If for one brief moment, it appears that the love affair between the Biden Administration and most of our legacy media is on the rocks.
Hailed as the Returner of Norms, Joe Biden was supposed to be everything Donald Trump wasn’t. Calm, collected, a man with a plan, sparse in tweets, progressive, etc. His administration was predicted by all the major outlets to be a great one that would make America rational again.
But the last several days have proven that, even as a Democratic administration, you can still get negative coverage.
The withdrawal from Afghanistan has been an absolute nightmare scenario for any politician, but for the President and head of a political party, it looks like this is only the beginning. The media coverage is absolutely brutal. You know it’s going to be a rough week when you get your own “Saigon” comparisons for one of your policies (and it might be understating it a bit).
Jake Tapper, Savannah Guthrie, Brianna Keilar, and Mika Brzezinski all ripped into the Biden Administration's handling of the crisis in Afghanistan.
When you've lost the liberal media… pic.twitter.com/J6b7cKxMJ9
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 16, 2021
It’s so bad that CNN is having absolutely none of it, from an editorial perspective.
Citing Obama's former ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, Tapper then brought up serious concerns about Biden's ability to lead America at all. "I'm left with some grave questions in my mind about Biden's ability to lead our nation as commander-in-chief," he read. pic.twitter.com/n3W1eyNfPL
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) August 15, 2021
Joe Biden is facing a crisis of competence | Analysis by Chris Cillizza https://t.co/1uUBbTG1hN
— CNN (@CNN) August 16, 2021
The main CNN page right now is as brutal as it can get for Joe Biden. pic.twitter.com/neOCma9MNj
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) August 17, 2021
Now, of all the networks to have clearly taken a particular side during the Trump era, it is the about-face from CNN right now that seems to be the most shocking. The network that has heaped a lot of praise on Biden since he took office is suddenly not in the President’s corner.
It seems likely that we’re looking at an editorial shift, at least for the moment, at CNN. With Chris Cuomo’s reliability effectively sidelined, it looks like the editorial direction is almost made for Jake Tapper. He is probably one of the most well-known of the major hosts to have worked on military issues stories and be a fervent supporter of the U.S. military, and the absolute debacle that is Afghanistan is one of the issues that could and should really bring him to the forefront of the network.
We’re really at a point where there is simply too much chaos and tragedy to ignore. Social media is being flooded with stories from the ground in Afghanistan, networks are interviewing combat vets about their reactions, and the pictures and videos flooding in do nothing but show the American people exactly how bad it is there.
And then you have an absolutely disastrous public response to the crisis and your critics. It shows how unprepared you were, how lazy your talking points are, and how far we’ve strayed from “The buck stops here.”
And, sure, a partisan can argue that this is Trump’s fault for the initial agreement with the Taliban, but the current executive is not bound by the verbal agreements of the prior executive if the agreement is not backed by law — and Trump’s wasn’t. Further, for someone who argued that Trump should have taken responsibility for COVID-19, the economic shutdown, the riot on January 6, and so many other issues, Biden is not accepting responsibility for what we now know was an absolute failure of policy from his own White House.
We know he ignored military leadership’s advice.
We know he did not consult our allies.
We know he crippled our allies as we withdrew.
We know he went into hiding as this unfolded.
This is simply too much, and even the friendliest media can’t ignore it, especially when trust in their institution is already so frail. Maybe if their own approval rating was worth anything, they could do a better job of being supportive of the President they wanted, but they can’t afford to now. It may actually be the case that they are listening to the ratings rather than the echoes of their own bubble and are trying to fix the problem.
There is speculation about Biden’s ability to lead. There is also no faith in Kamala Harris to be able to run a government. This is the hand the Democrats dealt themselves, and all eyes are opened to it now because the media can’t simply ignore it. This is one of the most embarrassing crises of any presidential administration, and there’s no escaping it.