Fact Check: Local News Report On Biden And Harris Event At Heard Museum In Arizona Was NOT About An Unattended Rally

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Local News Report On Biden And Harris Event At Heard Museum In Arizona Was NOT About An Unattended Rally Context Cut

Did Joe Biden and Kamala Harris promote a campaign event in Phoenix on October 8, 2020, and hardly anyone turned out for it? No, that's not true: Video of Fox10 reporter Nicole Garcia reporting from outside the Heard Museum in Phoenix was edited to remove important context. Three separate cuts in the video of the short live Fox newscast removed almost half of what the reporter said. including the explanation that this stop was not a public event and that the Biden campaign had intentionally not released advance information to keep crowds from gathering out of concern for COVID-19.

One version of the edited video was posted on the News Junkie's Cartoons YouTube channel and it was shared as a Tweet (archived here) on October 11, 2020, with the caption:

Biden and Harris hold a campaign event in Arizona and the local news can't believe that not one supporter showed up!

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Oct 13 16:13:35 2020 UTC)

This is an unedited video of the 'NewsNOW from FOX' live report:.

About 90 seconds of the video was removed from reporter Nicole Garcia's three-minute live report outside of the Heard Museum. Below is the complete transcript from the unedited NewsNOW from Fox video. The text that is bolded represents text that is cut out from the News Junkie's Cartoons video.

It's kind of warm out here actually, but we're right outside of the Heard Museum where Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and their motorcade arrived at about one o'clock this afternoon. They are meeting with several tribal leaders here at the Heard Museum and not a lot of fanfare out here. There's really not much to see. I'll step out of the way but it's kind of boring out here. So it's not your typical presidential campaign event. We don't see people rallying outside. We don't see signs or really much of what's going on, and I'm told by one of the Biden staffers, local staffers, is that they kind of kept the details about the visit- as far as the timing and the exact locations...

(19 seconds cut)
...They didn't really want to give that out to the public because they want to keep the crowds to a minimum they realize we are in a pandemic and they don't want a crowd of more than 50 people at any of their events so they're right now here at the Heard Museum in central Phoenix meeting with tribal leaders and...

...pretty much all the people that we saw enter into the parking lot about 45 minutes ago were with the Biden-Harris campaign and the pool reporters so you would expect to see, I mean, this is a pretty big event for the two of them to be campaigning together for the first time since the Democratic national convention. Here in Arizona we've established -- our state has established itself as a battleground state, and so this is technically a big event ... but not a lot of fanfare. So we're getting information about what's going on with these meetings from our national correspondent pool reporters, but from out here you really can't tell anything much is going on...

(47 seconds cut)
...so there is this stop here the meeting with the tribal leaders that's going on right now and later this afternoon they're expected to launch their 'Soul of the Nation' bus tour right out here right out of Phoenix and Biden and Harris we're told are going to be traveling separately just as a precaution because of COVID. So they won't be both be on the bus but they'll be participating in this bus tour, and it's a rather large bus. We haven't seen it pull up here to the Heard museum yet. It was in Window Rock, Flagstaff and Sedona yesterday. It's supposed to be here in Phoenix right around now and they're going to be visiting small business owners in Phoenix and in Tempe and reaching out to voters later this afternoon as well but again the...

Biden-Harris campaign not releasing a lot of details about where these events are taking place and exactly when

(15 seconds cut)
Because they say they want to keep the crowds down. They don't want a big rally. They want to be cautious because of COVID-19. So basically we're kind of just going to be going to be following the bus tour as it goes along Phoenix and Tempe later on today, but um...

Like I said, you know this is a huge event politically, but you can't tell by the outside of the Heard Museum is really not a lot going on here.

An October 8 report from IndianCountryToday.com "Joe Biden, Kamala Harris meet with tribal leaders in Phoenix" contains photos and videos from inside the Heard Museum during the visit with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and offers a more clear view of the nature of this event.

Five tribal leaders and two Native American veterans, as well as Cindy McCain met, and socially distanced, in the open interior spaces of the museum and outside in the courtyard by the American Indian Veterans National Memorial. The meeting lasted about half an hour. There were no stages, banners, chairs or lecterns. The United States Flag and the Flag of Arizona were displayed on poles in the museum. To even call the meeting a reception would be an overstatement.

As noted by reporter Nicole Garcia, the press appears to have far outnumbered the number of dignitaries who were invited to this meeting.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


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