Debunked: Biden in "Fake" Oval Office

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
2021-01-22_14-26-45.jpg

Unwilling to accept that Biden is now President, several people have been sharing memes suggesting that recent photos and video of Biden in the Oval Office are fake. The evidence presented seems large to be things like noticing the wallpaper was different years ago, or that when viewed from a low angle you see more trees, and from a high angle you see people and cars. There's also a claim that German TV released a photo of the "set"
2021-01-22_14-31-40.jpg
Source:Reddit.

This is indeed a backstage image of a fake oval office from Germany. It's the set used by the German program Bilt, for their election night coverage. Note the four people in the image above, here they are on German TV.
2021-01-22_14-38-56.jpg
Source: Twitter

The various photos of Biden in the Oval Office with cars and people behind him are actually in the Oval office. There's a driveway out the window, and there's Secret Service and other people out there in cars and on foot. eb947287dc983f057247.jpg

The exact same trees and driveway are visible outside the Oval Office with Trump inside, the only real difference being that it's winter now, so the trees are bare. But there's a distinctive branch in the center window that should set the matter straight.
2021-01-22_14-44-47.jpg

There have been some changes inside the office but mostly limited to changes in the statues and paintings. The rug has also been changed to a dark blue one. You can see those changes here:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZxaU0w0ECs
 
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JFDee

Senior Member.
The origin of the 'fisheye' photo of the TV set is likely a post on Twitter by the German foreign office:

tweet_diplo.png

Source:
Source: https://twitter.com/GermanyDiplo/status/1352249084497813507


Germany's foreign minister was a guest in a news show by German tabloid "Bild". This was (and still is) escaping many responders to that tweet.

The set itself was built for the November 3rd coverage of the U.S. presidential elections. There was nothing secret about it, quite the contrary. It was advertised as something special, given that all TV stations in Germany and Europe did extensive coverage of these elections.

Here is the advertisement from the afternoon (CET) on Nov. 3rd:

bild_announce.png
Source:
https://www.bild.de/politik/ausland...t-live-aus-dem-oval-office-73729728.bild.html

Translation:

The fight for the US presidency: With BILD Live you can follow the exciting election directly from the center of power - from the Oval Office.

More precisely: from a copy of the president's office that was made especially for the big BILD election night. Only one place remains free. The one that everything revolves around tonight: the presidential chair. The most powerful place in the world!

For 14 days, craftsmen and special effects experts worked day and night on the perfect BILD backdrop - designed by Saulo Santana. Copies were made of the original wallpaper and the famous carpet with the US coat of arms reworked. Even the private photos behind Trump's huge leather armchair are true to the original.

The Oval Office was reproduced on the first floor of the Springer high-rise in Berlin. Lighting, furniture, even the view from the window of the “White House” lead the audience into the atmosphere of the real presidential office, in which John F. Kennedy's children romped around under the desk in the early 1960s.



To sum up and counter the misunderstandings:
  • The set was not built for inauguration day but originally for November 3rd.
  • It was built in Germany for a tabloid which offers some video clips. It's unrelated to the government.

For completeness' sake, here is the actual video about the inauguration that was referenced in the original tweet - jump to 00:21:25.

https://www.bild.de/video/clip/news...come-mr-president-74952204-74990130.bild.html
 

JFDee

Senior Member.
There is also this montage making the rounds:

montage.jpg

Source (one of several):
Source: https://www.facebook.com/NZSPEEDLIMIT/photos/a.1117411104941066/4312531875428957



It appears to implicate a sudden (impossible) change from the Obama / Trump wallpaper to Biden on inauguration day. The claim is that Biden's signing of executive orders had not taken place in the real Oval Office.

However, it is easily found out that Trump redecorated the Oval Office - along with the rest of the White House - in 2017, including a change of wallpaper. The photo in the montage showing Trump in front of the striped wallpaper must have been taken before that redecoration.

The wallpaper behind Biden has been in the Oval Office since 2017.


redeco_wh.jpg

Source:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/gallery/2017/aug/23/white-house-renovations-donald-trump
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The photo in the montage showing Trump in front of the striped wallpaper must have been taken before that redecoration.
your redecoration photo says August 23, 2017

the signing of the Keystone Pipline exec order was january 24, 2017. (not that it matters but figured i'd date it)

1611443517311.png
 

boog

New Member
The main thing I saw with the comparison shots is that the shots they compare are being shot at different angles.

For example, One is from the right shooting down, the other is from the left shooting up, of course you're going to see different parts of the background from these different shots.
 

