The month after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the Washington Post made a big production of adding a phrase to their masthead that read “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
— Louisa Loveluck (@leloveluck) February 22, 2017
The paper proclaimed at the time that it was not done in response to Trump’s frequent criticisms of the media while on the campaign trail, but they made it obvious over the next four years with hit piece after hit piece (with many of them questionable and some of them being outright fake news) that Trump’s presidency was the exact reason why they decided to make the change.
Though Trump is no longer president, the masthead slogan about “democracy” remains in place. It’s rather interesting when one takes a look at how Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake erupted Monday in what can only be described as the type of petulant meltdown one might see from a devoted Democratic spokesman who was incensed over a certain criticism of his powerful boss that hit a little too close to the mark.
It all started after Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) took to the Twitter machine to question a report from Politico on how the Biden White House’s media philosophy regarding the President appears to be “less can be more.”
It was a blatant media attempt at making excuses for why the same guy who for months promised to restore “respect and trust” between the White House and the press corps had so far done a lot of hiding from the media, whether it be by way of avoiding solo press conferences or “allowing” reporters to ask the stray question or two after a highly scripted event where he is quickly ushered away by his handlers.
Cornyn took issue with the premise of the piece, hinting — as many other Republicans also have — that maybe the reason he kept such a low profile was not so much about “message control” but rather controlling the messenger while someone else — like Vice President Harris or Chief of Staff Ron Klain — may actually be doing the heavy lifting:
Invites the question: is he really in charge?
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) April 12, 2021
Raising questions about Biden’s fitness to lead infuriated Blake, who wrote an entire piece that read like something straight out of the Democratic playbook. Let’s first look at how he promoted it on Twitter:
A U.S. senator on Monday morning suggested baselessly that a U.S. president isn't actually running the country.
It's latest iteration of a longstanding — and so far failed — effort to attack Biden for his low public profile.https://t.co/LUHwMqC4HG
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) April 12, 2021
“Baselessly suggested” is apparently Blake’s choice of wording for the media’s more popular phrase “without evidence,” which they often used to describe claims made by Trump and members of his administration but not members of the media — including other Washington Post reporters — who frequently questioned President Trump’s mental health.
But it was in Blake’s actual piece where the case study in the death of modern journalism was really revealed. I’m going to post some sentences and excerpts below, with the most glaring examples being bolded for emphasis, and you can discuss in the comments whether or not it sounded like something you’d see come from a press secretary/adviser/cabinet official OR a supposedly objective reporter in the MSM. Note: Any comments of mine will be in italics.
— Cornyn’s tweet builds upon a whisper campaign among conservatives that perhaps Biden isn’t actually engaged in doing his job. Some have even suggested that Vice President Harris is actually in charge or will be soon — a suggestion that, at its worst, carries real dog-whistles given her status as the first woman and first Black person to hold that job. You just knew the tiresome raaacism card would be *baselessly* played by Blake, didn’t you?
— But there is no legitimate reason to believe he is not making all the kinds of decisions a president usually makes behind closed doors. Outside of all the numerous instances of Biden appearing out of it or lost in public, oftentimes forgetting what he was going to say, sure. Move along, nothing to see here.
— Biden’s familiarity with the issues is significantly more demonstrated than his predecessor’s was. LOL!
— Trump often seemed unaware of basic policies and key legislative initiatives, and he repeatedly contradicted his own officials. I daresay that Biden has often seemed unaware of basic policies and has repeatedly contradicted his own officials much more in just three months than Trump did in four years. It’s an opinion, of course, but remember Blake is a REPORTER, not a columnist.
— Despite this, Trump’s involvement in making key decisions was never questioned by Republicans like Cornyn. But yet they were questioned by the mainstream media, including by Aaron Blake himself:
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) April 12, 2021
There was also this:
In 2018, a Paul Waldman column ran in your publication entitled “Is Donald Trump even in charge of this government?”
So it's OK when it's a Republican president, but not when it's a Democrat?
Got it. https://t.co/xf44suRmmX
— Drew Brandewie (@DBrandewie) April 12, 2021
— Republicans have few people to blame but themselves (and, more specifically, Trump) for how sustainable and successful Biden’s approach has been thus far. “Successful”?? In what way? Again, this is an opinion expressed by a reporter who is supposed to leave his bias out of his reporting.
— Biden currently enjoys a majority approval rating, with positive views outpacing negative ones by about 14 points — numbers Trump never touched at any point in his presidency. It’s no wonder he “enjoys a majority approval rating” considering the glowing “reporting” done by the leading newspapers in this country who act more as cheerleaders and front men for the President of the United States than the people who are charged with keeping him accountable. Get outta here with this baloney!
— Perhaps more than anything, though, Cornyn’s attack reinforces a byproduct of Biden’s low-profile strategy: the inability to caricature him and make him the issue. Except making him the issue is exactly why Blake rushed so quickly to defend Dear Leader. LOL.
— Republicans mounted little in the way of a robust effort to halt his coronavirus relief bill… Perhaps someone should tell this veteran political “reporter” that not a single Republican vote is currently needed to pass legislation.
— Today, with Biden pushing historic spending, Republicans such as Cornyn are still apparently conceding their inability to use that to turn him into a boogeyman. Instead, they want to attach these proposals to other, supposedly shadowy figures in his administration — albeit with precisely zero actual evidence. On the contrary, there’s actually more evidence — albeit mostly circumstantial — that others in the administration are running the show than there was “evidence” presented by supposed “experts” as to Trump’s mental health, but that didn’t stop the Washington Post and other “news” outlets from running with such stories periodically.
Let us know what you think of Blake’s pout-fest in the comments!