Facts Matter: Photojournalists free to show Biden climbing Air Force One steps
President Joe Biden last month was filmed tripping three times while climbing the steps to Air Force One. The clip was widely shared on social media and joked about during late-night talk shows.
Following the president's stumble, an April 1 video posted on TikTok falsely claimed photographers and videographers are no longer allowed to take images of Biden on the steps while entering the aircraft.
"As of today, no one has the right to film or photograph Mr. Biden as he climbs the flight of stairs. New White House spokesman orders!!?" reads text with the video showing a group walking toward Air Force One.
The claim, posted on April Fools' Day, is false. A White House spokeswoman told PolitiFact the policy hasn't changed and the president can be filmed walking up the steps.
Delivering Grandma's ballot OK
Georgia Republicans' recently passed voting restrictions caused a furor, including Major League Baseball moving the upcoming All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in protest.
Social media posts have taken a portion of the law out of context and claimed, "Georgia's new anti-voting law makes it a jail-time crime to drop off Grandma's absentee ballot in a drop box," according to The Associated Press.
But the new legislation doesn't restrict voters from dropping off a ballot for a grandparent, the AP said.
The misleading posts cite an excerpt from the bill that states, "(Any person who) accepts an absentee ballot from an elector for delivery or return to the board of registrars except as authorized by subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-385 shall be guilty of a felony."
However, that section of the bill has an exception for family members to deliver completed ballots for one another. Other exceptions allow caregivers to drop off ballots for disabled people and jail employees to deliver ballots for people in custody.
Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta stands next to first lady Jill Biden as she talks with volunteers last month at a vaccination site at The Forty Acres in Delano, Calif. Stories circulating online incorrectly asserted that Biden gave a speech with the Nazi flag in the background. The flag seen here was created in the 1960s by labor leader Cesar Chavez's brother, Richard Chavez, and his cousin, Manuel Chavez.
- Associated Press
Flag honors farmworkers
First lady Jill Biden on March 31 gave a speech at the first headquarters of the United Farm Workers in California, now a vaccination site, urging people to receive the COVID-19 shot.
Some social media users then posted images of Biden, falsely claiming she was flanked by a Nazi flag.
"I don't know if there are words to fully convey how hilarious it is that 'Dr' Jill Biden butchered the Spanish language while giving a speech in front of a Nazi flag," one Twitter user wrote.
The flag, displaying a black eagle on a red background represents the UFW, not the Nazis.
"It's based on the Aztec eagle, and they made it stylized in that way because they wanted a graphic that anybody could draw and then it would be easily printable," Denison University associate professor Lauren Araiza told The Associated Press.
Biden, along with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, farmworkers and volunteers, was celebrating a state holiday honoring the late UFW leader Cesar Chavez.
Shooting was in Brazil
Recent mass shootings in the U.S. have ramped up the debate about gun ownership. Also ramped up is the fake news.
An image posted on Facebook shows a person on the ground, surrounded by others with guns drawn. A caption with the photo reads, "Man uses a gun to rob a Texas convenience store. Man was shot by every customer inside the store."
The photo is real and the shooting was real, but the post is fake, <URL destination="https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/apr/05/viral-image/image-doesnt-show-gun-owners-texas-shooting-robber/">according to PolitiFact.com.
</URL>The image was taken from a 2017 video at a pharmacy in Itumbiara, Brazil, as a 17-year-old pointed a gun at a cashier in a robbery attempt. A group of plainclothes military police officers who were in the store drew their guns and shot the teen, who was dead by the time medical personnel arrived.
Brazil, at the time, had strict gun ownership laws making it unlikely customers at the store were carrying guns, PolitiFact said.
The post was flagged by Facebook as misinformation.
• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at email@example.com.