Oct 19, 2021

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On Sunday, Israel365 News reported on the media event that followed the first face-to-face meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Joe Biden. Shockingly the video showed the US president lowering his chin and closing his eyes, looking very much like he had nodded off for a few moments. Some media outlets, like Israel National News, inspected the video, zooming in to determine whether the president had dozed off. Several concluded that he had not.

The video was posted on social media by Biden’s detractors. But after the controversy arose, the C-Span video on YouTube was edited, zooming in to focus on Bennett’s face at precisely the point that Biden lowered his head. This was not the case when the video was first posted on Friday as evidenced by the multitude of clips taken from that video that were posted on different platforms that did not show that shift in focus.

On such clip in which the president was seen with his head down was posted to Twitter by Galit Distel-Etebaryan, a Likud Member of Knesset.


“For some reason, the Israeli media fell asleep on its own and did not pay attention to this historical segment,” she wrote. “I thought you should know anyway,” she concluded, adding a sleeping emoji.

The MK’s tweet was labeled by Twitter as “Manipulated Media.”

“Reuters, a CNN fact-checker and journalists say a viral video of a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the White House has been cropped and is misleading,” Twitter added as an explanation. “The original footage shows Biden talking and responding to Bennett only seconds later.”

MK Distel-Etebaryan responded to Twitter:

“I uploaded a video taken from the White House’s official YouTube account (!). As is. When I uploaded the video I did not write that Biden fell asleep. I did not write anything except a recommendation to watch the attached section.”

“I have no idea if Biden is sleeping, bored or drowsy I know one thing – his body language does not respect the person sitting in front of him, and by chance that is the Prime Minister of Israel. No citizen wants his country leader to receive such treatment,” she added.

“Twitter, who have added a warning to the video, are welcome to pass it on to the White House”

“I did not touch it, I did not edit it, I did not even say that Biden was asleep. I took this video and it went viral around the world. Now ask yourself what fascinated almost six million people?” she asked. 

Ironically, Reuters claimed that the shorter video was misleadingly edited Irnocally the Reuter “fact check” did not mention the ex post facto editing done on the C-Span YouTube video which is distinctly different than the video posted on the C-Span site. Reuters noted that the video clip that appeared to be showing Biden nodding off was cut off before Biden verbally responded to Bennett. Reuters concluded that the clip was misleading but the “fact check” did not weigh in on the misleading editing of the C-Span YouTube video that differed so significantly from every other version of the video.

This was not the only incident in which the president was blamed for lagging attention. Oj Saturday, Biden and his wife attended the ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for the 13 US troops killed in the terror attack near the Kabul airport in Afghanistan. As the flag-draped coffins were removed from the Air Force C-17 Globemaster plane, the president dutifully placed his right hand over his heart. But at one point, he twisted his left arm in order to check his watch. Many on social media considered the gesture of impatience during the somber ceremony to be highly disrespectful.