Comedy Central Uses Deceptive Editing to Mock Trump in 'Pandumbic' Trailer

March 12th, 2020 3:09 PM

Matt Wilstein at The Daily Beast was thrilled with a new Trump-mocking fake movie trailer from the liberals at The Daily Show:

Americans are rewatching Contagion for hints of what’s to come in the coronavirus outbreak, but now The Daily Show has given us a new disaster movie more fitting to our current predicament: “Pandumbic.’

The dramatic trailer appeared on the Comedy Central show’s increasingly influential social media platforms Tuesday evening. 

"The deadly coronavirus is spreading… and the man in charge is the dumbest person alive,” the screen reads as President Donald Trump enters the White House press briefing room and calls it “like a flu.” After cable news reporters reveal that the number of cases have risen into the hundreds, Trump can be seen predicting that “pretty soon” there could be only one or two people infected.

“A man immune… to information,” the trailer continues as we see the president defying CDC recommendations by wading into crowds and shaking hands. “No credentials… No clue… No problem.” 

So...applying the new strictness on social media against "Manipulated Video" and "Deceptive Editing," how did The Daily Show do? You might apply some comic license for the "dumbest person alive," which is clearly comedic exaggeration. Let's explore how manipulated this Fake Movie Trailer is:

1. Trump is shown saying "This is a flu. This is like a flu." This is not ridiculous, technically: "COVID-19 and the flu are both contagious viruses that cause respiratory illness." They left off the rest of his sentence: "And this is a much different situation than Ebola." This footage is from a February 26 press conference, when CNN reported the number of confirmed cases in the USA was 60.

2. Then came "the dumbest person alive" on screen, and after we hear CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota say there are "732 confirmed cases," Trump says "we're going to be pretty soon at only five people and we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time."

Camerota's case number comes from March 10. Trump's sentence is from February 26, but the audience would assume they occurred at roughly the same time. Trump wasn't discussing confirmed cases, he was talking about people recovering from illness. This sounds like happy talk, and yet it's still factually abused by Team Trevor: 

But we are very, very ready for this, for anything, whether it's going to be a breakout of larger proportions or whether or not, you know, we are at that very low-level, and we want to keep it that way. So we are at the low level and as they get better we take them off the list, so we're going to be pretty soon at only five people and we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time.

3. They noted the Centers for Disease Control recommended people avoid shaking hands, then showed footage of Trump shaking hands at an airport. At least this was a time match. Yahoo flagged the contrast on March 9, as Trump shook hands with supporters in Orlando. 

4. After the words "no credentials," they showed Trump touring a CDC facility noting his Uncle John taught at MIT and was a "supergenius." Fact check: Trump's Uncle John was an MIT professor of electrical engineering for more than 40 years. This mockery is just cheesy, because Obama and Biden have "no credentials" in epidemiology.

5. Then came more happy talk, that "they're going to have vaccines, relatively soon," when it's expected to take a year, and "anybody who wants a test can get a test," which isn't true right now. 

6. In a March 2 meeting, the president asked if "“You take a solid flu vaccine — you don’t think that would have an impact or much of an impact on corona?” A pharmeutical expert said "no."