Fox News was called out for manufacturing a story about public concerns over the age of Democratic President Joe Biden.
On Fox News Sunday, correspondent Lucas Tomlinson reported from Nantucket, Massachusetts where the President spent time with family over the holiday weekend.
"[President Biden] continues to face questions about his age, even here in Nantucket.”
As proof of such concerns, video was played of an unidentified reporter yelling a question at Biden as he exited a store with his granddaughter.
The unidentified reporter bellowed:
"Mr. President are you too old to be running for reelection?"
Tomlinson doubled down on X where he posted:
"While shopping in Nantucket, President Biden was asked by a reporter if he is too old to run for re-election. 'That’s stupid,' he replied."
What Tomlinson failed to disclose was the identity of the reporter—the only one caught on camera despite the crowd of press following the President all weekend—who asked the question about Biden's age. One reporter doesn't reflect the widespread concern Tomlinson's report indicated.
But even worse, that one reporter concerned about Biden's age was actually Tomlinson himself—who later reported Biden "continues to face questions about his age."
You can see the deliberately misleading segment here:
Unwilling to let the deception go unchecked, White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates wrote on X:
"[Lucas Tomlinson], are you able to speculate on whose voice that is shouting?"
"It sounds familiar to me but I'm having difficulty placing it."
Another member of the White House communications team, Olivia Dalton, flagged Tomlinson's X post.
She quoted his post and wrote:
"Lol that reporter was… you"
In addition to the White House, people on X also weren't buying what Tomlinson was selling.
The public added context to Tomlinson's Sunday morning X post, also calling him out as the unidentified reporter he used as proof for his own report.
His post now includes the disclaimer:
"This post lacks context. The reporter that asked the question is this reporter, Lucas Tomlinson."
The public also unleashed on Tomlinson in the comments.
Fox News wasn't spared either.
Fox's focus on Biden's age—while ignoring former Republican President Donald Trump's age—also drew criticism.
Several critics referred to Tomlinson "astroturfing" his Fox News story.
Astroturfing the news is defined as the deceptive practice of publishing or broadcasting opinions or comments that appear to come from members of the public or outside of the news organization, but actually come from the source promoting the idea.
Astroturfing misleads the public into believing an opinion or position is very popular or has a lot of public support.