The internet is divided over a video of Biden and Obama at a fundraiser

Paul Froggatt/ShutterStock @chrissgardner/X (Licensed)

Biden supporters, detractors accuse one another of gaslighting over wandering off, freezing up videos

The White House called a journalist’s video a ‘cheap fake.’


Tricia Crimmins


President Joe Biden has gone viral multiple times recently for appearing to freeze and wander off while attending official events—sparking speculation that Biden is struggling cognitively.

The videos have sparked a fierce online war between outlets and right-wing influencers covering them and Biden’s team furiously attempting to debunk them.

Yesterday, a video from the Hollywood Reporter of Biden with former President Barack Obama and Jimmy Kimmel provoked a similar debate.

Posted by Hollywood Reporter senior staff writer Chris Gardner, the video shows the end of Biden and Obama’s Los Angeles fundraiser, which was hosted by Kimmel. In it, Biden and Obama wave to the crowd, Obama takes Biden’s wrist and then puts his arm between Biden’s shoulder and the two walk offstage, followed by Kimmel.

Or, as described by Gardner, “former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden offer final waves to Peacock Theater crowd as Obama then grabs Biden’s hand to lead him offstage.”

Gardner’s video has been reposted and reported on by accounts and outlets using it as proof that Biden’s cognitive ability has suffered because of his age.

“Biden needed Obama to tug at his arm and guide him off stage,” right-wing YouTuber Benny Johnson tweeted yesterday about the 81-year-old. “Humiliating.”

“This isn’t normal,” Alex Bruesewitz, a conservative political strategist, tweeted.

And this morning, the New York Post tweeted that Biden “appears to freeze up, has to be led off stage by Obama.”

The White House and other defenders of Biden claim that the video has been manipulated to make Biden look bad.

Though the video was tweeted by a journalist, the White House told the Daily Beast that Gardner’s video is a “cheap fake” at Biden’s expense.

“Fresh off being fact checked by at least 6 mainstream outlets for lying about President Biden with cheap fakes, Rupert Murdoch’s sad little super pac, the New York Post, is back to disrespecting its readers & itself once again,” White House Senior Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement to the Daily Beast.

As for what Biden was doing in that “frozen” interlude, Bates said the president was “taking in an applauding crowd for a few seconds.”

Bates’ “Fresh off being fact checked” line refered to the Post’s coverage of an event to celebrate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Biden was accused of wandering off by the Post, although video shows he went to speak with some paratroopers who jumped in.

“The Murdoch outlets are so desperate to distract from @POTUS’s record that they just lie,” Bates wrote about the skydiving episode. ‘Here, they use an artificially narrow frame to hide from viewers that he just saw a skydiving demonstration. He’s saying congratulations to one of the divers and giving a thumbs up.”

Biden was also accused of “freezing” at a Juneteenth celebration.

In response to the Juneteenth episode, Bates claimed that “‘No one’s home’ in Fox’s fact-checking department.”

The response to the Los Angeles incident helped highlight the contrast between Biden’s fans and his detractors.

David Hogg, an activist for gun control who survived the Parkland shooting in 2018, called out the Post for spreading a “total lie.”

“For the record this did not happen and is a total lie,” Hogg tweeted.

In response, Hogg was accused of “gaslighting” the public about Biden’s behavior by prominent right-wing accounts.

“It’s literally on camera and was first reported by a reporter from The Hollywood Reporter.” Chaya Raichik tweeted. “We will not fall for your gaslighting @davidhogg111.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Gardner for comment.

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