Most Americans can easily recall the overwhelmingly positive treatment that the Washington and national media gave Donald Trump during his presidency.
You know, the careful explanations they gave to his determined drive for walled security on the southern border. The sympathetic coverage Trump got for slashing government regulations and taxes on middle-class Americans to stimulate millions of new jobs and energy independence. The fawning coverage and magazine covers of stylish Melania Trump, the first multilingual first lady since the 1960s.
No, of course, you don’t remember that.
There was none of it.
Now, believe it or not, Joe Biden and his handlers have launched a concerted, behind-the-scenes proactive campaign to reshape the news coverage of his presidency because it is not sufficiently positive in their eyes recognizing all of his major achievements in these last 326 days.
Now truth is, likely no president, if indeed he really cared, has ever felt adequately represented or understood in the news presentation by media living off his activities. That’s the way it should be. Media is supposed to use its unusual constitutional protections and favored access as watchdogs of power, representing the people.
Some presidents fuss over that coverage, cater to certain journalists with egos. Other presidents know coverage is bound to be overwhelmingly negative, especially if they are Republicans. Still other presidents use media as handy foils. Richard Nixon consistently attacked them, to no avail, of course.
Donald Trump, who seemed obsessed with media attention at times, granted more access to media than any recent president, sometimes several times a day.
At his trademark rallies and speeches, Trump often attacked them anyway as “enemies of the people.” This was politically useful, creating a “them” for his base to target and blame for any failures. That Acosta guy was the poster child for that.
Biden and his team have now seized on this same line as an explanation for why his job approval has cratered from the mid-50’s down near the 30’s in just 11 months with no sign yet of a bottom.
Their concern is legitimate. If the widespread impression of a confused president presiding over a sputtering economy with exploding inflation is not erased by early 2022, that sense will be set for the November midterms, when Democrats are already overwhelming underdogs to hold Congress.
The difference is these Bidenites seek to alter coverage quietly from within without publicly attacking their fellow followers in the media. It will likely work to a considerable degree over time because they come from similar backgrounds, liberal educational institutions, and shared values about the need for an activist government to intervene in society. And because the Biden crowd has quickly forged the most leftist administration ever.
The American public is seriously frustrated with a dishonest media. I know. I was a part of it for several decades. Now, Joe Biden is said to be seriously frustrated over poor coverage of the booming economy he’s produced and great improvements in the supply-chain crisis that many of us have missed.
So, a trio of aides has been meeting with reporters, columnists, anchors, and editors to drive home the great work their leader has accomplished.
According to one Washington “journalist,” D.C. media often treats Joe Biden more harshly than it did Donald Trump on every one of his 1,461 days in office.
Dana Milbank does not write for the Babylon Bee. He’s a liberal who works at the Washington Post and once even found negative things to write about George W. Bush coaching Little League in Texas. Milbank made his latest preposterous claim on CNN. And he said it with a straight face.
The problem with altering the underwhelming impression of Joe Biden and his administration is the facts just don’t support their claims. Gas prices have gone up since Biden took office as have the costs of virtually every other good and service – 6.8 percent last month over the previous November. The largest monthly price surge since 1982.
And Biden’s unidentified handlers are regrettably but understandably protecting the Big Guy from himself. Under orders from someone,he says, he walks away from reporter questions. He is prone to public confusions, forgetfulness, false claims, and retelling debunked stories.
One-on-one interviews are perhaps a coherent president’s most effective public relations tool. Biden has done 11 of them so far, compared to 60 for Trump and 120 for Barack Obama at this point in their terms. Even Ronald Reagan, who was laid up for weeks recovering from an assassination attempt, doubled Biden’s total.
Biden’s latest bid for positive media attention came Friday night with a virtual chat with Jimmy Fallon in which the unity president attacked Republicans. But you can hear the results of White House pressure in Jimmy Fallon’s Nerfball questions here.
WARNING: Do not watch the video if you’re diabetic.
And then there are incontrovertible facts that weaken Biden’s claim. “We’re going to beat this virus,” Biden declared last winter.”We’re going to get it under control, I promise you.” It’s not under control and Biden’s heavy-handed mask and vaccine mandates, which he also promised to shun, have actually stimulated resistance. From the courts, too.
Biden handled the Afghanistan troop withdrawal bass-ackwards. He rejected generals’ advice to keep some troops in Kabul to cover a civilian evacuation, pulling them all out without notifying allies, then sending three times as many back in.
Inflation, Biden declared last spring, was a brief blip unconnected to several trillion in his new spending. Prices have increased every month since which, not incidentally, reduce any real wage gains.
Looming ahead are significant tax increases to cover all his new spending, unless Republicans regain congressional control in time to block that agenda.
Now, about the media. Did you see all the detailed, sustained coverage of the shocking revelations from Hunter Biden’s laptop? No, you didn’t. And the Russian collusion hokum in the fabricated Steele Dossier that some newspapers won Pulitzer Prizes for? That coverage has not been completely recanted and the prizes not returned.
Contrast that with coverage of Trump’s administration. Almost every day produced a new array of negative Trump stories, many based on unidentified sources, some of which may have been true.
Every single negative Trump rumor and gripe from former staffers and their tell-all books received copious attention. Joe Biden visits a military mess hall for a photo op dishing out food that would be served anyway. Copious coverage.
Donald Trump invites an entire Coast Guard station for a holiday meal on his tab. Crickets. For four years Trump donated his entire $400,000 to various government agencies. More crickets.
Such positive stories went largely ignored because they contradicted the preferred negative narrative about the usurper who denied Hillary Clinton her rightful political inheritance.
As with any administration, there were Trump stories that legitimately could draw criticism. But the eager. blanket coverage of every single negative thing drowned out the ones of genuine concern, enabling supporters and Trump to effectively dismiss everything.
The Washington Post proudly published a running calculation of every exaggeration or untruth allegedly uttered by the Republican chief executive because, you need to know, Democracy Dies in Darkness.
Personally, I have no problem with journalists analyzing a president’s veracity. But equally.
Have you noticed an identical chronicling of Biden’s serial fables? Or the 37 times Obama lied about keeping your doctor and health insurance under ObamaCare? No, of course, you didn’t notice those stories.
Turns out, it’s the media’s credibility that dies when its double-dealing is exposed to light like this.