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Doctored video creates illusion that Gov. DeSantis defended FBI on ‘Hannity’

A doctored video spicing together several different news clips makes it appear that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis argued with Fox News host Sean Hannity and defended the FBI after their search of former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago. But that didn’t happen. Let’s look at the facts.

A screenshot of a tweet that says, “Ron DeSantis went on Hannity and things got SPICY.” The tweet includes a video that appears to show a Fox News segment featuring host Sean Hannity, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Fox News contributor Lara Trump above a chyron reading “FBI Behavior Corrodes Trust and Undermines Americans’ Faith in Justice System.” The News Literacy Project has added a label that says, “Manipulated Content.”
This video of Gov. DeSantis defending the FBI on Fox News after the agency’s search of Mar-a-Lago is not authentic.
This video is doctored and was created for satirical purposes.
The clip of DeSantis is from a December 2020 news conference at which DeSantis was asked about a raid carried out by Florida authorities on the home of a former state COVID-19 data scientist.

NewsLit takeaway

The doctored video of DeSantis, Hannity and Lara Trump appearing to argue over whether the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago should be considered a “raid” is convincing at first glance because it looks like “talking heads” commentary segments that are common on cable news channels. But when we take a closer look at this video, we can see that something just isn’t right. Here are some cues that might tip you off to the fact that this clip isn’t authentic:

  • Quick cuts: News and analysis segments generally feature live, uninterrupted video. If you notice “jumps” or cuts in a feed that should be live or unedited, it is possible that you are watching something that has been deceptively manipulated.
  • Unnatural movements: Another way to spot a manipulated video is to look for unnatural movements. Do people repeat actions as if they are on a loop? Do their body positions suddenly shift and jump? Watch Hannity’s mouth and hands, as well as Trump’s eyes, as DeSantis is speaking.
  • A lack of specifics: This video splices two unrelated video clips. While it may appear at first glance that Hannity and DeSantis are both talking about the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, notice that DeSantis never actually mentions the former president or his residence.

Fact-checkers from Reuters, PolitiFact, and the Associated Press traced the origins of the clip featuring DeSantis to a December 2020 press conference in which the governor defended Florida state law enforcement after they searched the home of a former state employee who claimed that Florida’s Department of Health had manipulated its COVID-19 data. In that instance, DeSantis pushed back against the use of the term “raid” as biased and argued that law enforcement officials followed protocols as they executed a lawful search warrant. The doctored video’s creator said that it was made to parody DeSantis’ apparent conflicting opinions over the use of the term “raid,” which he used in August 2022 to describe the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago.

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