PolitiFact Falsely Claims Biden Didn’t Awkwardly Leave MSNBC Set

July 26th, 2023 6:50 PM

While PolitiFact refused to fact-check President Biden’s truly insane claim that he had “ended cancer,” they and writer Sara Swann were busy Tuesday running cover by fact-checking whether or not Biden awkwardly walked off an MSNBC set last month, seemingly suggesting what he did was normal. They even used this author’s tweet to do it!

By now, NewsBusters readers have likely seen the video of President Biden getting up after an interview with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace on Deadline: White House, before they could cut to a commercial, and awkwardly walked off the set. He passed behind Wallace in the process.



So, what did PolitiFact find so important that it required a serious correcting of the record? Well, they needed to squash a nearly month-old Facebook post that suggested the moment occurred mid-interview. “Biden just gets up and leaves during a live TV interview,” the account Crawfordology wrote.

PolitiFact clutched their pears over Twitter and TikTok users making fun of Biden with the clip:

A June 30 tweet made a similar claim with a screenshot of Biden walking off the set. TikTok videos also shared the brief clip of Biden’s exit and questioned why the president left during a live interview.

“Biden didn’t leave midinterview [sic], as the social media posts suggest,” Swann added.

She spent over 10 paragraphs describing how Wallace and Biden were saying “thank you” and making it absolutely clear that the interview was over before Biden awkwardly walked off set.

Anyone who has watched any amount of cable news has a reasonable understanding of how these kinds of interviews go down. They go from a wide shot of the interviewer and the guest saying their final pleasantries before zooming in on the host and either going to a commercial break or shifting to the other side of the table as that guest leaves on their side of the set.

Wallace did go to a commercial break which would have allowed Biden to get up a leave the set. What he did was out of the ordinary and was arguably still during the hit because they had not cut away as was traditionally done. That’s not to mention the part where he walked behind Wallace and across the set.

That was the part that PolitiFact was trying to distract from. It was something many had poked fun at at the time.

Swann even linked to the above video tweet from this author in an attempt to fact-check the Facebook post:

A longer clip of Biden’s exit, shared on Twitter, shows Wallace announcing a commercial break. "Don’t go anywhere. It’s a very exciting day around here. We’ll have reaction and analysis to everything we just heard from the president. We’ll be back after a short break."

Luckily, she didn’t fact-check the tweet’s good-humored speculation that Biden really needed to use the bathroom and couldn’t wait.