Fake ‘The Atlantic’ article on Biden’s bike fall goes viral

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Joe Biden falls to the ground after riding up to members of the public during a bike ride in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, US (Reuters)
Joe Biden falls to the ground after riding up to members of the public during a bike ride in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, US (Reuters)

The Atlantic has debunked a doctored screenshot circulated on social media of an article that used its masthead and stated president Joe Biden’s bike fall was “heroic”.

The American magazine did not publish such an article about Mr Biden’s fall from his bike in Delaware and the screenshot has been debunked as “fake”.

A fact check by news agency Reuters said “no such headline was published by the outlet”.

The screenshot featured the spurious headline, “The Heroism of Biden’s Bike Fall”, along with a sub headline stating, “The President gracefully illustrated an important lesson for all Americans – when we fall, we must get back up.”

A spokesperson for The Atlantic confirmed there was no such headline that described the president’s fall as heroic.

“I can verify that this is not a real article from The Atlantic, and is indeed fabricated,” Anna Bross, the senior vice president of communications at The Atlantic, told Reuters.

Reuters said it conducted a search through The Atlantic website and an advanced search on Twitter as well to verify the authenticity of the headline but did not get any results.

The screenshot of the article has gone viral on social media, where plenty of users were taken in by the fake.

One user shared the doctored screenshot and commented: “Are you kidding me??”

Another social media user said: “In 2022 this masquerades as journalism.”

On 18 June, Mr Biden fell off his bike during a weekend trip to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.

He was not injured and stood back up immediately, telling supporters and a press pool: “I got my foot caught up.”

The 79-year-old president said he had trouble taking his biking shoes out of the pedals and had bike clips in. First lady Jill Biden was also present when the president took a tumble.

The White House’s travel pool said Dr Biden had gone ahead and had missed her husband’s fall.

Members of the public were trying to wish Mr Biden on Father’s Day and he had attempted to come over to them when he tried to unclip and fell over sideways, creating a mad scramble of Secret Service and press.

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