Jimmy Kimmel is getting blasted for airing a deceptively edited video implying that Vice President Mike Pence was faking his recent effort to help a healthcare facility. In addition to social media backlash, journalists at NBC News and BuzzFeed News called out Kimmel for putting out “misleading” and “selective” video, adding that the original C-SPAN footage disproves his claim.
Vice President Pence was seen on Thursday delivering boxes of personal protection equipment to a healthcare facility in Alexandria, Virginia. At the end of the version that aired on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the vice president is heard saying, “Well, can I carry the empty ones? Just for the camera?”
Jimmy Kimmel then chimed in: “Mike Pence pretending to carry empty boxes of PPE’s into a hospital is the perfect metaphor for who he is and what he’s doing — a big box of nothing delivering another box of nothing.”
But the longer C-SPAN version of the video tells a different story than the one Kimmel was spinning. In the original footage, Pence appears to make his remark as a joke before closing a van door and leaving the empty boxes for someone else to carry.
NBC News investigative reporter Emmanuelle Saliba tweeted: “I went back to the original @cspan footage and sounds like @VP was making a joke about the empty boxes. He doesn’t carry those last boxes. He shuts the van doors and turns to speak CEO of @fedresources.”
Edit is misleading.
He doesn’t carry those last boxes. He shuts the van doors and turns to speak CEO of @fedresources
— Emmanuelle Saliba 🧐 (@_esaliba) May 8, 2020
Likewise, BuzzFeed deputy director of breaking news David Mack noted that Kimmel’s version of the video omits crucial context.
“The clip cuts out at a selective point. When you watch the CSPAN footage (9 min in), Pence makes the crack about carrying the empty ones and the guy says ‘Absolutely. They’re a lot easier!’ Pence laughs then immediately shuts the van door.”
This isn’t true. The clip cuts out at a selective point. When you watch the CSPAN footage (9 min in), Pence makes the crack about carrying the empty ones and the guy says “Absolutely. They’re a lot easier!” Pence laughs then immediately shuts the van door. https://t.co/SOD5KAAPkH https://t.co/1ZODmvg2PG
— David Mack (@davidmackau) May 8, 2020
Kimmel’s deceptively edited video went viral after it aired late Thursday thanks in large part to a tweet by a pollster named Matt McDermott who wrote, “Mike Pence caught on hot mic delivering empty boxes of PPE for a PR stunt.”
McDermott works for the polling and political advisory firm Whitman Insight Strategies, which has close ties to Democrat candidates. He is also on the campaign board for the LGBTQ Victory Fund, a PAC dedicated to electing gay public officials.
In the past, McDermott has used his Twitter account to accuse Vice President Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, of homophobia and bigotry toward gays.
Karen Pence literally works at a school where Pete Buttigieg isn’t allowed to be employed, simply because he’s gay.
Karen Pence is a homophobe and the press should start saying so frankly. https://t.co/cCr5J8oEuP
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) April 10, 2019
Jimmy Kimmel has often used his perch at Disney-owned ABC to mock President Trump as well as a member of his administration and family. At press time, the ABC funnyman had not commented on his doctored video or the backlash it caused.