Is President Biden’s honeymoon with the media over?
Joe Biden is certainly getting a lot of bad press these days, that’s for sure.
When President Biden came into office, the mainstream media hailed him as something of a conquering hero, as if he were Perseus having killed Medusa.
Medusa, of course, was former President Donald Trump, who the mainstream media had collectively decided was the principle enemy of our time. So, when Biden pushed Trump out of the Oval Office, the media cut Joe Biden some breathing room.
Consider the difference in coverage between Trump and Biden, as per The Hill’s reporting from back in the summer.
“The Washington Post kept a running total of all the “false or misleading claims” Trump made, no matter how insignificant or irrelevant they happened to be. By combing through every word the man uttered about just about anything, the Post managed to assemble “30,573 false or misleading claims” he made while in office.”
To be sure, Trump told his share of falsehoods. But the media was obsessed with Trump, and quite unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt. No one in the media waited around for Trump to lie, instead they went about actively looking for lies.
Biden on the other hand, who also tells his share of falsehoods, has received the media’s benefit of the doubt (at least so far). Among the falsehood, Biden has told: “repeatedly claimed to have cut the deficit by almost $2 trillion…and to have marched in the Civil Rights Movement…odd story of his about being detained in South Africa,” The Hill reported months back.
Yet, The Washington Post doesn’t commit itself to maintaining a running tally of every half-truth that comes out of Biden’s mouth – which is precisely what Trump was subjected to. Instead, “the media watchdogs are sleeping through [Biden’s] administration. Or at least, they have been. Is that now changing?”
Joe Biden In Trouble
A recent piece from The Atlantic, which I covered in the summer, called ‘Step Aside, Joe Biden,’ could be suggestive of a greater shift in media coverage of the Biden administration.
The arc of the piece itself was even consistent with the greater arc of Biden coverage – beginning with what was essentially a thank you to Biden for saving America, democracy, and the world from the clutches of Donald Trump. But then the piece shifted, proposing that Biden’s service was completed and that he had since expired and was just too old and no longer a compelling candidate for 2024. The piece tracked. Biden is too old. His approval ratings are bad and they’ve been bad and they’re going to be bad.
“Biden’s “brand” in the media has always been that of a statesman and a family man – just a nice old guy who has dedicated his life to public service. Now we’re seeing more and more stories about how wealthy he and his family have gotten without really offering or producing any good or service to justify it,” The Hill reported. Possibly the shift in coverage is purely practical, an attempt to encourage the Democratic Party to seek more viable options for the 2024 election that, to date, Biden appears to have completely locked down.
Just now, we’re starting to see coverage about Biden’s temper and the way he treats his staff – the type of revelations that the media offered on day one of the Trump administration.
“The left is getting worried about Biden’s presidency…But the media cannot be seen as pushing Biden out, because that would only lead to questions about why they have been propping him up for so long. So they have to nudge him without being too forceful.” In sum, the media isn’t “turning against” Biden, according to The Hill, so much as “they just want him to go away.”
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.