Trumpela Effect Part 2: White House Alters Official Historical Media Records To Distort What Happened

In his first full day on the job, President Donald Trump declared war on the media.

In recent weeks, he and his White House have declared war on the truth, altering official White House transcripts, as well as a video on the White House’s official YouTube channel, to distort the meaning of a statement made by Russian President Vladimir Putin during their joint press conference in Helsinki.

The White House, which has persistently described objective news reporting by America’s most venerated news organizations as “fake news,” has actually been disseminating a distorted official record of what took place during the historic summit. Specifically, when Reuters’ reporter Jeff Mason asked Putin if he wanted Trump to win the 2016 presidential election and whether he “instructed” Russian officials to help.



"Yes, I wanted him to win, because he talked about the normalization of Russian–American relations,” Putin replied during the live press briefing.

However,  in the White House’s transcript and YouTube video, Mason’s question asking Putin whether he wanted Trump to win was edited out, and only the second part of his question -- “And did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?” -- was used, with altered version of Putin’s reply edited to read and sound: “Yes, I did.  Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.”

“Just to be clear, there is no justification under any circumstances for the White House to be putting out a video of an event that happened and altering it in any way whatsoever, to their interest or not to their interest," MSNBC national affairs analyst John Heilemann commented this morning on “Morning Joe.” 

He noted there is only one version of this reality. The question was asked and the answer was proffered.

"That’s the only version our White House should be putting out on its YouTube channel or in any of its official government mechanism or media that exists,” he added, during a segment discussing the White House’s attempt to alter the official historical record. Presumably, it's because Putin’s verbatim response to Mason’s question would be deemed compromising in some way.

The timing of the expose is also interesting, given a statement made by President Trump during an address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City on Tuesday, at which he said: “Just remember what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening.”

Trump was referring to press coverage of his tariffs policies and the impact of a potential trade war on the economy. But his statement struck an Orwellian nerve for many observers and commentators, especially given the White House’s apparent efforts to distort the official historical record.

When Trump got elected, I wrote a column about a growing phenomenon in society called the “Mandela Effect,” which are cases where a significant percentage of the population misremember actual historical facts, and made a case for how newly inaugurated President Trump would, in effect, create his own “Trumpela Effect,” via his direct-to-consumer media distortions.

The altering of official White House media records, is an excellent example.

7 comments about "Trumpela Effect Part 2: White House Alters Official Historical Media Records To Distort What Happened".
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  1. Jonathan McEwan from MediaPost, July 25, 2018 at 10:10 a.m.

    “Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as ‘the truth’ exists. ... The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, ‘It never happened’ — well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five — well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs. — George Orwell, Looking Back on the Spanish War

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, July 25, 2018 at 11:09 a.m.

    Regarding your lede, the media did not wait until Trump's first day on the job to declare war on him.

  3. Arthur Tung from Presbytery of Philadelphia replied, July 25, 2018 at 11:38 a.m.

    Specifics, please

  4. Joe Mandese from MediaPost Inc., July 25, 2018 at 11:39 a.m.

    @Douglas Ferguson: by "the media," what are you referring to? Some kind of unified collective that organized itself to wage a war with Donald Trump? The "MSM?" Specific media entities? Also, you really believe there is a collective consciousness controlling what "the media" does? Sounds a little conspiratorial, like the "deep state." Yikes!!! Lastly, can you show me the statement "the media" made declaring war on Trump? I've never seen it, but I can show you the exact moment Trump declared war on the media. It was his first full day. He was standing in front of the memorial wall honoring fallen agents at CIA headquarters. It came after he bashed the intelligence community and then stated he has "running war with the media." He didn't wait 24-hours to do that.

  5. Mark Green from TVision Insights, July 25, 2018 at 2:17 p.m.

    Is Rosemary Wood back on the job?

  6. Joe Mandese from MediaPost Inc., July 25, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

    @Mark Green: Deceased --

  7. PJ Lehrer from NYU, July 27, 2018 at 10:55 a.m.

    Facts don't matter if people aren't tuned in.  More here...

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