Revived Political Post Falsely Attributed, Again, to Clint Eastwood

By Bala Thenappan

Posted on October 29, 2020

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Quick Take

Facebook users falsely claim a post critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was written by actor Clint Eastwood. A nearly identical post aimed at former President Barack Obama — and also misattributed to Eastwood — has circulated since 2013.


Full Story

Endorsements and takedowns of political candidates that are falsely attributed to actors and other celebrities find fertile ground on social media, as we’ve previously reported. Old, debunked posts sometimes flower again during election season.

A post shared by a Facebook user in late October and purportedly written by actor Clint Eastwood takes shots at former Vice President Joe Biden. Other users shared the post and thanked Eastwood for his message.

But there’s no evidence Eastwood wrote the post — which appeared years ago with nearly identical language attributed to the actor, but aimed at another target.

Accompanied by photos of Eastwood in his signature Old West film role and a more recent image of the 90-year-old actor, the post is titled, “Preparing to say goodbye… a message from Clint Eastwood.”

Framed as a last chance to say his piece, the post reads: “So just in case I’m gone tomorrow, please know this: I voted against, Biden,” and it goes on to call Biden a “double-talking, radical socialist,” among other things.

But the same message — purportedly written by Eastwood — appeared seven years ago, then castigating President Barack Obama, as Snopes reported in March 2014. 

The references in the 2020 version to “eight years in the White House” trying to turn the U.S. into a “Muslim loving” place “like he came from and I don’t mean Hawaii” are hints that the post was originally aimed at Obama, who was born in Hawaii, as we’ve reported. Biden came from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

A representative for Eastwood told Snopes in 2014 that the earlier post was not written by Eastwood. 

The actor has not been shy about expressing political views, however. He endorsed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, and at the Republican National Convention addressed an empty chair, pretending it was Obama — an episode Eastwood later said was “silly.”

He did not endorse a candidate in 2016, but expressed support for former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg in 2020 in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. 

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here for more.

Sources

Abdullah, Halimah. Eastwood, the empty chair, and the speech everyone is talking about. CNN. 31 Aug 2012. 

“Clint Eastwood’s ‘Twilight Years.’” Snopes.com. 3 March 2014. 

“Fact check: Fabricated Clint Eastwood Quote on Endorsing the President.” Reuters. 22 Oct 2020. 

Fichera, Angelo. “Bogus Kurt Russell Quote Strikes Again.” FactCheck.org. 5 Dec 2018.

Fichera, Angelo. “The Raccoon Rant Wasn’t Written by Steve Harvey.” FactCheck.Org. 10 May 2019. 

Gottlieb, Meryl. “Clint Eastwood finally explains his infamous ’empty-chair’ speech and calls it ‘silly.’” Business Insider. 3 Aug 2016.

Hartzell, Katherine. Conservative Rant Misattributed to Actor Tim Allen. FactCheck.Org. 13 Sept 2019. 

Joe Biden Biography. Biography. Accessed 28 Oct 2020.

Robertson, Lori. “Indeed, Born in the U.S.A.” FactCheck.org. 27 Apr 2011.

Varadarajan, Tunku. A Hollywood Legend Talks Politics. Wall Street Journal. 21 Feb 2020. 

 

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