Frontline, a rabidly pro-government news site edited by Xhabir Deralla, covertly published an edited video trying to portray the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party as anti-European.

In the original video, VMRO Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski says: “The government has several well paid, and I would say bad PR experts, but it’s their choice who they pay. They are stuck at the second lesson of PR which is to portray the narrative as black and white. One side is good the other bad.. They are progressive and PRO-EU, we are backwards and ANTI-EU. They are pro-Western and we are anti-Western”, Nikoloski says.

In the edited video, the words “we are anti-EU, we are anti-Western” are cut from the broader point of his statement and are made to appear as if it’s a genuine statement of anti-Western sentiment expressed by the second person in VMRO. The video is garnished with dramatic music and special effects and contains comments such as “VMRO-DPMNE admits they are anti-Western, they will ruin our country”.

The video was published at a Facebook page which is at first glance not linked with the news site, as a sponsored post. But a look at the publisher reveals that the phone number associated with the page is the same of the Frontline news site.

Deralla, the editor of Frontline, is the frequent recipient of funding from foreign programs, some of them specifically meant to fight media misinformation. And still his news site publishes edited videos meant to present a completely false and distorted image of the largest political party on Macedonia, as if it’s opposed to the Western orientation of the country.