FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Joe Biden Sleeping During A Local TV Interview?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sleeping during a local morning TV interview.

Verdict: False

The video has been deceptively altered to combine a clip of a 2011 interview with singer Harry Belafonte and a clip of Biden briefly looking down during an April town hall.

Fact Check:

The short video shows a local news anchor purportedly introducing Biden, whose eyes appear to be closed, as a guest on a live morning news program. As snoring can be heard in the background, the anchor attempts to get the attention of her guest before giving up.

In recent days, the video has been widely shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For instance, Dan Scavino, the White House director of social media, posted the video on Twitter, where it has garnered over 2 million views despite being labeled “manipulated media.” (RELATED: Video Claims To Show Joe Biden Making A Racist Remark)

The altered video deceptively combines two separate clips. The portion with the local news anchor comes from a 2011 clip published by CBS affiliate KBAK-TV, while the other featuring Biden comes from a town hall Biden did with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this April.

In the 2011 clip, the KBAK-TV anchor attempted to interview Belafonte. Ken Sunshine, Belafonte’s spokesperson at the time, said that the singer’s earpiece wasn’t working due to a technical glitch and that he was taking a moment to meditate, CBS News reported.

The video of Biden comes from an April town hall event. In the original town hall clip, the Democratic presidential nominee appears to look down for roughly 15 seconds before lifting his gaze. Clinton was discussing COVID-19’s impact on women at the time.

No snoring can be heard in either of the clips. It appears to have been added to the altered video, along with a chyron that reads, “On Air: Joe Biden | The Importance Of This Election.” (RELATED: Viral Video Claims To Show Joe Biden Endorsing Donald Trump)

John Dabkovich, a current anchor for CBS Sacramento, called out the version that Scavino tweeted as “fake” on Twitter. He co-anchored the program at the time of Belafonte’s interview.

“This is fake,” he tweeted. “You know how I know? I was the coanchor in studio. We were interviewing Harry Belafonte.”

The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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