Joe Biden (or more likely, his staff) recently took to Twitter to push out the passive-aggressive proclamation: “You deserve a president who tells you the truth.” Without reflection, the media regurgitated the Democratic presidential candidate’s talking point, helping the Biden campaign market its “character counts” theme.
While the right is accustomed to the corporate media’s double-standards when reporting on Republican and Democratic Party politicians, this latest example is emblematic of the reality that in this election cycle the media’s bias has jumped from merely slanting stories for their preferred candidate: The corporate press’s election coverage this year moves it squarely into the position of propaganda.
With nary an exception, every Trump tweet prompts criticism, fact-checks, or both from the hostile media. But when Biden’s team, in effect, calls the president a liar, there is no chastisement for incivility or claims the presidential wannabe is dividing the country. Rather, the press uses Biden’s tweet as a hook for another anti-Trump story, while ignoring Biden’s chronic peddling of falsehoods.
A favorite lie of Biden’s is that Trump called the white supremacists who descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, “very fine people.” No amount of fact-checking that falsehood with the transcript of Trump’s remarks — he specifically clarified, and this is a quote from him, “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned totally” — has stopped Biden from repeating the lie.
In a foreshadowing of what would soon be unveiled as Biden’s campaign theme, Biden tweeted the lie in mid-August to further his assertion that “we are in a battle for the soul of our nation.”
Biden then featured the prevarication in his elect-me-because-I’m-nice Democratic National Convention speech. “Just a week ago yesterday was the third anniversary of the events in Charlottesville,” Biden intoned. “Remember seeing those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with lighted torches? Veins bulging? Spewing the same antisemitic bile heard across Europe in the ’30s? Remember the violent clash that ensued between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it? Remember what the president said? There were quote, ‘very fine people on both sides.’”
“At that moment, I knew I’d have to run,” Biden told his fellow Democrats. “At the time, I said we were in a battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden repeated, hitting his holier-than-him mantra.
With all the talk of soul-cleansing, one would think the media would ask Biden how he is fit for that role given his chronic lying about Trump’s words. This lie isn’t merely election-year political puffery: Biden intentionally chooses to misrepresent Trump’s words to foment racial tensions in the hopes of safeguarding the black vote. How can a candidate who seeks to divide to win an election hope to claim the mantle of healer-in-chief?
Since Biden proclaimed character as his raison d’être for being elected president, not only has the press not challenged his claims, it has joined forces with Democrats to further that narrative. Indeed, just a week ago, The Atlantic ran a story smearing Trump as a hateful, self-centered leader, who disrespects our fallen heroes.
“When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed the rain for the last-minute decision, saying ‘the helicopter couldn’t fly’ and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true,” Atlantic Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg opened the hit piece, then continued with a myriad of nasty comments supposedly attributed to Trump.
More than 20 officials who were with Trump on that trip dispute Goldberg’s reporting, however, and when open-records-requested documents established the cemetery visit was canceled due to inclement weather, Goldberg was forced to admit the thesis of his story was false. Yet even with denials of the story from Trump critic and former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who was on the trip, Biden parlayed the hit piece into a campaign ad.
Mr. Biden, how can you heal the soul of the country by slandering your political enemies while atop the graves of dead heroes?
While the lies Biden peddles prove the most compelling counter to his claim of superior character, they are not the sole stain on the pristine persona he attempts to present to the public. Over the last year, a hostile Biden has hollered, “You’re full of sh-t,” at a UAW autoworker who confronted the candidate about his position on gun rights, then after shushing a campaign aide trying to extricate Biden from the scene, he seethed at the union member, “Don’t be a horse’s ass.”
At other times when challenged on his position or the facts, Biden has lashed out against voters with bizarre exchanges, calling one a “lying, dog-faced, pony soldier,” another “fats,” and telling one man, “I’m beginning to see why your wife left you.”
Biden’s bullying expands beyond Joe and Joanne Public with hits against reporters, such as Errol Barnett of CBS News who asked if Biden had ever been tested for “cognitive decline.” “Biden dodged the question by asking the black reporter whether or not he took a drug test before participating in the panel. ‘That’s like saying before you got on this program did you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not huh? Are you a junkie?’”
Despite all this, as Biden presents Trump as the unfit bully and himself as the righteous unifier, the media willfully assists in this marketing effort. To be sure, it’s not just that the press ignores Biden’s blatant lies about Trump, including racially divisive falsehoods. It’s not merely the media glossing over Biden’s intemperate exchanges with voters. While the media rails against every imprecise word used by Trump or revisits his past to cast aspersions on his present. Biden’s past and present escapes scrutiny.
Passing mention may be of Biden’s lie that his wife and daughter were killed by a trucker who “drank his lunch.” A snippet may play highlighting Biden’s 1987 lies about his academic career. Coverage may briefly break of a former staffer’s allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her. And an outlet or two might run reports that Biden was accused of having an affair with his now-wife Jill when she was still married to her first husband. But no narrative forms about Biden’s character apart from the favorable one he and his fellow Democrats present.
Any other year, the media’s assist could be written off as their longstanding routine of playing favorites. But because Biden sells himself as the savior to our splintered country and his character as the most important reason for voting for him, this year is different.
We’re meant to believe that if Biden lands in the Oval Office and silences Trump’s unpresidential words, unity will reign from sea to shining sea. This is nonsense. And the media knows it.