White House Fumes at Trumpworld’s Latest ‘Cheap Fake’ Video

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Less than a week after being derided for using a deceptively edited clip of President Joe Biden to suggest that he “wandered off” during a G7 economic summit in Italy, right-wing pundits and media outlets—including Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post—published another round of stories featuring a similarly edited clip of the president, this time in an attempt to smear the 81-year-old for “freezing” up while on stage at a fundraiser.

In a statement to The Daily Beast, the White House fumed at the so-called “cheap fake,” which it contends is a sign of failing journalistic ethics at a number of conservative publications.

The practice of deceptively editing and circulating clips of political opponents is increasingly being used in recent weeks by Republican lawmakers and conservative publications, especially to highlight problems relating to Biden’s age.

Sunday’s video features Biden and former President Barack Obama on stage at the conclusion of a star-studded fundraiser in Hollywood, taking in the crowd’s cheers. The president and his predecessor had just sat through an interview with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel for more than a half hour at Los Angeles’ Peacock Theater.

After they wave to the applauding crowd for nearly a minute, Obama reaches out and gently touches Biden on the arm before they walk off stage together.

As is often the case with recent “cheap fake” stories, the Republican National Committee first posted a misleading clip to its RNC Research account on X that cut most of the lead-up to the seemingly innocuous moment.

The New York Post then used a similarly clipped video under the headline “Biden appears to freeze up, has to be led off stage by Obama at mega-bucks LA fundraiser.” The Daily Mail, Newsweek, Breitbart and a host of other conservative outlets also followed suit, prompting outrage from the likes of Piers Morgan and hundreds of others on social media.

In a statement to The Daily Beast, White House Senior Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates suggested that the growing trend was indicative of these publications’ collapsing journalistic standards.

“Fresh off being fact checked by at least 6 mainstream outlets for lying about President Biden with cheap fakes, Rupert Murdoch’s sad little super pac, the New York Post, is back to disrespecting its readers & itself once again,” Bates said. “Their ethical standards could do with a little unfreezing.

“By pretending the President taking in an applauding crowd for a few seconds is somehow wrong, all they’re really admitting—once again—is they can’t take on the leadership that’s fueling the strongest economic growth in the world, bringing violent crime to a 50-year low, restoring manufacturing jobs from overseas, and strengthening our alliances.”

The New York Post did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast.

Last week, the New York Post made its story on Biden “wandering” off at the G7 conference the cover of its print edition, under the headline “MEANDER IN CHIEF.” The only problem with its story? The photos—and the accompanying video on its online story—left out an alternate angle which showed that Biden was simply congratulating a skydiver who had just made a landing near a group of world leaders.

Earlier this month, the same group of publications followed the same script to suggest that Biden had again “frozen” while on a dance floor at a Juneteenth celebration—while conveniently cutting the video to exclude the people standing right next to the president.

Just a few days earlier, Trumpworld influencers used a 13-second video to suggest that Biden had pooped his pants at an event in France meant to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landing. Many of the same right-wing outlets also covered the claims.

But even some in Trumpworld cast doubt on the absurd accusation, with one Republican strategist telling The Daily Beast at the time: “I don’t know what Biden was doing. It looked weird, but was he shitting his pants? I don’t know.”

The strategist, who requested to speak on the condition of anonymity, added: “This is the influencer internet wars of spreading disinformation or semi, half-truths.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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