Real or Fake? Video of Obama Kicking Door Open

Spoof Video Circulates as Real

President Barack Obama at a White House press conference

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Did President Barack Obama display a fit of anger during a meeting with Congressional leaders? And was it all caught on video?

Description: Viral video / Animated GIF image
Circulating since: Sep. 2011 (this version)
Status: Fake

Text Example of the Email With Obama Video

Email contributed Oct. 12, 2011:

Fw: Very Un-Presidential Behavior
WATCH THIS BEHAVIOR WHEN HE DOES NOT GET HIS WAY - SEE HOW HE OPENS THE DOOR --- Bet you won't see this on network TV?
Very Un-Presidential Behavior
Now this is mature...
Oh my this must make the Obama lovers proud

Obama abruptly stormed out of a meeting with Congressional leaders after Cantor told the president that Republicans would not vote for his proposed tax hikes.
Obama picked up his toys and stormed out of the meeting, kicking the door open.
what a kick!!!
God Bless and Protect America !!

Analysis of the Viral Video of President Obama Kicking Door

This video has been reported by several people, some of whom seem to think it is real. It is being circulated by people who think this really happened or might have happened. However, it didn't.

It's true that there was a meeting described in the press as "tense" between President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders in July 2011, during which the President "got very agitated," "shoved back from the table" and abruptly walked out of the room. This was according to those present, such as Congressman Eric Cantor, a Republican serving as House Majority Leader at the time. He was quoted describing the events in a story on Bloomberg.com.

But President Obama didn't kick a door open. Nor were there any video cameras present at this meeting. The video details don't match the details of that meeting, either. The video shows the president in front of a podium as he would be at a press conference, not seated at a meeting with Congressional leaders. He is obviously finishing prepared remarks to the press, who can be heard in the audio in the room. He then leaves the lectern to pass across the room or stage to kick open a wooden door. At that point, you can also hear laughter as if from a studio audience rather than what might be expected at a presidential news conference.

Spoof Video From the Tonight Show With Jay Leno

So where did the video come from? It's a cleverly-edited spoof originally created for "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Several such spoofs were presented on the show, including one of a "testy" Obama knocking over the podium after a press conference, and another in which the president does multiple backflips after announcing the death of Osama bin Laden.

This explanation fits with the evidence that the video shows a press conference and seems to include a portion of the reaction from the studio audience.

The next time you hear somebody say "seeing is believing," tell them it isn't necessarily so — especially on the Internet!

Sources

Rowley, James. "Cantor Says Obama 'Abruptly' Walked Out of Debt Meeting." Bloomberg, 13 July 2011, 6:58 PM EDT