Fox News is now pushing a heavily edited video of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s appearance Tuesday before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, in order to falsely depict Buttigieg as if he had openly approved of high gasoline prices — the opposite of what he said during the hearing.
Buttigieg has previously appeared on Fox News, only for the network to turn around and distort what he said. Fox’s determination to pursue this dishonest agenda against administration officials, whether in conducting interviews on its own programming or in covering their public appearances before congressional committees, ought to give pause to anyone who would consider treating it like a news organization instead of a propaganda outlet.
Buttigieg promoted the White House’s efforts to bring gas prices down now, and to promote green energy going forward
During his committee appearance Tuesday, Buttigieg said the Biden administration was promoting “domestic, clean energy production … alongside fossil fuel industries, which of course are still a very important part of our economy.” On the issue of reducing gas prices, Buttigieg highlighted administration proposals to push oil companies toward increasing production in areas where they currently hold unused drilling permits. “That’s an example of, I think, the administration’s recognition that at least in the short-term, we are working with what we have even as we are seeing a transition through.”
Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), however, asked a pointed question about the administration “actively pursuing high energy prices in order to force Americans into electric vehicles.”
“Of course not,” Buttigieg responded.
After some further discussion about the economics of electric vehicle ownership, Buttigieg made an observation that while on the one hand higher gas prices would make electric vehicles more competitive, the administration was instead promoting a different solution of tax credits in order to bring the up-front purchase price down for electric vehicles.
“But the more we stimulate the production of the clean cars, right, the more you hit the economies of scale that makes them cheaper to produce in the first place, which means that you won’t need as many subsidies in the future,” Buttigieg concluded. “That’s why we believe in this policy.”
Here is the full five-minute video of Buttigieg’s exchange with Gimenez.
Fox’s opinion hosts and “straight news” anchors all ran with the network’s deception
On Tuesday’s edition of The Five, the panel showed a dishonestly edited clip, beginning with Buttigieg’s response, “Of course not,” but then skipping ahead to his comment over a minute later in the discussion, “Of course, the more pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicles.” The second comment was now bereft of any context that the administration was instead promoting subsidies to speed the adoption of electric vehicles and to build up the economies of scale.
“Wow, is that for real?” said co-host Greg Gutfeld.
“Yes,” replied Dana Perino, a former White House press secretary during the George W. Bush administration who is now a purported “straight news” anchor at Fox.
Gutfeld even joked about how the video might have been edited. “What he said, it’s just like, the more pain? That is — or did we cut it off before he just said, ‘Oh, I would never say that.’ That is an amazing admission.” In fact, they really did cut out the part of the video where Buttigieg responded to Gimenez, “I know you want me to say it so bad.” (Fox News just made him say it, anyway.)
Prime-time host Sean Hannity oddly played the section of the video where Buttigieg explained the policy of bringing down the costs of electric vehicles, rather than bringing the price of gas up, and even included Buttigieg’s quip, “I know you want me to say it so bad.” But Hannity simply pushed ahead with his talking point anyway.
“Did you get that?” Hannity asked his Fox audience. “The more pain you experience, the more benefit for electric vehicles.”
Later that night, both right-wing Fox prime-time host Laura Ingraham and ostensible “straight news” anchor Shannon Bream delivered remarkably similar talking points while airing the misleading clip, respectively claiming that Buttigieg had “made an admission about high gas prices” and was “saying some of the inside-voice stuff out loud now” by “saying the pain at the pump can actually be a good thing.”
On Wednesday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy introduced the deceptively edited clip and claimed that Buttigieg “revealed what they're really after.” Co-host Ainsley Earhardt further added, “He wants us to feel the pain. He wants us to feel pain at the pump.” Co-host Brian Kilmeade then read a tweet from Gimenez, which accused Buttigieg and the White House of “an evil way of governing.”
How a Fox Business anchor sliced and diced the video: “He said, ‘Of course.’”
Fox Business anchor and conspiracy theorist Maria Bartiromo delivered the single most dishonestly edited example of this clip on Wednesday morning. Her program played a heavily edited version of the video that not only skipped over Buttigieg’s immediate answer, “Of course not,” but then spliced together an entirely separate set of questions and responses in order to create an artificial conversation.
Bartiromo’s viewers now saw Gimenez ask: “Is the Biden administration actively pursuing high energy prices in order to force Americans into electric vehicles?”
Making it falsely appear as if Buttigieg was directly answering the question, Bartiromo played his comments from over a minute later in the exchange: “Of course, the more pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicles.”
The program then repeated a similar trick, showing Gimenez asking, “So, you’re saying the more pain we have, the more benefit we’re going to get?” Bartiromo’s team then skipped over Buttigieg’s ridicule of that attempt to put words into his mouth, instead just playing a snippet from later on: “What we’re saying is that we could have no pain at all by making EVs cheaper.”
Bartiromo then described Buttigieg’s response as “word salad,” overlooking the fact that her own team had tossed it together. She then repeated in an outraged tone: “Are you pushing gas prices up so that people get electric vehicles. ‘Of course’ — he said, ‘Of course.’”
This dishonest editing should be especially egregious for a business channel, which covers companies that are required by law to provide honest information to their investors. But Fox Business apparently doesn’t offer any such standard of accuracy to its viewers, taking after its bigger sibling Fox News.