The Washington Post likes to claim that “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” Well, if the Post is right and democracy dies in darkness, then it appears journalism dies in broad daylight, in front of cameras, on a Thursday afternoon.
Trust in the media is at an all-time low, a well-earned low I might add, and sometimes I – the ever optimist – convince myself that journalism has hit rock bottom and that the reset we need is just around the corner.
Then optimistic Chris meets the sad reality of the current state of legacy media: apparently they can always go lower.
In the sad odyssey that is the story of journalism over the last decade, yesterday may go down as the day I gave up hope and gave up journalism for dead.
Pravda asked Stalin tougher questions than the mainstream media asked Biden. #RIPJournalism
— Chris Barron (@ChrisRBarron) March 25, 2021
President Biden’s performance in his first “press conference,” I use that phrase in only the loosest sense possible, was abysmal. But Biden’s performance, when compared to the performance of the media, was downright impressive.
While Biden’s missteps were unintentional and the result of simply being a confused old man, the media’s humiliating performance was entirely intentional – which makes it infinitely worse.
The Biden White House orchestrated the entire “press conference,” down to a picture book of pre-approved reporters to call on. The press, which as recently as three months ago fancied itself as the vanguard of the resistance, willingly and shamefully played along.
Biden only called on friendly outlets, refusing to call on Fox News’ Peter Doocy or Newmax’s Emerald Robinson. The softballs pitched by the approved list of reporters was more embarrassing than could be imagined.
Just received word that Fox News reporter Peter Doocy was in the room and Joe Biden refused to call on him
Apparently Doocy was not on Biden’s pre-approved list of reporters to call on
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 25, 2021
No one willingly humiliated themselves more than PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor. When called on by President Biden, Alcindor “asked” the following “question”:
“You’ve said over and over again that immigrants shouldn’t come to this country right now … That message is not being received,” Alcindor began. “Instead, the perception of you that got you elected — as a moral, decent man — is the reason a lot of immigrants are coming to this country and are trusting you with unaccompanied minors.
“How do you resolve that tension and how are you choosing which families can stay and which ones can go … and is there a timeline for when we won’t be seeing these overcrowded facilities run by CBP when it comes to unaccompanied minors?”
Alcindor’s version of “journalism” would make Baghdad Bob blush. So much for speaking “truth to power.”
Hilariously, Jen Rubin – the once “conservative” Washington Post columnist turned evangelizing liberal propagandist – actually thought Alcindor’s question was too tough!
Calling the questions Biden was asked “softballs” might be an insult to softballs. While Biden did answer questions about immigration – a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and not a single reporter bothered to ask the President about the pandemic.
Even with the questions Biden did answer, with the aid of briefing book, there was absolutely no push back from the press corps when Biden offered half-truths, contradictions and flat out lies.
When Biden called the filibuster a “relic of the Jim Crow era” not a single reporter asked him about his previous support for the filibuster or asked him to defend decades of him using the filibuster as a Senator. Nor did any reporters ask why his Vice President, Kamala Harris, felt it was acceptable to use this relic of the Jim Crow era.
Even more egregiously, not one reporter challenged his assertion that former President Trump had let unaccompanied immigrant minors “starve and die” in Mexico.
The press hopes you aren’t watching so they can gaslight you into believing this. https://t.co/3TUHPy9WV0
— Chris Barron (@ChrisRBarron) March 25, 2021
The media fact-checkers, who became such a prominent voice during the Trump era, apparently were all on vacation during Biden’s press conference. Their silence was not lost on National Review’s Rich Lowry who remarked, “This performance would be roasted from beginning to end by fact-checkers — if they had any integrity.”
Biden’s performance was abysmal – even by the insanely low bar established for the current President – but it is not Biden’s predictably dismal performance that will be remembered.
No, Joe once again gets a hand from his friends in the media who made sure that their own performance was so pathetic and loathsome that they will get the heat, not sleepy Joe.