A segment on MSNBC Friday slammed former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg over a video he shared this week that was clearly mocking his debate opponents. The video has been described as “deceptively edited.”
During Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, Bloomberg was the target of several attacks, but the moment he touted his own business background had his opponents speechless.
“Maybe you want to talk about businesses. I think I’m the only one here who ever started a business, is that fair?” Bloomberg looked over at his opponents, none of whom responded.
A moment later, Bloomberg quipped, “OK,” and carried on with his remarks.
Bloomberg had some fun on Thursday at the expense of his Democratic rivals, sharing a clip of that exchange but overtly embellished the response from the other candidates on the debate stage, showing blank facial expressions from Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders from Vermont and Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota, as well as former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, over a lengthy 20 seconds with the sounds of crickets being heard throughout.
“Anyone?” Bloomberg captioned the tweet.
During a segment about Twitter’s latest crackdown in “disinformation,” MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle slammed the Bloomberg campaign for sharing what she described as a “doctored” video.
“This isn’t just about rightwing conspiracies or something far to the left because just yesterday, Mike Bloomberg’s campaign played a doctored video from the debate,” Ruhle said.
Ruhle played a portion of the clip, which she claimed afterward to viewers “wasn’t true” and that the cricket noises were added for “dramatic effect.”
“The campaign has said it was tongue-in-cheek, but when somebody sends you that clip, that looks very good for the mayor and looks really bad for everyone else, and it’s not true,” Ruhle said.
NBC News reporter Ben Collins also pushed back on the Bloomberg campaign for the video, which is something Collins said Twitter said would “flag” with the rollout of its new attempt to prevent the spread of disinformation.
“There was about a second or two of silence, not 20 seconds of silence or whatever, that’s the sort of thing, without the crickets, people might take seriously,” Collins told Ruhle. “And that’s how disinformation sort of steamrolls and if nobody is going to stop it, it can change narratives. It can change the outcome of the election. We’ve been there before.”
MSNBC wasn’t the only mainstream media outlet to blast Bloomberg, as CNN also called out the satirical video.
“He’s making another mistake. His campaign [is] making another big one today and that is there’s a video that his campaign tweeted this morning, it’s gotten a million views — that didn’t happen,” CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash had said. “It is a deceptively edited video.”
CNN then aired the entire clip, which Bash reminded viewers “didn’t happen.”
“His campaign is saying, ‘C’mon, it was tongue-in-cheek,’ but in today’s day and age where we are so concerned about things that are doctored, deep fakes on the Internet,” Bash added.