CNN Fact Checker Calls Out Trump Campaign for Using Altered Photos to Portray Joe Biden as 'Hiding in His Basement'
With the November election only months away, President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign is ramping up attacks that Democratic nominee Joe Biden is cowering in his basement as Trump leads the nation.
In compliance with pandemic guidelines put forth by health experts, many of Biden's campaign events have gone digital, with the exception of a few socially distant press conferences.
Nevertheless, the Trump campaign released an ad, called Delaware, claiming that Biden "sits alone in his basement hiding, diminished."
But CNN fact checkers Daniel Dale and Andrew Kaczynski saw right through it.
Ironically enough, CNN—which Trump's allies often claim embodies the so-called "fake news media"—fact checked the fake news put forth by the Trump campaign.
New Trump ad:
- Edits mic, trees out of photo of Biden in Iowa to claim he's hiding in Delaware basement
- Uses photo of Biden at Iowa party to claim he's hiding in basement
- Uses photo of him praying after George Floyd's death to portray him as defeatedhttps://t.co/cSTlPxuYvk
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 5, 2020
At least three photos in the ad have been deceptively altered, beginning with one showing Biden mournfully touching his head in an empty room.
According to CNN:
"This image was edited in two important ways. The real photo, taken by Mark Peterson, shows Biden holding a microphone at an outdoor town hall event at a nature preserve in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in September 2019, during the Democratic primary. The microphone is gone in the ad's version of the photo. So are the trees in the background of the shot, which the ad replaces with an indoor setting more suggestive of a basement."
Another photo shows Biden sitting on the floor alone in a room implied to be his basement.
Once again, CNN said that wasn't true.
Biden was not alone or at his Delaware home. Rather, this photo is from a party Biden attended in December 2019 at the home of Coralville, Iowa, Mayor John Lundell to watch the Holiday Bowl college football game. There were a bunch of other people in the room -- both party guests and journalists, including CNN reporter Sarah Mucha.
The final doctored photo shows Biden supposedly with his head down in defeat, but yet again, this was not the case:
"As Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel noted, this photo is of Biden praying at an African Methodist Episcopal church in Delaware on June 1 following the death of George Floyd."
The discrepancies were clear.
The new Trump ad accidentally shows just how few photos/how little b-roll Biden has produced since March. An image meant to make him look defeated/old is of him praying in church! pic.twitter.com/f7F9MNCLve
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) August 5, 2020
Also, it looks like someone photoshopped out a microphone he was holding at an event to make it look like he was.....touching his forehead in an empty room?https://t.co/CgMoUz9Gp9 pic.twitter.com/wJDTHpQyWJ
— andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) August 5, 2020
The deceptive images reinforced for many just how dependent the Trump campaign is on disinformation.
He can't win on his own merit so they try to manipulate the facts to seem better than their opponent. Most Americans know the truth.
— Mycrazylife (@Mycrazy64212091) August 6, 2020
Everything they do, they have to doctor a photo or video.
— Kathi Kruse (@kathikruse) August 5, 2020
Trump campaign: has to make stuff up and take it out of context to justify attack ad
Biden campaign: has to sift through hours and hours of actual footage to decide which true ridiculous Trump quotes/images to highlight
— Sean Herrala (@seanherrala) August 5, 2020
They have to alter Biden to make him look ineffective. We just have to let trump talk and the ads write themselves
— MariKL (@makl1963) August 6, 2020
Can't do a single damn thing the honest way. Sickens me to think how underrepresented we truly are.
— sdaviddiaz"WashYourHands"🇵🇷 (@sdaviddiaz) August 5, 2020
This is the 1st presidential campaign that has only one thing on the platform - corrupt the election so I win.
— PSBlaw (@BregmanPs) August 5, 2020
Nobody knows more about dishonesty and disinformation than the Donald.
— Courtney McCain 🌊 (@CourtneyMcCain) August 5, 2020
But the campaign's efforts to deceive, for some, were fraught with desperation.
The stench of desperation is radiating off of them.
— Frederick C. Trump (@TrumpFrederick) August 5, 2020
Desperation has set in at the Trump campaign, they are making mistake after mistake.
— Melb (@Melb14614126) August 5, 2020
Looks like they're desperate. These weren't even all that well done.
— DRG (@BedBugDoug) August 5, 2020
The deceitful photos were aired as the Trump campaign pursues a lawsuit against the super PAC Priorities USA for using Trump's own words in a pro-Biden ad.