Washington Post fact-checks Kimmel on edited Pence video: 'Certainly a phony tale'

The Washington Post fact-checker weighed in Friday on late-night host Jimmy KimmelJames (Jimmy) Christian KimmelJimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah mock Ted Cruz's Cancun trip Katy Perry on inaugural performance: 'I was just singing because I was hopeful' Scorned and mistreated, Melania Trump deserved much better from the media MORE's video clip mocking Vice President Pence, who was caught on a hot mic apparently joking about carrying empty boxes while delivering personal protective equipment to a Virginia nursing home.

The video from ABC's Kimmel shows Pence at the Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Alexandria and includes a clip of the vice president saying, "Well can I carry the empty ones? Just for the cameras?"

Kimmel shared the 40-second clip originally posted by Democratic political strategist Matt McDermott.


“A big box of nothing, delivering another box of nothing," Kimmel wrote on Twitter to his 11.7 million followers.

Kimmel later deleted the tweet and apologized for mischaracterizing Pence's actions, while still taking a shot at the Trump administration by saying, "I know how dearly this administration values truth."

"Kimmel is a comedian, but he still should be careful about perpetuating a narrative that the media peddles 'fake news.' This was certainly a phony tale, and it can undercut accurate and dogged reporting by real reporters," Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler wrote.

"This is a clear case of manipulated video, according to our guide. It is an example of 'deceptive editing-omission,' " he added.


Kessler said that because Kimmel apologized and deleted the tweet, he avoided being awarded four Pinocchios.

The Post's fact-checker applies Pinocchios ranging from one to four, with four being reserved for what the column considers the most egregious statements.

Before Kimmel's apology, the clip was tweeted by Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellBiden cautious in making Trump tax returns decision Democrats hesitant to raise taxes amid pandemic Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House MORE (D-N.J.), MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell and Andrew Bates, rapid response director for former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe West needs a more collaborative approach to Taiwan Abbott's medical advisers were not all consulted before he lifted Texas mask mandate House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act MORE's presidential campaign. 


Mitchell, who also serves as an NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent, later noted that the video had been edited.

BuzzFeed News deputy director of breaking news David Mack and Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy both cited C-SPAN's full coverage of Pence's delivery to show the edited video was misleading.