Did CBS News use a photo of a Trump rally for Latinos and show it as a Biden rally? No, that's not true. A CBS Evening News segment that aired on September 15, 2020, used video -- not a still image -- of Trump supporters in Florida to illustrate a reporter's narration of Trump's support in the state among Latinos. Memes that included a screen grab of the report falsely claimed CBS was misleading viewers by purporting the Latinos in the video were Biden supporters.
The claim appeared as a post published on September 17, 2020 on Facebook (archived here) with following text:
In the white circle, a woman is wearing an "I ❤️ TRUMP" hat, while a woman behind her holds up an American flag. Above the white circle are two "Make America Great Again" signs. The man in front is holding up four fingers and his mouth is open (chanting "Four More Years"...?)
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Sep 17 17:56:31 2020 UTC)
The full text of the post read:
In the white circle, a woman is wearing an "I TRUMP" hat, while a woman behind her holds up an American flag. Above the white circle are two "Make America Great Again" signs. The man in front is holding up four fingers and his mouth is open (chanting "Four More Years"...?)
And... the CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell -- honest and faithful reporters that they are -- gives their ever-so-accurate caption to the photo in the blue banner at the bottom...
(The man in front holding up four fingers is Jonathan Gilliam. Jonathan tweets: "I'm 100% positive I was in Arizona on Monday supporting Donald Trump with Latinos For Trump despite CBS claiming I was at a Joe Biden rally in Florida. Fake News Media" -- Jonathan's tweet is here: t.co/T6DogWY0JT)"
The claim, with a sarcastic reference toward CBS News and anchor Nora O'Donnell, that went viral used only a screen grab and not the actual words from the audio of the news segment.
Users on Twitter claimed CBS "stole" the Trump photo to use it for a Biden event.
CBS stole a Photo from Latinos for Trump in Phoenix and tagged it as a Biden event. #fakenews @DonaldJTrumpJr @charliekirk11 @drewsexton23 @kelliwardaz #LeadRight pic.twitter.com/Pmz1dt83Hv-- AZ_LD25FO_TDuc (@LD25_GOP) September 16, 2020
The caption for the entire CBS News segment was "Biden pitches crucial Latino voters during Florida campaign stop," and at that exact moment the voiceover was discussing Trump's Latino voter rallies and showed a photo of a group of people from a Latinos for Trump event. The photograph matched the topic the audio was covering at the time.
In a YouTube video on the CBS Evening News channel from the news segment the voiceover by CBS correspondent Ed O'Keefe explains the situation and there is not a "stolen" picture in the video.
The caption during the entire segment was "Biden pitches crucial Latino voters during Florida campaign stop."
The segment voiceover said at 3:23:
One out of every five voters is Latino and with polls showing Mr. Trump closing that gap with Biden, Democrats say the former vice president needs to spend more time courting Latino votes face to face."
The photograph referenced in the Facebook post is shown at 3:45 in the video and here is what O'Keefe is saying at the time the photograph is being aired:
The president has cut into Biden's advantage by wooing conservative Latinos with ominous warnings about a Biden presidency."
President Trump is shown speaking at 3:51, saying: "I think in many cases these people are talking even beyond socialism and we are not going to let that happen."
The news segment is discussing Trump's courting of Latino voters by showing a photograph at the same time of a group of people attending a Latinos for Trump rally. CBS News did not use a photo of a Latinos rally for Trump in place of a Latinos really for Biden.
Lead Stories has reached out to CBS News for comment, and this story will be updated with any response.
The Facebook post referenced the man in the suit jacket from the front of the photograph. Jonathan T. Gilliam responded via Tweet, confirming he was attending a Trump rally not a Biden rally.
I'm 100% positive I was in Arizona on Monday supporting @realDonaldTrump with #LatinosForTrump despite @CBS claiming I was at a @JoeBiden rally in Florida. 👉🏻#FakeNewsMedia👈🏻 pic.twitter.com/T6DogWY0JT-- Jonathan T Gilliam (@JGilliam_SEAL) September 16, 2020