Joe Biden Posts Videos Chock Full Of Edits While White House Decries ‘Cheap Fakes’

(Photo by SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images)

Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden posted numerous videos over the last several months containing repeated edits and cuts while his White House team decries other clips of the president as “cheap fakes.”

During the past two months, as White House Press Secretary Karine Kean-Pierre decried “cheap fakes” she alleged were edited to make Biden look bad, the president’s own Twitter account posted video clips with camera cuts occurring as often as every 3 seconds. His account has rarely tweeted long-form, uncut footage of him speaking or interacting with voters — instead his team packages events into highly-edited, short-form montages.

After Biden was seen on camera freezing during a Juneteenth celebration and wandering off at the G7 summit, the White House railed against clips of the incidents, claiming that outlets and social media accounts such as the New York Post and Republican National Committee (RNC) had misleadingly edited and cropped the shots. Jean-Pierre attempted to popularize the “cheap fakes” label to insinuate the videos were edited in a way to make the president look bad.

While the White House lambasts “edited” videos, the president’s personal account posted a series of videos with jump cuts and splices — which experts say could be used to conceal mistakes.

For instance, in a May 15 video of Biden challenging former President Donald Trump to a debate, the president speaks directly into the camera. Over the 14-second video, the shot cuts 5 times to zoom in or out, without changing camera angles.

“The language itself that the Biden administration is trying to push, this cheap fake idea that the RNC research account is somehow publishing cheap fakes — the RNC research page is publishing longer content featuring Joe Biden than the Biden White House is,” Alec Sears, a conservative digital political operative, told the Caller.

“The zoom level of the camera. That could be just an editing trick for them to hide their cuts. That’s a pretty common editing trick. If you change the zoom level a little bit, it hides your cuts easily, so you don’t have, like, this weird break in the video where someone’s kind of changing position,” Sears said of the debate video. 

Over the last two months, the president’s account has spliced together videos of him speaking directly to the camera, visiting businesses and talking with constituents.

A May 16 video features Biden speaking about marijuana for 45 seconds while the video cuts 6 times with various camera angles.

The White House posted a June 30 video that featured the president speaking to the camera over 38 seconds. The camera angle jumped eight times.

“If you take one cut in their video as a single piece of content, they’re putting up like three or four seconds worth of pure Joe Biden content before there’s a cut, whereas the RNC research page is posting longer unedited Biden clips than that,” Sears said. RNC Chairman Michael Whatley told Daily Caller editorial director Vince Coglianese their social media account was clipping the Biden moments in real-time.

Some other videos jumped between Biden and background footage, or interactions from the campaign trail. A video from June 21 shows Biden in an ice cream store speaking with the owner. The 21-second video has four cuts, jumping back and forth between the pair as they have a conversation.

“It’s a classic video editing trick. You see it on any podcast you do, pretty much any politician who’s going to do a script on camera. They’ll do multiple takes too,” Sears said. “But what they’ll do is they’ll do their entire speech in one take, or maybe the first minute of their script is from the first take, and the second minute is from the second take. And so what they’re still doing is the two-minute face-to-cam, but then they’ll just kind of discreetly hide that switch in the middle with a camera angle change.”

Some of the videos that the White House decried as “cheap fakes” appeared to be edited for stylistic purposes. The White House specifically took issue with a video of the president at the G7 appearing to wander off during a skydiving event posted by the New York Post. The outlet’s Twitter account vertically cropped the video, a style they appear to consistently use on their social media account, and seemingly leaves out the skydiver the White House claims the president was walking over to greet.

“It’s kind of conflating two things that are happening. There is certainly a little mini-industry on social media of taking clips out of context and using them for political purposes. I think this happens across the aisle, but from all sides,” Steve Krakauer told the Caller.

“But that is not really what’s happening in a lot of these supposed examples of what the ‘cheap fakes’ are. From what’s happening at the fundraiser with Kimmel to the G7 video, when you look at the full, in-context version of the video, whatever they were trying to claim was the out-of-context version, nothing’s really changed. And so they’re using a tactic that actually exists to explain something that doesn’t actually relate,” he continued. 

Another video in the same style as the ice cream visit features the president having a conversation with a patron and celebrating her birthday. As Biden rallies the crowd to sing happy birthday to the woman, the video cuts three times in 38 seconds. Once the president has his arm around the patron, Biden says “by the way” before the video cuts to him finishing his sentence.

“When you’re the White House, when you’re running the Joe Biden Twitter account, you have complete control over what’s coming out of it, and so you can hide all the mistakes you want to and edit it,” Sears said. “As long as you have at least one good clean take, or good clean version of him reading whatever line, then you know, you can just cobble together all of those individual parts. And doesn’t matter if it’s 50 or 100 lines.”

In addition to the clip of Biden at the G7, the president’s allies took issue with a shot of the 81-year-old seemingly being led off a stage by former President Barack Obama. At the fundraiser, Biden appeared to freeze before Obama grabbed his wrist and took him away.

The White House also addressed a video of Biden frozen during a Juneteenth celebration while everyone around him, including Vice President Kamala Harris, danced to the music. Jean-Pierre said that if the video was zoomed out, others in the crowd could be seen not dancing as well.

“It was a cheap — you know, a cheap fake.  That was definitely a cheap fake. It was. This was widely fact-checked. That video was widely fact-checked, including by conservative media, on — on what had — what happened that — what occurred,” Jean-Pierre said.

The videos aren’t cheap fakes, Krakauer argued, because when additional context is added, the substance of the video does not change. Krakauer added that he didn’t think the videos the president’s social media account is releasing could be considered cheap fakes either.

“It’s like you take the tactic of trying to spice up a video where you might have one angle, or maybe you would have two or three angles, but you do these quick cuts to keep people’s attention, that seems like that’s kind of the thought process of these at least at first, but when you do put it in so like so often and in such a jarring way, a lot of these cuts are clearly being inserted because they’re trying to cover whatever didn’t work out with the original cut,” Krakauer told the Caller.

“I wouldn’t necessarily call these cheap fakes either,” he added. “What I would call them are just more signs of a panicked White House that wants to portray a narrative, that they’re a little bit leery of letting the full truth out there.”


Max Keating contributed to this report.