There’s a lesson to be learned about Dan Bongino’s edited Trump interview

Dan Bongino has what he calls his 48-hour rule: Don’t run with an “amazing” story before 48 hours have passed, allowing the facts to emerge. Many of Bongino’s fans would have done well to remember that when Liz Harrington, Trump’s spokesperson, pointed out that Fox News had deleted from the video of Bongino’s phone interview with Trump the part at which Trump referred to election fraud. In fact, there was a good reason for that cut, but Bongino got a lot of hate mail before he could explain. I’ll explain below the three takeaway lessons from this whole experience.

Bongino started in the talk business with a podcast, which I’ve listened to almost since the beginning. He was so good that he now has a very popular Saturday night show on Fox News called Unfiltered with Dan Bongino. On Saturday, Bongino had a telephone interview with Donald Trump. You can hear the entire interview, uncut, on Fox News’s own website:

However, when Harrington listened to the same interview on Fox News’s YouTube channel, she discovered something was missing:

For Bongino, the fecal matter hit the fan immediately after Harrington’s tweets went out, with many listeners lambasting him for being so cowardly. However, that wasn’t what happened at all.

It turned out that Harrington was close to the mark when she said, “This is just as bad as Big Tech.” In his discussion about the matter on his Monday morning video podcast, Bongino explained that the issue was Big Tech. If Fox News has uploaded the video in its entirety to YouTube, the Tech Tyrants would immediately have deleted the entire video because it touched on a forbidden subject:

 

So, here are the takeaway lessons from this whole less than salutary business:

1. Dan Bongino’s 48-hour rule is a good one. Imperfect information leads to mistakes and causes us to turn on good people who are our political and cultural allies.

2. Fox News erred when it cut the “forbidden words” that Trump uttered without indicating to viewers what it had done. Instead, it opted for a seamless deletion, which is technically impressive but it gives the Tech Tyrants a pass. Instead, at the point at which Fox News did the cut, it should have spelled out what was happening by inserting a notice in the video stating plainly that Trump had raised issues that Google has declared off-limits in American discourse, forcing Fox News to censor that information.

3. Ultimately, Fox News shouldn’t be on YouTube at all. Rumble is a really nice platform and it doesn’t censor things that aren’t illegal. I urge Fox News and other conservative content providers to shift their entire archives of videos to Rumble, with each of them leaving behind on YouTube only a short video explaining important free-speech principles as the reason for the platform relocation. And yes, I understand that maybe there’s a conflict of interest given Bongino’s ownership interest in Rumble, but smart lawyers should be able to figure that out.

IMAGE: Dan Bongino explains what happened. Rumble screen grab.

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