Dozens of bloggers fell for this fake headline from The Atlantic over the weekend. If you saw the headline, and believed it was legit, you were not alone
81 million voters cringed as their President, Joe Biden took a spill while bike riding near his home in Delaware on Saturday.
The White House said Biden was doing “OK”, and he walked out of church on Sunday morning with a spring in his step to prove he was not hurt.
But photos and videos of Biden’s dramatic fall spread across the Internet like a tidal wave. Within an hour, Biden’s big fall was the number 1 trending topic on Twitter.
Memes soon followed, as Biden’s supporters slammed the Secret Service for allowing the President to ride a bike without training wheels.
Actor/comedian Terrence K. Williams tweeted: “80 Million people voted for a man who can’t walk and needs Training Wheels on his BIKE?”
Biden forgot to put on his training wheels
He fell over as he stopped his bike pic.twitter.com/dUvH9MlA05
— CALI?? (@Gecko0369) June 18, 2022
The mainstream media downplayed Biden’s fall, while news networks cut off the viral video before Biden hit the ground.
But the headline that caught our attention was an alleged screenshot from The Atlantic that read: “The Heroism of Biden’s Bike Fall.”.
The sub headline read: “The President gracefully illustrated an important lesson for all Americans – when we fall, we must get back up.”
The writer hailed Biden as a hero and an example of someone who picks himself up and dusts himself off, because nothing can keep a good man down.
In other words, even though he’s 79, and has difficulty maintaining his balance on the way to the podium at the White House, Biden was a hero for falling off his bike and getting up again without breaking a hip.
A search on The Atlantic‘s website did not turn up the actual article.
According to The Associated Press, “The Atlantic did not publish such an article.”
“No such story or headline can be found on The Atlantic’s website, or in archived versions of the site from Saturday captured by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. The most recent edition of the Atlantic Daily online is from Friday, and the outlet’s website says it is published “weekday evenings.” Source
Anna Bross, a spokesperson for The Atlantic, confirmed in an email to the AP that the viral headline is fake.
“I can verify that this is not a real article from The Atlantic, and is indeed fabricated,” Bross wrote.