From Covington Catholic to border whips, liberal media has recent history of peddling ‘cheap fakes’

From Covington Catholic to border whips, liberal media has recent history of peddling ‘cheap fakes’

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“Cheap fakes” are suddenly all the rage. 

Since the term was pushed by the White House earlier this month, the liberal media has used the phrase to describe unflattering viral videos of President Biden which his critics say show signs of his mental decline.

Various experts cited by the media have defined “cheap fakes” as the manipulation of video or audio content that misrepresent the facts, such as one where Biden was led off-stage by former President Obama earlier this month.

The sudden concern with allegedly out-of-context video clips comes after liberal media outlets pushed several “cheap fakes” of their own over the years.


The media has pushed the narrative that viral videos of President Biden appearing to freeze up are “cheap fakes.” (Getty Images)

Trump’s ‘bloodbath’ comment

At an Ohio rally in March, Trump warned about China winning the war on car manufacturing, telling voters “Now if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole – that’s gonna be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country. That will be the least of it. But they’re not going to sell those cars. They’re building massive factories.”

The term “bloodbath,” while frequently referred to as a violent slaughter, also has a longstanding alternative meaning of a “major economic disaster,” according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. 

Much of the media’s coverage, however, either downplayed or flat-out ignored the context of Trump’s comments discussing car manufacturing and kept the focus on the word, portraying it as a threat by Trump if he doesn’t win. 


“When the former president, who’s already incited violence among his followers, says there’s going to be a bloodbath after the election if he does not win, he is telling us what he’s going to do,” New Yorker’s Susan Glasser said on ABC’s “This Week.” 

“Bloodbath” bled into several headlines from Politico’s “Trump says country faces ‘bloodbath’ if Biden wins in November” to Rolling Stone’s “Trump Says There Will Be a ‘Bloodbath’ and Elections Will End if He Isn’t Reelected.” It’s also been featured in a political advertisement for Biden’s campaign narrated by Robert De Niro.

The smearing of Covington teen Nicholas Sandmann 

One of the most infamous “cheap fakes” in recent memory concerned a group of students from Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School who visited Washington D.C. for the annual March for Life in 2019 and were portrayed as virulent racists.

A video went viral showing one “MAGA” hat-wearing student, Nicholas Sandmann, smiling at Native American elder Nathan Phillips beating a drum and singing a chant as he was surrounded by Sandmann’s peers, who all had joined in on the chant in front of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Nicholas Sandmann

Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann was accused of being the aggressor in a 2019 viral interaction with Native American elder Nathan Phillips. (AP)

The clip went viral and was criticized and portrayed as a crowd of White teenagers mocking a Native American man. 

Several media outlets also portrayed the incident with Sandmann and the other teens as being racially charged before it was discovered by additional footage that a group of radical Black Hebrew Israelites had provoked the confrontation by slinging racial slurs at the students as they were waiting for their bus. Footage then showed Phillips, who was in town for the Indigenous Peoples March, approaching the students amid the rising tension between the two groups.

Sandmann filed multi-million dollar defamation lawsuits against several media organizations. CNN, NBC News and The Washington Post settled their cases with the teenager. 

MS-13 ‘animals’

During a White House meeting in 2018, then-President Trump was asked about the ruthless MS-13 gang members who committed violent crimes after crossing the border illegally. 

“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before,” Trump responded at the time.

Several outlets instead portrayed Trump’s comments as if he was referring to all illegal immigrants as “animals.”

C-SPAN tweeted a video with the caption: “President Trump during California #SanctuaryCities Roundtable: ‘These aren’t people. These are animals,'” omitting any reference to MS-13. The misleading video was viewed more than 2.6 million times in less than 24 hours.


The New York TimesABC NewsNBC NewsCBS News and CNN all followed with similar tweets – with most of the misleading content coming after it was well publicized that Trump was specifically referring to MS-13 gang members.

The Times wrote, “Trump lashed out at undocumented immigrants during a White House meeting, calling those trying to breach the country’s borders ‘animals,’” while CBS News tweeted that Trump used “harsh rhetoric to describe some undocumented immigrants.”

CNN’s on-screen chyron read, “Trump slams some illegal immigrants: ‘They’re Animals'” even as its senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson mentioned that he was talking about MS-13. 

Haitian migrants ‘whipped’ at the border

In September 2021, amid the migrant crisis that has plagued the Biden administration, viral images showing Border Patrol agents on horseback attempting to corral a group of Haitians crossing into Del Rio.

Liberal critics claimed the border agents were using “whips” on the migrants, causing President Biden to condemn the agents, who were swiftly punished pending an investigation. 

In reality, they weren’t using “whips” but rather reins to control the horses. The photographer who took the viral images disputed the claim that the agents were whipping the migrants. The border agents were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

But that didn’t stop the media from galloping ahead with the falsehood.

Del Rio, Texas

News organizations falsely claimed Border Patrol agents used “whips” against Haitian migrants at the southern border in 2021. (PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

MSNBC host Joy Reid repeatedly accused the border agents of “whipping” the migrants, linking their alleged actions to the Fugitive Slave Act. She reacted to the photos on Twitter and reacted, “This is beyond repulsive. Are these images from 2021 or 1851?”

CNN’s Victor Blackwell suggested there isn’t a “distinction” between the agents using whips versus reins. Vice News ran the headline, “US Border Agents Are Removing Haitian Migrants Using Horses and Whips.”

The New York Times accused the border agents of “using the reins of their horses to strike at running migrants.” That report was later corrected, admitting it had “overstated” what was known at the time and that the paper had not seen “conclusive evidence” that proved the whipping took place.


Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.

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