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HomeFact CheckViral Video Showing US President Joe Biden Dozing Off During Television Interview...

Viral Video Showing US President Joe Biden Dozing Off During Television Interview Is Manipulated

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim

Video shows US President Joe Biden sleeping during a TV interview as the anchor tries to wake him up.

Such posts can be seen here and here.

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Fact

A Google lens search on the keyframes of the viral footage of Joe Biden led us to a YouTube video by KBAK – KBFX – Eyewitness News – BakersfieldNow, dated October 18, 2011. Depicting visuals similar to the video clip, it stated, “Was legendary actor and singer Harry Belafonte asleep during a live satellite interview Friday morning with Eyewitness News? His publicist says no.”

Viral Video Showing US President Joe Biden Dozing Off During Television Interview Is Manipulated
Screengrab from YouTube video by KBAK – KBFX – Eyewitness News – BakersfieldNow

On comparing the keyframes of the YouTube video with the viral footage, we could conclude that the clip showing Biden falling asleep on air was digitally manipulated.

(L-R) Screengrab from viral footage and Screengrab from YouTube video by KBAK – KBFX – Eyewitness News – BakersfieldNow

Detailing the incident, a Yahoo Entertainment article stated, “A video of Harry Belafonte seemingly falling asleep during a live TV interview with US show ‘Eyewitness News’ has gone viral across the web.The two minute clip shows the singer, most famed for his track ‘Banana Boat’, appearing on the show to promote his new book of memoirs. However, when the news anchor at KBAK video linked to him in New York, he appeared to be fast asleep and was unresponsive to the host’s desperate attempts to wake him.” 

Screengrab from Yahoo.com

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Belafonte’s spokesperson had, however, said that there was a technical glitch. “After weeks of literally hundreds of interviews promoting his HBO documentary, memoir and CD, Mr. Belafonte had an early morning satellite TV tour… True to form, there was a technical glitch in the feed to a local station in Bakersfield, Calif. His earpiece wasn’t working, so he decided to take the time to meditate before the rest of his Day-O,” Ken Sunshine was reported as saying by CBS News.

We further found that Biden’s image was taken from a 2020 video showing Hillary Clinton endorsing him during her appearance as a guest  at his virtual town hall. Biden can be seen lowering and seemingly closing his eyes multiple times before looking back at the camera.

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Hence, viral footage claiming to show US President Joe Biden sleeping during a TV interview is digitally manipulated. 

Result: Altered Video

Sources
YouTube Video By KBAK – KBFX – Eyewitness News – BakersfieldNow, Dated October 18, 2011
YouTube Video By ABC News, Dated April 29, 2020


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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