Here's How That Anti-Battleground Texas Video Was Deceptively Edited

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James O'Keefe. This is James O'Keefe.

The video released last week by convicted criminal James O'Keefe about Wendy Davis and Battleground Texas is the latest in the man's stream of falsified videos claiming to depict something they don't. O'Keefe's work is found falsified at every turn. He was even arrested in 2010 for trying to manipulate the phones in a Democratic senator's office. Even Glenn Beck has discredited O'Keefe's work.

At numerous points, O'Keefe simply used audio splicing to edit the video in the direction he wanted. The final product was a video that made Battleground Texas volunteers look disrespectful and callous, but that appearance is little more than a cheap hack job by the chief conservative “gonzo” hack.

A primary impact of the video is that it appears volunteers are laughing at Abbott's wheelchair confinement. This “looks to be the work of creative audio splicing,” the Texas Tribune explains. When an unidentified woman at a bar says Abbott is “not good looking. He doesn't speak very well, he doesn't have a very good personality and he's in a wheelchair,” no one in the raw footage laughs. But in O'Keefe's video, “the comment appears to provoke derisive laughter”. Derisive laughter which wasn't there.

More on this falsified video below the jump.In fact, supporters only laugh at a later comment made about Greg Abbott's hair (presumably also about Rick Perry's famous hair). In the video, a hacking laugh comes after the wheelchair comment. The Austin-American Statesman called this the “most egregious edit of all,” one among a “few problems” with the video.

O'Keefe labels a conversation about the phrase “Stand With Wendy” as “deeply offensive”. But, per the Statesman, what he's referring to is a woman merely “wondering whether there might be some subconscious juxtaposition for voters between the slogan 'Stand with Wendy,' and Abbott being in a wheelchair, but she wasn't recommending or even approving of it as a tactic.” Again, O'Keeffe makes Battleground volunteers seem like something they're not.

O'Keefe's most famous work, the ACORN video which ultimately took down that community involvement organization, has been proven by the Attorney General to be selectively and deceptively edited. He even had to pay $100,000 to an ACORN employee who appeared to endorse sex trafficking. This is just another video in that dismal legacy.

“We're talking about an admitted criminal who even Glenn Beck has called a liar, who has been known to doctor videos,” Battleground Texas founder Jeremy Bird told the Texas Tribune this week. “When you're nervous you're going to send in the admitted criminal from New York.''

Well said.


About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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