Community Notes Comes With a 'Flamin' Hot' Inconvenient Truth for Eva Longoria, Joe Biden

Joe Biden hugs actress/director Eva Longoria at the White House. Credit: NY Post

On Thursday, Joe Biden hosted a screening of “Flamin’ Hot” at the White House.

I wrote about how Biden held a “pander palooza,” essentially saying he and Jill were immigrants, too, and were not “wanted.” He also repeated a debunked statistic on how many kids speak Spanish in schools. But then, he also got creepy with the director of the movie, actress Eva Longoria. Biden claimed he met her when “she was 17 and I was 40.” He then hugged Longoria, which many people questioned because of the position of his hands—and her quick movement to grab them.

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As I noted, there were some other questions, too, about the event, including how Longoria is a big Democratic donor and her film is featured at the White House. But I’m sure there’s no problem with the use of the people’s house to feature the products of a Democratic donor.

Then there was the question about the movie itself. The guy whose story is featured in the movie claimed that he invented the Flaming Hot Cheeto. Except the Los Angeles Times debunked the story in 2021, when the movie was already in production; Frito Lay said it wasn’t the case, and witnesses confirmed it.

You would have thought—maybe—that fact would stop production of the movie. But it didn’t. I just have to write about this part because nothing drives me more bonkers than the term Eva Longoria uses to justify herself here. The New York Times does a surprisingly good breakdown of what is and isn’t true in the movie.

“We never set out to tell the history of the Cheeto,” Eva Longoria, who is making her feature directorial debut with “Flamin’ Hot,” told The Los Angeles Times in March, shortly before the film’s premiere at South by Southwest. “We are telling Richard Montañez’s story and we’re telling his truth.”

So, the filmmakers forged ahead, and “Flamin’ Hot,” which bills itself as a “true story,” will begin streaming on Disney+ and Hulu on Friday.

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She doesn’t say “the truth” — she says “his truth.” Whenever someone talks about speaking “their truth” — question it, because there’s a problem.

During her remarks at the White House, Longoria also called it an “authentic” film that was steeped in “inclusion both in front of and behind the camera.”

This controversy over the Cheeto brand has been known for years, but that didn’t stop the White House from showing the film. That’s the other point I want to make—that it’s so on-brand for this White House, which is constantly fact-challenged, to promote this film. In a post-truth world, hey, what does it matter if he invented it or not? The story is good. That’s emblematic of the Biden White House. Biden is full of stories. It’s just that so many of those stories are not the truth.

While the media debunking is out there to be reported, some like Bloomberg’s White House reporter seem to just repeat uncritically what Longoria says.

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But Twitter Community Notes comes to the rescue here. If some in the media don’t do their job to question things, now Community Notes is going to catch them on it.

At least this time, Jill Biden didn’t tell everyone in the audience how they remind her of “breakfast tacos” or the “bogidas [bodegas] of the Bronx.”

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