Fact check: Screenshot of an Atlantic headline about Biden's bike fall is fabricated




  • In Politics
  • 2022-07-01 04:47:30Z
  • By USA TODAY
 

The claim: The Atlantic published an article with the headline, 'The Heroism of Biden's Bike Fall'

Shortly after President Joe Biden fell off his bike near his home in Delaware, false claims about the incident surfaced on social media.

A June 19 Instagram post purports to show a screenshot of a headline from The Atlantic reading, "The Heroism of Biden's Bike Fall."

"The President gracefully illustrated an important lesson for all Americans - when we fall, we must get back up," reads the subhead.

The screenshot includes The Atlantic logo and text that says "Subscribe" in the upper right corner and also features a reference to the outlet's newsletter.

The post generated over 25,000 likes within three days. Similar claims have gained hundreds of interactions on Instagram and Twitter.

Though Biden did fall, the Atlantic article in these social media posts is not real. A spokesperson for The Atlantic told USA TODAY the outlet didn't publish any such story.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media posters who shared the claim for comment.

Story is fabricated

USA TODAY did not find the purported headline on The Atlantic's website or social media accounts. Anna Bross, a spokesperson for The Atlantic, confirmed in an email exchange with USA TODAY that the headline is fake.

The Atlantic also addressed the fake article in a newsletter published June 21.

"P.S.: If you've seen an Atlantic headline about 'the heroism of Biden's bike fall' circulating on social media, it's not real. It seems to be a parody," the newsletter said.

The handle "@Grandoldmemes" appears in the top right corner of the image used in the altered news article. On Instagram, the account describes itself as a "digital creator" while on Twitter it identifies as a "meme plug."

Several memes related to the bike incident were shared on the Twitter account.

Biden fell off his bike on June 18 during a weekend trip to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, USA TODAY reported. He was not injured. He told reporters that his foot was caught in the toe cage.

Fact check: Fabricated statement from Donald Trump spreads online amid Jan. 6 hearings

Our rating: Altered

Based on our research, we rate ALTERED an image that shows a headline published by The Atlantic titled, "The Heroism of Biden's Bike Fall." The screenshot purporting to show the headline is digitally altered. A spokesperson for The Atlantic confirmed the news outlet did not publish any such story.

Our fact-checking sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Fabricated Atlantic story on Biden's bike fall goes viral

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