his lips was exaggerated to make it appear as if his tongue was sticking out for longer than it had. "This does not meet our editorial standards and we regret if it is seen as portraying the president in a negative light," the Q13 news director apologized in a Thursday statement, per the Seattle Times.

Viewers can take a side-by-side gander at the two clips—the actual speech and the altered one—courtesy of a MyNorthwest.com video. It's not clear whether the canned editor was the one who actually distorted the clip, or if the editor simply allowed it to make it onto the airwaves. The Times notes the growing prevalence of such manipulated videos, known as "deepfakes," and how it's getting harder to spot them. The Post cites one of the most famous recent deepfakes: a realistic-looking video created by filmmaker Jordan Peele that circulated last year, appearing to show Barack Obama giving a talk on fake news (it was Obama's image but Peele talking). BuzzFeed and Quartz dive further into this dilemma, while the Brookings Institution offers tips on how political campaigns in particular can protect themselves against this type of doctoring. (Scarlett Johansson has talked about deepfake videos of another nature.)

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