Press Secretary Dismisses Viral Biden Videos as ‘Cheap Fakes,’ Sparks Controversy



White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre faced backlash after dismissing viral videos depicting President Biden as frail, calling them “deepfakes.” The controversy emerged following the President’s recent public appearances that sparked concerns about his age and mental acuity.

Why It Matters

This issue underscores the potential manipulation of media to influence public opinion and highlights concerns about transparency and truthfulness from government officials.

Who It Impacts

American voters and the general public, whose perceptions of political figures can be shaped by media portrayals and official statements, are most affected by this controversy.

In a contentious press briefing on Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dismissed a series of viral videos showing President Biden appearing frail and confused as “deepfakes.” The videos, which surfaced during Biden’s recent engagements including the D-Day commemoration in France, the G-7 summit in Italy, and a campaign fundraiser, have raised significant concerns about the President’s age and mental fitness.

Jean-Pierre was directly questioned about these videos, described as “a rash of videos that have been edited to make the president appear especially frail or mentally confused.” She referred to them as “cheap fakes,” a term she attributed to the Washington Post, and accused Republicans of spreading “misinformation” and “disinformation.” “It tells you everything that we need to know about how desperate Republicans are here,” Jean-Pierre stated. She criticized the focus on the President’s appearance instead of his “legislative wins” and contributions to the American people.

The term “deepfake,” as defined by Merriam-Webster, refers to “an image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said.” The usage of artificial intelligence is central to creating such content. Despite these definitions, the White House did not provide further clarification on the matter.

The controversy sparked reactions across the media and political spectrum. Fox News contributor Guy Benson refuted the press secretary’s claims, stating, “These videos are absolutely not ‘deep fakes’ or ‘manipulated.’ Feel free to argue that they’re being mischaracterized, or unfairly portrayed, or taken out of a fuller context. But it’s literal misinformation to pretend the videos themselves are fake. They are not.”

Senator Mike Lee from Utah also expressed skepticism, asking pointedly, “Wait, exactly which videos we’ve all seen—of Biden freezing or looking lost—are deepfakes? I’d really like to know.” He further pressed for transparency by sharing a series of these videos and urging the press secretary for clarification.

Commentators from various media outlets echoed similar sentiments. David Marcus, a columnist, remarked, “The White House calling legitimate video footage a deep fake is every bit as dangerous as a right-wing troller saying a deep fake is legitimate video footage. In both cases, the purpose is to confuse people by lying.” Others, like State Freedom Caucus director of communications Greg Price, criticized Jean-Pierre’s handling of the situation, describing her performance as inept.

Radio personality Ari Hoffman cynically noted, “DON’T BELIEVE YOUR LYING EYES,” pointing to what he perceived as an attempt to mislead the public. Stephen L. Miller, contributing editor to The Spectator, humorously suggested that a reporter should ask Jean-Pierre to define a deepfake. Doug Powers from Twitchy derided the administration’s narrative, stating, “The Biden WH is so desperate they’re trying to convince everybody videos of the actual Biden are deepfakes. LOL.”