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Creating a narrative through deception won’t help victims or change the minds of skeptics. When people see the media lying to them, it makes it difficult to believe the narrative being crafted.

Take the recent examples of CNN. The network has now twice edited videos to create alternate narratives in regards to the recent shootings of two different black men by cops.

Just this week, the pro-police group Blue Lives Matter charged that the network deceptively edited video of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. The full video, taken by his wife Rakeyia, featured officers repeatedly telling Scott to “drop the gun.” In the video aired on CNN, no such demands were shown.

“The editing was clearly intended to give viewers the impression that Scott wasn’t armed. By intentionally excluding information to promote the false narrative that the officer-involved shooting of Keith Scott was unjustified, CNN directly contributed towards inciting violence and destruction in the Charlotte riots,” the group said in a statement.

“Innocent citizens were hurt during the Charlotte riots, but editing like this also incites violence against police officers long after the riots are over.”

Now, anti-police conspiracy theorists could say that officers may have only been shouting that at Scott as cover for the eventual investigation. The officers could also have been mistaken about what Scott was holding, as his wife claimed he was holding a book, not a gun (how officers could mistake a book for gun remains to be explained).

But the narrative is that Scott was holding a book and now, thanks to CNN, that officers didn’t tell him to drop a gun. It should also be noted that the officer who shot Scott is also black.

In August, CNN also deceptively edited footage of a shooting victim’s sister. Sherelle Smith’s brother, Sylville Smith, was shot by a police officer (who is also black). Sylville was armed when he was shot. Sherelle told reporters shortly after the shooting that rioters should be “burnin’ down” wealthier neighborhoods instead of their own.

“Burnin’ down s—t ain’t going to help nothin’! Y’all burnin’ down s—t we need in our community,” Sherelle said. “Take that s—t to the suburbs. Burn that s—t down! We need our s—t! We need our weaves. I don’t wear it. But we need it.”

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CNN ended the clip after Sherelle told her neighbors to stop burning down their own neighborhoods, and added a chyron that claimed she was “calling for peace” when she was in fact encouraging them to take the violence elsewhere. CNN eventually apologized for the error and corrected their report.

People are upset about these situations, and the media needs to tell the truth and not try to suppress inconvenient facts in order to preserve a singular narrative. You can’t solve a problem by lying to people, as it won’t make them see your side of the argument, it’ll only further entrench their skepticism.

Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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