biden lying liars the wayward press

No, Joe Biden didn’t “fake drive” an electric truck to con us into thinking he’s healthy and not being propped up like Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s

Get in, loser, we’re going shopping

There are more than a few people in the right wing media who want you to think that Joe Biden is a doddering old man unfit for his current job and probably about to die. Whenever he trips going up stairs or misspeaks when talking to reporters, the right-wing Health Truthers will slip in with their insinuations.

Many of the exact same people did the exact same thing to Hillary Clinton in 2016 as well, and the maliciously spread rumors of her poor health were convincing heough to enough people that it likely changed a few votes. You may have noticed that she is still alive 5 years later and wasn’t felled by any of her imaginary illnesses.

The struggle to slander elderly Democratic politicians continues apace. Take the case of the Gateway Pundit and the allegedly non-driving president.

On Tuesday, Biden visited a Ford plant in Michigan that will soon be producing a new line of electric trucks. He gave a speech outlining his plans for infrastructure. And then, surprising both his staffers and the Ford executives, he insisted on taking the new truck on a quick spin. And they let him. I mean, he’s the president.

But what if it was someone else who was driving the truck? According to the often factually challenged Gateway Pundit site, Biden got in the driver’s seat of the truck all right … but he didn’t drive it. No, according to the rather hasty analysis of the Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft, the actual driver was sitting in the passenger set with a steering wheel of his own, Or, as the breathless Gateway Pundit headline put it:

WOW! Biden Caught Fake Driving — Someone Else Is Steering Vehicle — It Was All a Stunt! — VIDEO and PICS

Here’s how they saw Biden’s trip:

Following his speech, the declining septuagenarian was put in an electric vehicle where he pretended to be driving.

This was all a show by his handlers to make Joe Biden look like he’s in charge. …

Joe wasn’t driving.

Their proof? A blurry picture of Biden in the truck in which it sort of looks like there are two steering wheels. And a snippet of video in which it seemed Biden had been turning the steering wheel without the wheels themselves turning.

The “proof.”

Ok, you might say, but that sort of does look like there are two steering wheels. How do we know that this wasn’t really the case? Well, the Gateway Pundit’s piece has been pretty thoroughly debunked by an assortment of publications ranging from Newsweek and USA Today to Facebook also determined that the claims were false and attached a warning for potential readers. Even CheckYourFact — a site run by the right-wing Daily Caller — had to admit the claims weren’t true.

But you don’t even have to bother reading any of these posts because you can simply fact-check the claim with your own two eyes — by watching this brief video showing the truck from a couple of different angles that make crystal clear that there was no second steering wheel and that it was Biden who was driving.

It’s good that the “fake driving” claim got shot down sp quickly and so thoroughly. But as long as right-wingers know that they can muddy the discourse with their false claims and collective hallucinations they will keep trying. It’s really just a matter of time before they trot out the next false claim about Biden’s health. And it might not be as easy to debunk.

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22 replies on “No, Joe Biden didn’t “fake drive” an electric truck to con us into thinking he’s healthy and not being propped up like Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s”

I read an article recently on this thing of constantly pushing demonstrably false narratives. I wish I could remember where. Save you from my Rashomon style attempts at recalling it. But anyway…

The premise was that it doesn’t matter that the stories aren’t true. The people putting them out don’t even believe them.

The idea is though that by bombarding the public arena with such messages, you normalise making reality itself a matter of debate. So there’s no concept of objective truth any more. Alternative facts and all that.

That serves the politics. Somehow.

I can’t remember the details; but the argument seemed very convincing when I read it.

Perhaps someone less scatty than I knows which article it was..

At least he can actually drive, unlike Cheeto Benito feeling like such a big boy when he got to *sit* in the big truck, toot toot!

Despite the occasional verbal goof, Biden also doesn’t slip into rambling prolonged ungrammatical word salad on the regular.

@ crip dyke

I’m listening to that now (which is a bit daft; I have to be up in four hours). It seems to be making some of the same points as that article.

ETA: I like the music at the end.

The Arctic is melting, there are already two tropical storms revving up in the Atlantic, there is a credible prospect for Ukraine or Taiwan to be the flashpoint for World War III within the next few years, Kristallnacht is being reenacted in Jerusalem itself, authoritarianism is spreading like a dark cloud over eastern and central Europe, the UK, India, and Brazil, and the species extinction rate is more typical of that during mass extinctions than during palaeontological normal times, and these twits think the biggest issue is whether Biden can drive a car?