Cassi O

Active Member
The Ronald Reagan Library has a full size replica of Reagan's Oval Office. Pretty neat to see.
The Ford Museum in Grand Rapids also has a full size Oval Office replica, as well as the Cabinet room. The Oval Office exhibit has access to the outside windows behind the desk, so it's possible to get fun picture of someone looking through the window as if they're on the grounds of the White House.

1611596463167.png
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
For the sake of thoroughness, I guess, there is also an oval office replica at the Medford-Rogue Valley International Airport in Oregon. Because why not?


Oval-Office.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The Ford Museum in Grand Rapids also has a full size Oval Office replica, as well as the Cabinet room. The Oval Office exhibit has access to the outside windows behind the desk, so it's possible to get fun picture of someone looking through the window as if they're on the grounds of the White House.

Note that this picture shows a replica of the Wilson desk that President Ford used; since Bill Clinton, the Oval Office has featured the Resolute Desk, and a number of replicas exist of it.

Article:

Replicas​

The first replica of the Resolute desk was commissioned in 1978 for a permanent display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Massachusetts. [..] Five other presidential libraries also display replicas of the Resolute desk. Besides the Kennedy Library, four others display the desk as part of recreation Oval Offices: the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, the George W. Bush Presidential Center in University Park, Texas, the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. [..]

Other museums and libraries also have replica Oval Offices on display featuring the Resolute desk. These include the New-York Historical Society's recreation of Reagan's Oval Office in New York City, The Presidents Hall of Fame in Clermont, Florida, the Treehouse Children's Museum in Ogden, Utah, the Star Spangled Center at The Magic House in Kirkwood, Missouri, and the American Village Citizenship Trust in Montevallo, Alabama. [..]

Other tourist attractions across the United States have Oval Offices exhibits which contain replica Resolute desks. This includes American Madame Tussauds museums in Washington, D.C., Hollywood, Las Vegas, and New York. The Rogue Valley International–Medford Airport has an Oval Office meeting facility featuring a smaller replica of the Resolute desk.

There are a few private replica Oval Offices which display copies of the Resolute desk including the Ron Wade House in Longview, Texas, and a 10,000-square-foot home in Kirtland Hills, Ohio.

There are multiple permanent Oval Office sets in Hollywood, all with a replica Resolute desk. The Castle Rock set was built in 1995 for The American President and the films Nixon (1995) and Independence Day (1996) used it. The set built for the 1993 film Dave subsequently hosted over 25 films, including The Pelican Brief (1993), Clear and Present Danger (1994), and Absolute Power (1997).[..]

[..] in 2020 a full-scale replica of the Oval Office was put up for auction as part of Bonhams American Presidential Experience Auction for $40,000–$60,000.
 
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TEEJ

Senior Member.
See from 1 min 29 secs showing the Oval Office renovations during 2017.

Video will play at time setting.

 
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TEEJ

Senior Member.
I was quite surprised but there is street views of parts of the White House.

oval office window.jpg

View looking down the driveway. There is a vehicle on the parking area.

driveway.jpg

Google Street View Link.

https://goo.gl/maps/9xXsgdkHJDyfXMz9A

There are a few misleading videos that claim to show that there is no driveway outside of the Oval Office, but they are showing the garden area to the side.


White arrow - view from Oval Office windows.

whitehouse.jpg
 

CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
I was reminded of some great views of this area from a Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee episode with Jerry Seinfeld walking up and knocking on the window of the Oval office while Obama is at his desk.

2021-02-05_07-07-24.jpg

They proceed to drive around outside the window in a classic Corvette together. A short clip is archived on Twitter here.

Source: https://twitter.com/ObamaWhiteHouse/status/682429745473040384


The entire 19 minute episode itself gives us a wonderful overview of the driveway area they putter around in, but I don't know of a legal way to post the entire thing.
There's a truncated 2 minute overview available from an Inside Edition piece on YouTube however. It shows the windows and the layout of the driveway somewhat at least.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFFLafDXhs4
 
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SeriouslyDebatable

Active Member
I want to comment on the title... debunked:". It's everywhere!

When the host claims any subject is debunked rather than the audience, it's not really debunking. It's preaching. Who decides it is debunked? The host. Does the audience agree? Who cares! So what we have here, is a fan site, not a debunking site. Just sayin.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I want to comment on the title... debunked:". It's everywhere!

