Column: The ‘Cheapfake’ Video Claims of Pro-Biden Bedwetters

News & Politics

President Biden’s greatest personal vulnerability in his re-election campaign is the perception that he’s mentally deteriorating and won’t be able to finish a second term (when he’d be 86). So it’s not surprising that the pro-Biden media are feverishly defending Biden when videos suggest he might be losing it. They’re clearly pre-dreading the presidential debate.

In April, a Pew Research Center poll showed 65 percent had little or no confidence in Biden’s physical fitness as president, and 62 percent said the same for mental fitness. A recent ABC News/Ipsos poll showed voters preferred Trump 42-23 on “mental sharpness.”

This deeply upsets leftist journalists, who insisted President Trump was mentally unstable on a regular basis when Trump was in the White House. But now that Republicans are spreading videos of Biden looking like a failing geezer, they’re all furiously “fact checking” and throwing “Pinocchios.”

Start with a video from a skydiving demonstration at the G-7 summit in Italy. Biden appeared to be wandering away from European leaders to look at something behind him. It turns out he was giving two thumbs-up to a skydiver behind him. But what everyone saw was the leaders of Italy and France trying to discreetly rush and turn Biden around for photographs. It looked like they had “orders” to keep Grandpa on track.  

PolitiFact claimed it was “False” to say Biden “wandered off” (the cheeky New York Post headline was “Meander In Chief”). Washington Post “fact checker” Glenn Kessler’s article carried the hot headline “‘Cheapfake’ Biden videos enrapture right-wing media, but deeply mislead.” Kessler could have awarded Two Pinocchios (“Significant omissions and/or exaggerations”) but careened into ruling Four Pinocchios, for “Whoppers.” This isn’t fact-checking. It’s spin-spoiling.

“Morning Joe” spent several days raging against the G-7 video, with Mika Brzezinski quoting a distraught Democrat strategist: “The lie sprinting the 100-meter dash and the fact check is taking a stroll on the beach.” Watching European leaders try to “rescue” Biden from meandering is now a “lie.” Mika and Joe didn’t touch video of Barack Obama grabbing Biden’s wrist to lead him off stage at a Hollywood fundraiser.

TV networks and video producers love to make political trouble over bad “optics.” It’s obvious too much can be made of video clips. Too much can be made of verbal stumbles. Watching how someone slurps on their bottled water can only mean so much.

But wow, all the media shoes have switched to the other feet. Four years ago – on June 13, 2020 — President Trump tentatively tiptoed down a ramp at the Air Force Academy commencement, leading to an anti-Trump feeding frenzy of “growing health concerns.” On one day (June 15), NewsBusters found CNN and MSNBC spent nearly 51 minutes analyzing the video with medical experts and trying to inflict damage on perceptions of Trump’s fitness.

Now with Biden, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace decried “a growing and insidious trend in right-wing media” to take “highly misleading and selectively edited video” of Biden and question his fitness. But four years ago, Wallace offered entirely the opposite spin – 12 and a half minutes on June 15, 2020 raising questions about Trump’s tiptoeing, trolling for “any [conspiracy] theories about why he went to the hospital earlier this year and any connection between his struggle to hold a water glass with one hand, and that walk down the ramp?”

This is not a double standard. It’s simply a Democrat standard. Sing consistently from the DNC song sheet. This is the sound of left-wing cable “news.”

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