Fact check: Video edited to insert audio of profane Joe Biden chant during Barack Obama speech

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The claim: Video shows crowd chanting “F--- Joe Biden” during Obama speech

A video circulating on social media purports to show a crowd turning against former President Barack Obama with a profane chant directed at his former vice president.

“Come on,” Obama says in part as chants of “F--- Joe Biden” are heard on the video in the Oct. 29 Instagram post. “This is what I mean. This is what I mean, I mean we’re having a conversation.”

A version of the clip posted to Instagram received almost 3,000 likes in one day, and a Facebook version was shared several dozen times in two days. Other versions spread widely across platforms including TikTok and Twitter.

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But the video is altered. The original footage shows Obama interacting with a heckler during his Oct. 29 speech in Detroit and the crowd chanting the former president's name in response – not profanities.

USA TODAY reached out to users who shared the clip for comment.

Original video shows lone heckler, not crowd chanting anti-Biden phrase

The original video from Obama’s Oct. 29 speech in Detroit does show the crowd chanting, but not an epithet insulting President Joe Biden.

Obama's full speech, which the American Federation of Teachers streamed on YouTube, was nearly an hour long. The clip circulating on social media is taken from an interruption that happened less than 10 minutes after he took the stage to stump for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The former president referenced the Oct. 28 attack against Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He said political rhetoric that divides and villainizes people has created a “dangerous climate” that could cause more harm.

Former president Barack Obama, shown on Nov. 8, 2021.
Former president Barack Obama, shown on Nov. 8, 2021.

That's when an unidentified audience member interrupted Obama, though the recording doesn't capture what the person said.

“Sir, sir … come on,” Obama said in response. “This is what I mean. This is what I mean, I mean we’re having a conversation.”

Fact check: Video altered to show White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre avoiding question

The crowd started chanting Obama’s name as the former president continued the exchange before returning to his prepared remarks.

No one can be heard shouting profanities in the clip, nor in any others uploaded by outlets including MLive Media Group and CNNThe Detroit Free Press and The New York Times were among the newspapers that covered the heckling incident, and neither mentioned a pejorative chant.

It’s another addition to a trend of altered videos targeting Biden in recent weeks. USA TODAY has previously debunked videos purporting to show a crowd shouting profanities at the president in London and First lady Jill Biden in Philadelphia. A video claiming to show a child swearing at the first lady during her Diwali speech was also edited.

The Associated Press, Reuters and Lead Stories also reported the widely-circulating Obama clip is altered.

Our rating: Altered

Based on our research, we rate ALTERED a video that purportedly shows a crowd chanting “F--- Joe Biden” during an Obama speech. The original video shows a heckling incident during Obama's speech in Detroit on Oct. 29. The crowd responded to the heckler by chanting the former president's name. There were no chants disparaging the current president.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Obama's audience chanted name, not profanity, amid speech