When the host claims any subject is debunked rather than the audience, it's not really debunking. It's preaching. Who decides it is debunked? The host. Does the audience agree? Who cares! So what we have here, is a fan site, not a debunking site. Just sayin.
This is a forum, and you're a registered user. If you don't agree that a topic is debunked, you can voice any questions you might have by replying to the topic. I see you did not do that here, so I assume you agree that this topic is properly debunked?

Metabunk concerns itself with evidence for UFOs, conspiracy theories, and similar claims. A debunking is the positing of a rational, scientific explanation for the evidence (not involving aliens or a conspiracy). Any thread that has not only the claim and the evidence in it, but also a good explanation posted, is marked as debunked. This has nothing to do with preaching.
 
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SeriouslyDebatable

Active Member
This is a forum, and you're a registered user. If you don't agree that a topic is debunked, you can voice any questions you might have by replying to the topic. I see you did not do that here, so I assume you agree that this topic is properly debunked?

Metabunk concerns itself with evidence for UFOs, conspiracy theories, and similar claims. A debunking is the positing of a rational, scientific explanation for the evidence (not involving aliens or a conspiracy). Any thread that has not only the claim and the evidence in it, but also a good explanation posted, is marked as debunked. This has nothing to do with preaching.
The audience has the final say, or the host? Who decides and marks posts as debunked? Do you take a poll? How is this arbitrated? Who decides what is good or not good? Who is watching the watcher?

I disagree. Seems like it has everything to do with preaching.
 

SeriouslyDebatable

Active Member
I would say that claiming the pictures are real, is just as bunk as claiming the pictures are fake.

What has been debunked? Half of a speculation? We have a zero sum gain.
 

Cassi O

Active Member
I would say that claiming the pictures are real, is just as bunk as claiming the pictures are fake.

What has been debunked? Half of a speculation? We have a zero sum gain.
'Debunked' is the title given by the author of the post. The reader can decide if the evidence presented supports this claim or not.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I would say that claiming the pictures are real, is just as bunk as claiming the pictures are fake.
Evidence for the pictures being fake:
-- fake Oval offices exist

But:
-- Biden-less fake Oval Office used in meme actually located in German TV studio
-- Oval office replicas have existed around the country for years, they are not evidence of a conspiracy

Evidence for the Biden pictures being taken in the real Oval Office:
-- matching the view out the window to the actual outside of the Oval Office


You really want to equate the two claims? On what grounds?

There is no evidence at all that indicates President Biden is not working in the White House right now. That claim has no evidence supporting it. It is bunk.

There is plenty of evidence showing Biden working in the Oval office, and no counter-evidence to debunk that with.

You can go to the conspiracy staple" they faked it so perfectly that we can't tell", but at that point, you've resorted to wishful thinking, and left the grounds of evidence-based argument.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Any thread that has not only the claim and the evidence in it, but also a good explanation posted, is marked as debunked.

if an explanation is given the thread is marked "explained".
'Debunked' is the title given by the author of the post. The reader can decide if the evidence presented supports this claim or not.

Authors are told to put Debunked if they debunk the claim, but the staff will remove the debunked if the "claim of evidence" was not actually debunked.
The audience has the final say, or the host?
Both. Recently a thread was started that said "explained", i read it and announced "this has not been explained adequately". Of course in that case i explained it to the staffs approval so the "explained" marker was left. But the staff will remove the "explained or debunked" if a reader proves the thread has not been explained or the claim of evidence has not been debunked.

What has been debunked?

The claims of evidence have been debunked. The claims are that the wallpaper is wrong,[debunked] the trees are wrong [debunked] and the statue behind Biden is wrong. [explained even though it's too silly to even need an explanation].

It is true that authors recently have been doing a rather poor job of presenting the "claims of evidence" clearly in the OPs. But the "claims of evidence" are still in the OPs somewhere. MB does not debunk claims, it debunks (or explains) "specific claims of evidence".
 

SeriouslyDebatable

Active Member
I find it sad, the hypocrisy.


Posted at the top for all to see, is a reminder to base your arguments on facts that can be proven or disproven, and instead your argument is based on conclusions.


You are not worthy of discussion.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
base your arguments on facts that can be proven or disproven
it is a fact that identical trees is not evidence that the Biden pics are fake.
it is a fact that Trump replaced the wallpaper, so the wallpaper is not evidence the Biden pic is fake.
it is a fact that people change and rearrange knickknacks, so a statue change is not evidence the Biden pic is fake.

You seem to not understand what "claims of evidence" mean. Dont feel bad, you're not the only one to have had this problem.
 
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