Fact Check: Military Band Was NOT Playing 'Hit The Road Jack' Outside White House Gates

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fact Check: Military Band Was NOT Playing 'Hit The Road Jack' Outside White House Gates Audio Changed

Was a military marching band practicing the song "Hit The Road Jack" in preparation of President Trump's imminent departure? No, that's not true: video footage posted to Twitter by CNN journalist Jim Acosta showing the band practicing a different song was later overlaid with an audio track from a different marching band apparently from Ohio (probably as a joke by someone on the internet) but many people believed the clip was real.

An example of the manipulated video can be seen in this viral Facebook post (archived here) published on January 20, 2021 along with a caption that read:

The Military Band right outside the White House -- "Hit The Road Jack"...

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

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Jan 20 08:27:37 2021 UTC)

Here is another copy of the video making the rounds on YouTube:

However the original footage appeared on the Twitter account of Jim Acosta (archived here):

You can clearly hear the band is playing a different song.

Lead Stories used the Shazam app to try and identify the music that was added to the clip.

The audio in the edited clip seems to have been taken from a recording of The Ohio State University Marching Band copyrighted in 2012 that has been available on YouTube since 2015. We have queued up the clip to the just before the moment where the sound in the doctored video starts:

(Note that the doctored sound appears to be clipped and starts repeating about halfway into the video)

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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