Anti-Biden chanting added digitally to footage of Obama's speech

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
August 9 2023

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Anti-Biden chanting added digitally to footage of Obama's speech


The Verdict False

The audio of the video has been altered. The original video featured Obama interacting with a heckler as the audience chanted "Obama."

Claim ID e172912c


What is the claim?

On August 1, 2023, the U.S. Justice Department charged former U.S. President Trump in relation to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

A video shared on the platform X (formerly known as Twitter) captures a moment during a speech by former U.S. President Obama, where he appears to encounter disruptions from the crowd. In the footage, the crowd can be heard chanting "F**k Joe Biden" while applauding as Obama attempts to address the audience. Despite Obama's efforts to manage the crowd, they seemingly persist in chanting the anti-Biden slogan.

One X post featuring this video is captioned: "This isn't new, but Obama and his allies better get used to it. It's as if Obama can't believe what's happening. The more they go after Trump, the more support he gains." Another similar post garnered 1.1 million views. The archived posts can be found here and here.

Source: (X/@KiwiStreamNZ, @dom_lucre/Altered by Logically Facts)

However, the video is altered; the authentic footage captures Obama interacting with a heckler during his Detroit speech, and the crowd chants not profanities but his name.

What are the facts?

On October 29, 2022, former President Obama addressed an audience in Michigan, extending his support to Democratic candidates, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer, ahead of the November 8 United States mid-term election. The authentic footage of Obama's speech, officially released by the Democratic Party on YouTube and various news outlets, features him engaging with a heckler at approximately the 25-minute mark. The viral online clip captured this interruption that occurred shortly after Obama talked about the October 28 attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and expressed concern about the political climate in the nation.

(Source: YouTube)

While the recording did not capture the exact words of the unidentified audience member, in response to the interruption, Obama can be heard addressing the person by saying, "Sir, sir… come on. This is what I mean. This is what I mean; we're having a conversation."

As the former president continued the exchange and addressed the heckler, the crowd repeatedly started chanting Obama's name, supporting him. In the unaltered video, the crowd can be heard responding with chants of "Obama! Obama!" Further, Obama explains, "There is a process that we set up in our democracy. Right now, I'm talking, and you'll have a chance to talk sometime. We don't have to interrupt each other. We don't have to shout each other down….'' Obama then resumed his speech, highlighting that the incident illustrated the very topic he was discussing. Neither the clip nor any other recordings shared by various media outlets contained any instances of profanity. Moreover, the media reports covering the heckling incident did not report any pejorative chant. 

This edited video emerged in 2022 and was debunked by several fact-checking organizations. However, it has now resurfaced in August 2023. The audio of people singing and abusing Biden in the manipulated video was sourced from a clip of a crowd chanting during a football game in 2021.

The verdict

An altered video depicts a crowd chanting "F**k Joe Biden" during an Obama speech. The unedited original video actually shows a heckling incident that occurred during Obama's speech in Detroit on October 29, 2022. In response to the heckler, the crowd chanted the former president's name; no chants disparaging the current president were heard.

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