Facebook is running a dishonest Trump Super PAC ad -- and Fox News reportedly will be soon

Biden was reading someone else's words -- and even users on a pro-Trump forum thought using the quote as an attack was dishonest

Update (8/3/20): After Media Matters’ reporting, Facebook removed nine of the 24 misleading ads. Prior to their removal, the ads earned at least 900,000 impressions, according to Facebook Ad data from the Dewey Square Adwatch tool set.

A Trump super PAC is now running this ad on Facebook:

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The PAC is currently running 24 ads on both Facebook and Instagram that target North Carolina, according to Facebook Ad data from the Dewey Square Adwatch tool set. These ads cost at least $7,600 in total and have already earned over 294,000 impressions, with the potential to earn millions more.

The Committee to Defend the President's FB ad from July 16, 2020
The Committee to Defend the President_facebook ads_biden_race_20200716_2.png

The ad features a 1985 quote from presumptive Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden that is presented wildly out of context. In reality, when Biden said, “We already have a n***** mayor and we don’t need another n****** bigshot,” he was reading a quote from a Louisiana state senator while questioning Reagan administration Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights William B. Reynolds. But the ad -- which shows only the latter portion of the quote -- claims he was “caught on the record repeating the N-word, twice.” 

A 1985 Chicago Tribune article pointed out that Biden was questioning Reynolds about a redistricting measure in Louisiana that initially created a predominantly Black district but ultimately saved the seat of a GOP congressman. According to the piece, Biden noted that Reynolds was aware of complaints about the initial proposal “voiced by a key state legislator, whom the senator quoted" when he read that line. The Tribune also pointed out that then-Sens. Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) also pressed Reynolds about enabling bigotry. 

As Mediaite has noted, the quote has been circulating on social media for some time; Trump supporters Diamond and Silk, who used to work for Fox, repeatedly pushed it.

The dishonesty of the ad has not stopped Fox News from planning to air it. According to Playbook, the cable network will be among the television outlets running it. (It will also run on local stations in North Carolina.)

Playbook noted that the PAC behind the ad, the Committee to Defend the President, is spending over $500,000 in an attempt to reach a million people on television. By contrast, the group can achieve millions of impressions on Facebook by spending only a fraction of that -- around $7,600 so far.

The point here is so dishonest that even The Donald, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory board exiled from Reddit, has not been supportive, with the top response to a recent post of the quote saying, “This is pretty dishonest, if we're being honest. He's clearly reading something someone else said.”