The station announced late on Jan. 9, that it had suspended the unnamed editor and launched an investigation into the video.
A side-by-side comparison of unaltered footage of Trump’s Jan. 8 Oval Office speech and Q13’s altered video clearly showed several discrepancies. In the broadcaster’s video, Trump is seen licking his lips for much longer than in the real video and his skin appears to be tinted in the doctored footage.
Seattle-based Q13 admitted that the footage was doctored.
“This does not meet our editorial standards and we regret if it is seen as portraying the President in a negative light,” Q13’s news director Erica Hill said in a statement sent to the Seattle Times.
Hill said on Thursday that the employee was fired.
“We’ve completed our investigation into this incident and determined that the actions were the result of an individual editor whose employment has been terminated,” she said in the statement.
People commenting on the YouTube video showing the side-by-side comparison of the doctored footage and the actual speech had said they think the video editor should be fired.
“If it’s true that the video was intentionally doctored to make the president look bad, as appears to be the case, there should be severe repercussions for all involved. This shows a clear media bias and erodes the trust between Q13 News and its viewers,” wrote one user.
Q13, a Fox affiliate, has not addressed the doctored video on its website or through its social media feeds.
An estimated 43.3 million people watched the president’s speech, which was broadcast on national and local channels, according to the Associated Press. Fox News and CBS led the ratings with about eight million viewers each.
In the speech, Trump made his case for a border wall along portions of the southern border, citing the stream of illegal aliens that cross into the United States in addition to drugs that are brought over the border. He also noted that some illegal immigrants commit crimes after entering the country, in addition to the crime of entering illegally.
“Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country, and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now,” Trump said.
“This is a humanitarian crisis. A crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.”
CBS Deletes ‘Fact Check’
The doctored video came on the same night that CBS, running a live “fact check” of Trump’s speech, made a blunder that it later deleted.
Trump’s speech detailed the widespread effects of the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens pouring across the southern border every year, including how men, women, and children are prey to sexual predators and human smugglers while traveling through and Mexico and other Central American countries.
At one point, Trump said, “One in three women are sexually assaulted on their dangerous treck up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system.”
CBS then posted a “fact check” on Twitter and on its website stating that the president was wrong.
“Fact check: Between 60 and 80 percent of female migrants traveling through Mexico are raped along the way, Amnesty International estimates,” the network stated.
The deleted portion of the fact check was also still up on affiliates, such as Wink News. CBS has not explained why it removed the fact check.