Fake Biden Video Shared by Trump Adviser Labeled ‘Manipulated Media’ by Twitter

Dan Scavino shared a video doctored to look as though Joe Biden fell asleep during a television interview

Joe Biden
Getty Images

Doctored video to make it appear that Joe Biden fell asleep during a TV interview that was then shared by a White House adviser was slapped with a Twitter “manipulated media” label Sunday.

It wasn’t Biden who was drowsy, however: The original clip actually showed singer Harry Belafonte asleep waiting for an interview with news anchors on Bakersfield, California’s CBS affiliate, KBAK. The image of Biden was inserted over Belafonte’s.

The fake video was then shared by White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, Dan Scavino, and “The Wayne Dupree Show” co-host, Brian Smyth.

Clicking Twitter’s “manipulated media” notice — which was added to the tweets containing the video — leads to a landing page of real information about the original video and an explanation of the doctoring.

Twitter also included contemporaneous tweets from media observers who noted the on-air misstep in 2011, as well as a HuffPost article written at the time that quotes a representative for Belafonte denying he fell asleep. Instead, they said, he had audio issues and didn’t know he was on.

An anchor for the station verified that the clip was, indeed, fake. “This is fake,” John Dabkovich tweeted. “You know how I know? I was the co-anchor [sic] in studio. We were interviewing Harry Belafonte.”

New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman weighed in with a comment from Belafonte.

Watch the manipulated clip — which, again, comes from an interview of Harry Belafonte and not Joe Biden — below:


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