A Lengthy Breakdown of the Fake News Cheap-Fakes Week: Our Partisan Press Reached New Discredited Depths

AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis

This has been an astounding week of desperation from the various outlets in our journalism complex. After a series of public displays where President Biden provided continuing evidence of his operational decline, our news industry organized a full-scale attempt to alter the facts. We have been met with waves of reports where journalists and pundits resorted to the most desperate of interpretations: Don’t believe your lying eyes.


What has been on display for days now has been far more than the expected quotidian partisan support for Biden and the Democrats. This has been a hyperactive and insistent attack on video evidence that is apparent to any objective and sober viewer. There is a reason for this new assault on the truth: These videos have been effective on people not part of their pliant audiences.

What has been striking is the collective willingness of numerous major outlets to engage in this effort. For anyone not entirely politically bent, these video clips clearly display a slidin' Biden, but to then see the press come out in force and tell us they show something entirely different becomes mystifying. This brings the already discredited news complex to an inflection point. An industry that needs to improve its standing is instead undermining its already fractured character in real time.

Close Your Eyes, Listen to the Narrative

To kick off the examination we start with Ari Melber at MSNBC sharing a piece by NBC’s David Ingram. Not because this was especially egregious, but the attempt was reflective of the overall strained responses.

The videos are not accurate! What you see is not accurate! The videos have been “debunked”! This is sheer desperation on display. However, their assertion alone does not disprove anything, and the very fact the videos are still spread around dispels the debunked claim. What has been revealed in the attempts to provide more evidence — further context, as they claim — is those that instead prove the content of the original clips, and the desperation in the press becomes highlighted.


At NBC News, they oddly addressed this issue; the videos have not been manipulated, but they are still fraudulent. The videos, while they are un-doctored by artificial intelligence, tend to crumble under even basic scrutiny, such as when the moments are viewed in context or from wider camera angles. So, these have not been altered, but they are different…somehow. This neutered claim has been a trend. 

At The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler attempted this, addressing the Biden “wandering off” imagery. He provides differing angles and longer segments to show he was waving to a skydiver! Except the point was not to say Biden just trundled away into the wilderness; it was that he peeled off from the other world leaders, and Italy’s Giorgia Meloni had to go and retrieve the president. Every single one of Glenn’s clips showed exactly that.

The Associated Press “debunked” the Biden sitting in a phantom chair claim by playing a longer segment that looks worse. Instead of the “manipulated” video where he crouched for a few moments, we now watch Biden as he hovers in mid-squat for nearly 10 seconds. (This is not helping, Melissa Goldin.)

Last weekend, there was a fundraiser in Hollywood where Biden appeared with Jimmy Kimmel and Barack Obama, and videos circulated showing Biden when he committed one of his odd instances of freezing in place for a duration. Obama had to come and take Joe’s wrist and guide him off stage. We were told this was a fraudulent GOP-fed piece of video – except the initial clips were provided by the distinctly non-Republican-affiliated outlet, The Hollywood Reporter. 


Then, it was with amusement that an allegedly “disqualifying” video was provided. The unedited clip that focused on Biden was said to be dispelled by this version, one that has multiple edits, and in the portion where Joe freezes up, it cuts to a wide shot from the back of the venue. This pathetic attempt was essentially laughed off of social media.

The White House has become borderline panicked over these images, and they have roped in the press outlets to help. The new spin is that these videos are dubbed “cheap fakes,” meaning “We do not like what these accurate videos are displaying!” This definition attempts to explain that the videos are clipped, edited down, reframed, or otherwise misrepresent actual events. 

It is one thing for the administration and the Biden campaign to get this desperate, but for the press to play along in such a uniform fashion has been a new low for the industry. When confronted with questions this week regarding Biden’s condition, Karine Jean-Pierre turned it back on the press: “Some of your news organization [sic] have been very clear, have stressed that these right-wing critics of the president have a credibility problem. This is something coming from your part of the world, calling them cheap fakes and misinformation.” 