It’s like 1984 meets Brave New World meets Fahrenheit 451 meets Dust meets The Day After meets The Day After Tomorrow meets Idiocracy, and Idiocracy is winning. :/

Is the Gateway Pundit still “the dumbest man on the Internet? ”
(RIP Ed Brayton)

Conveniently these folks were all completely silent when their deal leader was shambling, stumbling, tripping, forgetting everyone’s names and spewing a constant barrage of barely understandable word salad.

The former guy fake drove a semi truck, and that was hailed as proof of toughness and virility. It’s almost like there’s a double standard.

This is what they do, from Joe McCarthy clutching a blank sheet of paper while telling everyone it was a list of communists in the State Department, to turning an investment in land that lost the Clintons’ money into a sprawling saga of extortion and murder with not a lick of evidence to support the accusations. This is what they do. They lie and invent and gaslight until you’re exhausted and discouraged and fed up.

They are utterly shameless. And they aren’t going to stop. Look at the last four years.

@Alan. It does seem to work at least in part. I work with a lot of Russian and Turkish people, and they are intensely sceptical of any information about their country from any source, and pretty sceptical of all news in general. They don’t deny that Corona exists, but they all say there’s no way of knowing how many people it’s really affected- it might be better or it might be worse, we can’t know if measures really help. You can get to a level of cynicism where all politicians and officials ( and maybe scientists and campaigners and anyone with an opinion ) are all up to something, that ends up pretty close to fatalism.

@Alan : while your explanation can account for some of the reason, I can assure you there’s plenty of people who loudly proclame their belief in theses false narrative, too. It’s not just about gaslighting skeptics.

Nowaday (and possibly alway), being a conservative is a lot about showing your affiliation as loudly as possible. Theses narratives also serve as purity tests.

It also make it harder for conservatives to quit, since admitting to oneself you were a fool of that caliber is much more damaging to one self image than less extrem form of affiliation. It’s similar to how it can be hard to quit a sect when you invested a lot of time in it.

@ ohlmann

Well technically it’s the clever person who wrote the articles’ explanation; but I’m happy to steal adopt it.

 I can assure you there’s plenty of people who loudly proclame their belief in theses false narrative

There was an interesting idea in the link Crip Dyke posted.

The commentator suggests that whilst people might not believe a particular idea generally, at the time they are pushing the point they believe they believe it.

I can see some force in that idea. And whilst 1984 references are a bit of a cliche, it reminds me of O’Brien’s speech about the subjective nature of reality.

The ‘if I believe I am floating and you believe you are seeing me float…’ one)

“There! Are! Four! Lights!”

“But I was going to. I would’ve told him anything. Anything at all. But more than that – I believed that I could see… five lights.”

He didn’t fake driving an electric car, but he did joke about running over a journalist who asked him about Palestine. And got laughs from the other journalists. I don’t think that’d gone over so well in the days before Trump, either.

Anyway yeah, don’t forget that voting is about choosing the better enemy.

1984 references may be cliche, but they’re better than the FOX-news/Jordan Peterson interpretations of the text.

Problem is, even on a bad day, Joe Biden is more coherent and put together than his syphilitic dingbat predecessor. Falling up the stairs to airforce one will never be as embarrassing as the cheeto ascending the stairs in a stately manner with toilet paper stuck to his shoe, especially as the president is generally surrounded by people who are supposed to stop that from happening.

“They see me rollin’,
they hatin’,
i know they’re all thinkin’
i’m so old ‘n’ clunkin’…”

My first thought was also “card says moops”. But also from Sartre-
“Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.”

Cheesynougats – I really miss Ed. He was one of the bloggers that started me on my internet journey, introducing me to Pharyngula and many other blogs. I’m pretty sure I found this place either through Ed or P.Z. I used to comment occasionally in both places as either Twincats or Dwarf Zebu.

I actually had a couple of email convos with Ed and sent him a clipping of something he did that appeared in our local paper circa 2011 or so. I also like to rewatch his video on the Dover trial every so often.

@Waywatcher: the TP scene perhaps showed what the people who were there that day thought of him. “Should we tell him?” “Naah, let the asshole look stupid on the news again.”

And never forget his short but failed battle to close an umbrella.

Every minute they’re examining blurred photographs and making blurred arguments is a minute they’re not making or planting well-delineated bombs.

What of President Biden’s supposed frailties anyway? FDR made his own disability public to encourage US veterans left permanently disabled by wounds that they might still pursue a career, if they so chose. And yes, I know he hid it for years for fear of losing voter confidence.

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