DENVER – If AFL-CIO-backed candidate Rhonda Scholting loses to Meghann Silverthorn on November 5 in school board elections, she might have a future peddling embellished news stories for her old bosses at KMBC in Kansas City.
In a one-minute and thirty-two second video posted on her Facebook page, Scholting alleges that Silverthorn doesn’t “think much about the moms, dads, grandparents or taxpayers here in Douglas County.”
Scholting’s video then transitions into an audio snippet purporting to be from Silverthorn – audio Scholting presents as proof that Silverthorn thinks district residents are “just uninformed soccer moms who really don’t know the issues.”
There’s just one problem with union-endorsed Scholting’s campaign video: She deleted nearly two minutes of the KOA 850 interview to splice together the misleading sound byte she attributes to her opponent.
Within hours, someone posted a YouTube rebuttal video, calling Scholting’s misleading ad a sham.
The response video, titled “Rhonda Whips Up a Whopper,” displays in step-by-step fashion, how Scholting and her campaign consultants could have deleted audio where necessary to create the doctored audio.
One-minute and forty-six seconds of audio was removed in various places to create the eight-second sound byte.
The full, undoctored audio of the Rosen segment reveals that Silverthorn’s words were taken from later in the interview, and spliced together with a question from Rosen (which was directed to both Silverthorn and Judi Reynolds). Doug Benevento was also in attendance for the segment.
“Ronda Scholting is not only a School Board candidate, but her years in the media have made her a skilled audio manipulator,” reads the intro to the rebuttal spot — a reference to Scholting’s previous work as a news reporter.
“If Ronda is willing to lie and manipulate audio to create a soundbite, what will stop her from lying and manipulating information as a School Board Member?” the video asks.
Silverthorn sounded a similar tone in an e-mail to The Observer.
“It’s unfortunate that, as a broadcast professional, [Scholting] chose to edit both my comments and Mr. Rosen’s comments and splice them together to create a whole different meaning than the original intent,” Silverthorn told The Observer in an e-mail. “This event has caused me to question [Scholting's] integrity: if she is willing to go to those lengths to deceive our community, how can we trust her with our kids’ education?”
Scholting did not respond to a request for comment.
The rebuttal video is embedded below.