CNN Anchor on Michelle Fields Video: ‘Tamer’ Than Described, She ‘Wasn’t Pulled to the Ground’


The Donald Trump camp’s version of Corey Lewandowski‘s alleged battery of reporter Michelle Fields is beginning to take root, or at least to significantly muddy the waters in the media. After video was released of the moment Fields says Lewandowski grabbed her after a press conference on May 9, Trump and his minions fashioned a new narrative around the events, no longer claiming that Lewandowski never touched her, but rather that the touching was incidental and necessary to protect Trump from Fields. On CNN’s New Day Wednesday morning, co-anchor Alisyn Camerota met them at least halfway.

While introducing the topic to a panel, Camerota said that the video was unhelpful to both sides of the controversy:

The video has come out that now shows this moment of this alleged altercation between Michelle Fields and Corey Lewandowski. It seems neither side’s story is exactly captured on that video. She wasn’t pulled to the ground. She wasn’t pulled backwards. Nor do you see her grabbing Donald Trump? Or her bolting for him, as he said. Neither side. This moment looks tamer on video than the way it was described. That being said, a campaign manager being arrested and charged, what does this mean?

Well, for one thing, it means that Trump’s further attempts to discredit Michelle Fields are off to a good start. The security video, with its choppy frame rate and eye-in-the-sky perspective, shows just enough to corroborate the key elements of Fields’ account, but sufficiently obscures the details to allow Lewandowski to fashion a plausible-enough alternate version of events to muddy the waters. This video doesn’t show the force with which Lewandowski grabbed Fields, or the expression on her face, or the effect it had on her balance. As Don Lemon pointed out later in the segment, Michelle Fields never claimed to have been “pulled to the ground,” but the video definitely does show her being pulled backwards:

If you were to rely only on the video, the Trump/Lewandowski version of events might hold a few ounces of water, but the media needs to be consistent and vigilant about reporting this story. Michelle Fields reported her version of events in near-real time, while Lewandowski lied and smeared. Fields produced evidence of her injury. Fields had, and has, a credible and reliable witness. The “both sides” siren song is a powerful one for the mainstream media, but there really aren’t two sides to this story, and the media should resist the urge to Zapruder this security video to death. She says he grabbed her, the video shows he grabbed her, even though he said he didn’t. The end.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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