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.
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.
There's a clip here of @AdyBarkan, who has ALS and speaks via voice assistance, asking Biden about "re-directing" public safety funding. The clip alters the quote. It splices "for police" into it, using Barkan's artificial voice. https://t.co/WKkbRzlrXF https://t.co/mUysm9YDeQ pic.twitter.com/uofqi9428E
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) August 30, 2020
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.
These are not my words.
I have lost my ability to speak, but not my agency or my thoughts.
You and your team have doctored my words for your own political gain.
Please remove this video immediately. You owe the entire disability community an apology. https://t.co/N6G5RgMXlO
— Ady Barkan (@AdyBarkan) August 30, 2020
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.
The GOP became a goddam disgrace long ago. I gave up on them completely after the 9/11 attack that might have been prevented except that Republicans in power at the time intentionally dismissed warnings from intelligence analysts. Then they lied about Iraq and WMD to start a war.
— Bill Rich (@CovidMayChgUs) August 30, 2020
He has a lot of hate. This fool spoke at a EURO convention in 2002. EURO was founded by non other than David Duke. This fool later “claimed” he didn’t know it was a hate group. I don’t believe that for a minute. Right Steve?
— Penny (@Penny_816) August 30, 2020
Versa Sharma of NowThisNews went so far as to accuse Scalise of the additional infraction of copyright infringement.
Disgraceful. This whole fucking party is disgraceful.
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) August 30, 2020
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.
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.
Original reporting by Sarah K. Burris at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is 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.