To say the press were adversarial under Donald Trump would be the understatement of the century. There are current journalists who made their entire careers by causing scenes in the briefing room and insisting that every move by Trump was going to bring about the end of the nation. The preening self-righteousness was a feature, not a bug of the news industry.
Then Joe Biden took over and everything changed. Suddenly, it was not only fine to berate reporters (see Yikes: Joe Biden Loses It on a CNN Reporter in Shocking, Senile Rant), it was something for that reporter’s own network to defend (see The Press Are Now Praising Joe Biden for Verbally Assaulting a Reporter). Anger being shown by Biden towards reporters who ask basic questions has become a common theme throughout his short tenure.
That happened again today at the White House where Biden popped off at an NBC News reporter, saying she was being a “pain in the neck” for asking about vaccine mandates for Veteran Affairs employees.
President Biden calls NBC News’ @KellyO a "pain in the neck.”
“I take that as a compliment,” she replies.
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 26, 2021
What’s ironic is that Kelly O’Donnell almost certainly supports Biden’s move, yet he’s unable to delineate that and realize he’s dealing with a probable ally who is serving up a softball for him. Senility being a factor and all.
Regardless, O’Donnell shouldn’t take it as a compliment that the president insulted her over a basic question. Rather, she should take it how she would have taken it if Donald Trump had said the same thing to her, which is almost certainly with offense and indignation. Her colleagues should also take it that way because that’s exactly how they responded when Trump would poke at them.
Heck, I can hear the Jim Acosta monologue. “No, Mr. President, we are not a pain in your neck, we are truth-tellers and stewards of this democracy,” followed by some rant about how Trump is putting journalists’ lives at risk by attacking them. But because it’s Joe Biden, no one cares. The press are, instead, almost joyful that the current president would grace them with an insult. Isn’t he just such a funny guy?
What all this shows is what we already knew — all the gnashing of teeth over Trump being a threat to the free press was nothing but partisan politics. These reporters were never seriously concerned about themselves or the health of their industry. Rather, they saw freaking out over Trump’s every utterance toward the press as a way to push the political narrative that he was somehow uniquely evil.
In comparison, Acosta, O’Donnell, and the rest will not hold Biden to the same standard because they are on the same side as Biden. This would all be much easier if they’d just admit it.