Controversy surrounding doctored videos being shared on social media is not just a national issue. This week, Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh fell victim to a video that was “surgically edited to deceive,” by ProgressNow Arizona.
In the full video, Kavanagh is debating a legislative bill and is arguing with logic he found faulty. He made that point that if you carried the logic out to its end, the bill as proposed would support abolishing AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid agency. Enter ProgressNow Arizona, a radical group that routinely targets conservatives as part of their fight for progressive policies. They clipped out a short portion of Kavanagh’s remarks and claimed he was actually proposing to end AHCCCS when in fact he was defending it.
Kavanagh responded by posting the entire clip but the several thousand people who follow ProgressNow will never see the truth because ProgressNow refused to share it. Trying to feed the hysteria, State Representative Andres Cano tweeted the lie and claimed the entire Republican House Caucus was in on it, which of course ProgressNow Arizona retweeted to further reinforce the made up story.
Other news organizations have refused to cover ProgressNow Arizona’s lie, but part of informing the general public must include exposing and correcting deliberate misinformation.
Consider how ProgressNow Arizona describes itself and its mission. According to their website:
“When we spot a strategic opportunity, we lend communications capacity to partners, helping them earn media attention, communicate online with their supporters and the public, and make their voices heard. When needed, we go on the attack ourselves.”
They certainly did so in this case, except the attack was 100% inaccurate and dishonest.
This video was surgically edited to deceive you. I was not saying abolish AHCCCS. I said the faulty logic of the bill discussed would support abolishing it. See the whole truth in the full clip here. #azleg @AZHouseDems @AZHouseGOP @AHCCCSgov pic.twitter.com/UMGrTIioGQ
— Representative John Kavanagh (@JohnKavanagh_AZ) May 25, 2019
— ProgressNow Arizona (@ProgressNowAZ) May 24, 2019