No, Joe Biden is not ‘sniffing small girls’ as alleged in this viral video

Whenever a new public figure comes in the limelight, a barrage of old news about them crops up. These can be facts or, in most cases, distortions of the facts to malign their image. The Presidential Election results in the United States saw Joe Biden defeating the hitherto incumbent Donald Trump. While this has caused an uproar, it has also caused many older news taken out of context to re-emerge.

A video compilation of Biden “sniffing small girls” has gone viral. The 2-minute long video has snippets of Biden with younger women with the text on the video calling it “weird” and urging people to share it.

Fact Check:

The 2 minute long shows Biden close to the women in the video. The clips used in the video are old and have been taken out of context. DigitEye Team broke down the video frame-wise and conducted a Reverse Image Search on all the screengrabs procured from the video.

The first frame shows Biden whispering something in the ear of a female while another male official is seen on stage delivering a speech. A reverse Image search result showed that the video has been taken from the swearing-in ceremony of Ashton B. Carter on February 17, 2015, when he was sworn in as the Secretary of Defense. The woman in question is his wife, Stephanie Carter. Joe Biden whispers something in Stephanie Carter’s ears and she lets out a slight smile. Social media users in 2015 had taken that incident from the video and it went viral causing uproar.

In 2019, Stephanie Carter wrote a blog post to put an end to the fiasco. She mentions how she had fallen on ice moments before the swearing-in ceremony. She mentions how Biden leaned in her ears to offer supporting remarks and “kept his hands on my shoulders as a means of offering his support. But a still shot taken from a video — misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends — sent out in a snarky tweet — came to be the lasting image of that day.” She has called that still misleading.

Capitol Hill Ceremony

The other remainder clips have been taken from a formal event barring one clip. A reverse Image search showed that those clips have been sourced from the ceremonial reenactment of the swearing-in ceremony which took place on January 6, 2015, in the Old Senate Chamber of Capitol Hill in Washington. This ceremony saw the newly elected and the re-elected senators swearing in their offices. It is a common practice for the senators to bring along family members for the big event.

Taking screenshots, we identified six senators who had brought in their family for the swearing-in and the photo session which was followed thereafter. To substantiate, we are adding pictures from the official swearing-in video. In all the clippings we saw that Biden greets every member of the family and talks for a longer period to their kids. This has been taken out of context and has been projected in a maligning manner.

The first senator in the video is Sen. Mike Enzi from Wyoming. Biden kisses the child’s cheeks and whispers something in the child’s ear which has been taken out of context.

The second senator is Jim Risch from Idaho. A fun moment between the two has been taken out of context.

Another picture where Biden has put his hands on the shoulders of Sen. Cory Gardner from Colorado has also been taken out of context. Gardner’s daughter holds the Bible while his father takes the oath.

Biden caresses a child from Steve Daines (Montana) family while standing for the picture that has been placed in a wrong context too.

The video also includes the daughter of Sen. Chris Coons, Maggie Coons. Biden leans in to say something to her to which she makes a face. Talking to The Washington Post, Coons said that his daughter “did not think of it as anything.”

The video shows another woman on the streets talking to Biden. The clip has been sourced from Biden’s 2008 election campaign on the streets where he was talking to a woman. The clip is from Waterloo, Iowa where he shakes the hand of a young woman and talks to her about his campaign.

The original swearing-in ceremony video can be seen here.

Conclusion:

While the videos are real, all of them have been taken in a completely different context. The facts have been distorted knowingly and subtitles have also been placed out of context subtracting the original conversation. Our rating — ??? — Misrepresentation.

About Snigdha Nalini

Snigdha Nalini is an intern with Digiteye India and a student of journalism at the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC), Pune. She can be reached at snigdha@digiteye.in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.