The White House feeds the press this new interpretation, the media mynah birds all repeat this claim, and then the White House touts the press declaring these videos to be fraudulent. We can see this manipulation and willful subservience from the news outlets because the explosion of the use of the term “cheap fakes” is measurable.


Low Octane Gaslighting

When CBS News attempted to get in on the act, it blew up in the faces at that network. Buying into the White House spin line that these are “cheap fake” clips they ran a segment covering this phenomenon – and became the very thing they complained about. After posting their news segment, the CBS News account deleted the entry and reposted this new one. 

This…is staggering. The original segment included a video they claimed to be a cheap fake, which displayed all the elements, unedited, and we see Biden facing a paratrooper, as originally displayed. There was nothing objectionable. They took down the post, then a new post showed the segment that was broadcast while displaying a different version of the featured video. Now we saw it blurred on both the left and right frame, with graphics added – and the network now claimed this was the objectionable video.

They literally created their own manipulated video to claim what was allegedly a “cheap fake” of Biden. 

While this was possibly the most egregious action witnessed this week, the best non-explanation comes from none other than Brian Stelter. The deposed media expert struggled mightily to boost the media as he revisited his old stomping grounds at CNN. Listen to him in this segment as Brian makes the most obtuse of observations:


You truly have to wonder how his mind attempts to process this glaring paradox: Joe Biden’s problems are very real, but the videos displaying these problems are entirely false. 

Facts Are Misinformation

The press is involved in a full-pressure campaign to deliver misinformation, but they become exposed in two ways. First, these claims of false videos of Biden’s decrepitude are countered by international news outlets. Unhindered by the bias stateside, these outlets freely commented on Biden’s blatant condition.

  • SKY NEWS AUSTRALIAJoe Biden's "unusual behavior" at the G7 leaves leaders "alarmed" and "bemused."

  • ABC INTERNACIONALConcern about Biden's cognitive status after Meloni had to assist him in the G7. The images show the Italian Prime Minister taking the US President by the arm so that he does not move away from the group of leaders. Biden's mental acuity, again questioned. Five lapses in two weeks: Biden's mistakes increase and his health is questioned again.

  • INFORMALIAJoe Biden stokes debate about his age and cognitive state after getting disoriented at G7: viral moment. The American Democrat starred in a surreal moment. While his companions took their place, he stared at the sky and in a completely opposite direction from the rest. From his look, he also looked a little disoriented. Meloni noticed this and went to him to warn him of the photo.

  • HINDUSTAN TIMES Confused Joe Biden seen being led off stage by Barack Obama at LA event – Former president Barack Obama was seen guiding Joe Biden off the stage at a Los Angeles fundraiser after the president appeared to freeze up.


Then we have the news instances of Biden’s questionable displays this week that went completely unaddressed. There was Biden, leaving a Democrat fundraiser, and he took quite a while to climb into the presidential SUV. Worse was another instance that perfectly mirrored the previously “debunked” videos. With a gaggle of beaming Democrat figures during the immigrant amnesty announcement on Tuesday, Biden is trying to reach the name of Alejandro Mayorkas, but he encountered a buffering problem.

There has been zero pushback and defiance from the press over these clips. It becomes impossible to blame the Republicans for manipulating media clips when this was Joe behaving in the same questionable manner – LIVE on CNN. 

The Democrats made a weak attempt to fight back on these videos. The Biden-Harris HQ account put out a montage of clips allegedly showing Trump in various cases of disorder. This accomplishes the opposite effect, however. If this somehow slams Trump, then it validates the Biden videos, as those have been unedited segments, in opposition to these cherry-picked seconds-long clips.

But what is most discrediting is this same press complaining today about conveniently-edited “cheap fakes” has engaged in this same practice. Recall when Trump inspired 25th Amendment talk when he walked slowly down a ramp? Remember how his faculties were questioned over holding a water bottle? These are the exact same type of brief video examples they try to disqualify today.

And I’m sorry, but it is tough to swallow a lecture about altered imagery used for fake messaging from the same press industry that spent a week covering a non-existent case of border agents lashing immigrants with horse reins. When it comes to employing cheap fakes, these people are experts at the craft.



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