Fact Check: Biden Inauguration Was NOT A 'Movie' With 'Bad Actors'

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Biden Inauguration Was NOT A 'Movie' With 'Bad Actors' Filmed Live

Were there inconsistencies in the broadcast of the inauguration of President Joe Biden, which demonstrate that the event was a staged production and not a live event? No, that's not true: The two points cited as evidence by the narrator of a video -- confusion over camera angles and the color of Jill Biden's shoes -- are not mysteries that could only be explained if the inauguration broadcast had been pre-recorded. The inauguration was broadcast live, much of it with cameras at varying distances using telephoto lenses, producing an effect known as "perspective distortion." Beyond that, Jill Biden appears simply to have changed her shoes twice in the course of the day.

The claim originated with a collection of televised clips presented in a Facebook post (archived here) published by Mdmdaannews on January 24, 2021. The collection of clips from four different sources -- The White House, PBS NewsHour, ABC News and Fox News Now -- has been watermarked @REDPILL MAMI. The post is captioned, "We are litterly watching a movie with 'bad actors'...........". The video's profanity-laced narration opened:

Guys, I need you to take a look at this. Come take a look at this. Was the inauguration pre-recorded? Meaning, was it not live? What we saw on TV, was it pre-recorded? I know this is all confusing but just bear with me for one second.

I want you guys to take a look at the girl in pink, that's Natalie Biden. To the right of her, the girl in white, that's Naomi Biden, These two are his granddaughters, they are clearly, clear as day, behind Joe Biden and Ashley Biden.
Where the f**k did they go? Where did they go?
This is all live footage. It just cuts different camera angles. Where did those two girls go? They were clearly right in between Jill and Ashley and they're not there anymore.
Someone needs to explain this s**t.

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

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jan 26 16:13:32 2021 UTC)

The first question, about Natalie and Naomi Biden "disappearing" can be explained by a phenomenon called "perspective distortion." Below are screenshots from the clip where the narrator claims Natalie and Naomi are clearly right behind Joe, Jill and Ashley Biden and then suddenly vanish.

Perspective distortion is a photography phenomenon that has received a lot of attention in the age of social distancing. When groups of people are photographed from a distance with a telephoto lens, the people appear to be much closer together than they actually are. This compression of space can produce the appearance of a crowded beach or sidewalk -- when in reality the people were actually spaced further apart.

In this case, Natalie and Naomi at first appear to be standing in the same row -- shoulder-to-shoulder with Ashley. A different view of the scene from Getty Images, shows that the row of seating where Natalie and Naomi sat was several paces back from where Ashley stood. When the same scene is viewed from a different camera angle, it does seem perplexing that Natalie and Naomi no longer appear directly adjacent to Ashley, but this is explained by the perspective distortion at play in the first image.


(source: 1/26/21 screenshots from video posted on Facebook- originally JCCIC video via White House)

Another dramatic example of perspective distortion appears in this video just after the narrator makes a big deal about the blue color of Jill Biden's shoes. A clip of footage broadcast live by ABC News shows Joe and Jill Biden making their way down the steps and proceeding toward the lectern. One camera angle shows the microphones on the lectern in the foreground and it seems as if the Bidens are only a few steps away from it. The live footage cuts to another camera angle, and suddenly it seems that the Bidens are not as close to the lectern as they seemed to be the moment before.


(source: 1/26/21 screenshots from video posted on Facebook- originally ABC News Live coverage)

The narrator points out that Jill Biden is wearing nude-colored shoes as she gets out of the limo and goes into the Capitol building, but is wearing blue shoes as she exits the building for the inauguration ceremony. Jill Biden does appear to have changed out of the nude shoes into blue shoes inside the Capitol and then back to the nude-colored shoes sometime after visiting Arlington National Cemetery. Although not included in this collection of clips, between the inauguration ceremony and the parade was the ceremonial wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. The final clip in the @REDPILL MAMI compilation is from Fox News Now, and shows Jill Biden, again in nude-colored shoes, walking in the parade to the White House. Both the blue Romy and nude "Love" pumps worn by Dr. Jill Biden are by the designer Jimmy Choo.InaugurationShoes.jpg

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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.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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