No, those Nancy Pelosi videos in which she appears to be slurring her words are not real. At least, that’s what The Washington Post has confirmed on Thursday, following the viral spread of several doctored videos of Pelosi.
Here’s one example of the videos spreading through social channels like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook:
Per The Washington Post, the videos (such as the one above, posted by the conservative group Politics WatchDog, have been slowed down to 75 percent of their original speed in some places, causing the apparent slur in Pelosi’s voice.
To The Washington Post, Hany Farid, a computer-science professor and digital-forensics expert at University of California, Berkeley, said,
There is no question that the video has been slowed to alter Pelosi’s voice…It is striking that such a simple manipulation can be so effective and believable to some. While I think that deepfake technology poses a real threat…this type of low-tech fake shows that there is a larger threat of misinformation campaigns — too many of us are willing to believe the worst in people that we disagree with.”
As Axios notes, YouTube has taken down at least one of the false videos, and a spokesperson said that the videos “did not surface prominently” when “Nancy Pelosi” was searched, and that more “authoritative” videos showed up first for that search keyword.
Pelosi has not addressed the doctored footage. However, Politics WatchDog has, with the following statement:
Just for the record we never claimed that Speaker Pelosi was drunk. We can’t control what the people in the comments think. It’s a free country. For your information we are not a conservative news outlet.The Washington Post is fake news!
As of Thursday afternoon, the video has been watched over 1.8 million times, and shared over 38,000 times.
Here’s what you need to know:
Compare & Contrast: Original Video of Pelosi vs. Allegedly Doctored Video
Above is an original video of Pelosi speaking at a conference with the Center for American Progress, which took place after President Trump walked out of a scheduled infrastructure meeting with Pelosi and other leading Democrats.
And here, again, is the doctored video:
You can see for yourself how the video has been altered in some way to slow down and warp Pelosi’s speaking.
Still, there’s been pushback to The Washington Post’s article debunking the video.
Conservative Robby Starbuck is one of several people who tweeted a video of Pelosi this week, challenging her sobriety. Then, upon seeing The Washington Post’s takedown of those doctored videos, Starbuck tweeted subsequently, “Amazing. I called out Pelosi’s speech issues with REAL UNEDITED videos & instead of media asking why she’s slurring, twitching & forgetting words
@washingtonpost runs propaganda based on satire videos of her slurring at a different event to confuse people.”
However, plenty of others backed up the conviction that these videos are doctored. Jess Phoenix, a geologist who ran for Congress in 2018, tweeted, “The
@SpeakerPelosi videos that make her sound drunk are fake. The ones railing against #FakeNews are the ones making fake news. Of course.”