Speed Reads

Wake up Sheeple

Iran and Israeli lawmakers are both sharing a fake video of Biden sleeping through Naftali Bennett meeting

It takes something special to find common ground between Iran's anti-Israel government and Iran-hating far-right Israeli politicians, but a artfully trimmed video of President Biden being shared on social media by supporters of former President Donald Trump seems to have hit that sweet spot. The video purports to show President Biden dozing through last Friday's Oval Office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. 

In the full video, "starting around the 7:25 mark, Biden can be seen clasping his hands and listening to Bennett," PolitiFact reports. "A few seconds later, his chin tilts downward and he appears as he does in the image that's spreading online. But his fingers are moving, and it's obvious that he's awake. And as soon as Bennett finishes talking, Biden begins to speak," responding directly to Bennett's compliment.

This isn't the first viral video edited to make it look like Biden was sleeping through a meeting, PolitiFact notes, and like the previous specimens of the genre, it's false. Among those who shared the misleading clip was Israeli politician Galit Distel Atbaryan, a member of Knesset (parliament) from the far-right Likud party, The Times of Israel reports. "Distel Atbaryan's tweet accumulated more than 5 million views. It was also flagged with a warning from Twitter for sharing 'manipulated media.'"

In fact, Haaretz says, the Bennett-Biden meeting "was widely viewed as a success, achieving its modest goals of setting a friendly tone between the two leaders and presenting a united front on Iran and other key issues." Interestingly, Iran's state media also highlighted the clip, BBC Monitoring's Kian Sharifi showed on Twitter. 

This isn't exactly grounds for Middle East peace, but it's a pretty big plug for the power of propaganda.