A plausible headline allegedly from The Atlantic being passed around on Twitter praising the “quiet courage” of President Biden during a “negative growth economy” has been fact-checked by the media as being inaccurate.
The tweet in question blares the fabricated headline, “The Quiet Courage of Biden’s Negative Growth Economy” and was retweeted by numerous conservatives. The Atlantic has verified to Reuters and the Associated Press that it did not publish the headline and the author’s name on it doesn’t exist.
The altered screenshot went viral after new economic data showed the U.S. economy had contracted for two quarters in a row indicating the country is in a recession. President Biden contests that assertion.
“That doesn’t sound like a recession to me,” Biden told reporters after the data came out. That evidently spawned the viral tweet.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
Despite data showing the US economy has been shrinking for half-a-year, Biden points to other indicators, such as low unemployment and recent business investment.
"That doesn't sound like a recession to me," he says, declining to take reporters' questions.
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) July 28, 2022
The president also pointed to a proclaimed “record job market” and “record unemployment,” according to the Daily Mail.
He noted that “both Chairman Powell and many of the significant banking personnel and economists say we’re not in a recession.”
“Businesses are investing in America in record rates,” Biden bragged.
Those assertions presaged the altered screenshot that many understandably fell for but turned out to be fabricated.
Under the headline, the screenshot reads, “In an era of unchecked economic prosperity, one man had the moxie to pump the brakes to save us from ourselves.”
The Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, Matt Rinaldi, retweeted the screenshot, stating, “The Atlantic: Causing poverty is stunning and brave.”
The Atlantic: Causing poverty is stunning and brave. pic.twitter.com/WFKKja9ZG6
— Matt Rinaldi (@MattRinaldiTX) July 29, 2022
The Atlantic told Reuters that the screenshot does not show “a real article” and that it is “a fabricated image of our newsletter.”
“This image is fabricated, and is not an actual Atlantic article,” Anna Bross, who is the senior vice president of communications for The Atlantic, told The Associated Press on Friday in an email. “We are reporting this as fake and as a trademark infringement.”
The image seems to be an alteration mimicking the format and font of the mobile version of articles in the publication’s newsletter, The Atlantic Daily.
Neither Reuters nor the Associated Press could find any such headline on The Atlantic website. The media’s verified Twitter handle, “@TheAtlantic,” also showed no results in an advanced search for the headline on its feed.
The Atlantic did not publish a headline referring to “the quiet courage” of U.S. President Joe Biden and the status of the economy under his administration. A fabricated screenshot circulating online has duped some viewers https://t.co/qmCc7yC7py
— Reuters Fact Check (@ReutersFacts) July 29, 2022
Social media users are sharing a fabricated screenshot to falsely suggest The Atlantic published an article praising President Joe Biden’s “negative growth economy.” No such story was published. https://t.co/jbEtLQHaX2
— AP Fact Check (@APFactCheck) July 31, 2022
The screenshot refers to an author named “Tim Nichols” who is evidently not an author for The Atlantic. Contributing writer Tom Nichols is but did not write any such article.
Bross confirmed that there is no Atlantic author with the name “Tim Nichols.” In the screenshot, the letter ‘i’ in “Tim Nichols” seems to be in a slightly different font than the actual name.
Tom Nichols, who writes The Atlantic’s “Peacefield” newsletter, informed the Associated Press on Friday that the screenshot was fake.
He has authored “The Atlantic Daily,” but he said in a message via Twitter, “that’s not me.”
Reuters’ verdict on the screenshot is “altered.” The Associated Press’s verdict is “false” concerning the headline.
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