RNC ‘cheap fake’ tries to paint confused, lost Biden


“What am I doing now?”

Allegedly confused President Biden upon his arrival in Israel, d the video tweeted through an account managed by the Republican National Committee, July 13

“Cheap fakes,” or the practice of misrepresenting the events unfolding in a video by adding or omitting context, is not new. Neither are the attacks that question Biden’s mental capacity, but the occurrence of both phenomena is not slowing down. We have documented several examples, such as here.

This latest case, as reviewed on one of the Republican National Committee’s Twitter accounts, shows how easy it is to take a seemingly innocuous moment and imbue it with disingenuous meaning.

The stakes in Biden’s first trip to the Middle East as commander-in-chief are high. With stops planned in Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia, the visit is expected to test his deep foreign policy acumen.

The optics of these efforts are just as important, starting the moment the president steps off Air Force One. High-profile leader-to-leader diplomatic visits are particularly detail-oriented, with an emphasis on striking visuals for the cameras.

The seven-second video tweeted by @RNCResearch of Biden’s arrival does not reflect an American president ready to face the diplomatic challenges of the present. Instead, it shows a seemingly bewildered Biden, unsure of his surroundings – looking his 79 years.

A longer source video of the arrival shows the complicated protocol ahead of a scheduled photo shoot with Israel’s newly minted Prime Minister Yair Lapid. It shows a long reception line and an endless red carpet.

But in the grand tradition of “cheap fakes,” the clip cut and posted by @RNCResearch makes no attempt to alter or alter the video itself. It makes its point by removing the context of the original moment by simply adding text. And like a good “cheap fake,” it makes the viewer do the heavy lifting by letting you fill in the contextual blanks.

The use of this clip is an example of doctored video – what we call “isolation” in our doctored video guide – because it’s intended to create a false narrative that doesn’t reflect the event as it happened.

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