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Can You Tell The Difference Between Vogue’s KJP Puff Piece And Our Corporate ‘News’ Media?

Corkboard showing Vogue photos of Karine Jean-Pierre
Image CreditFDRLST / Canva, compiled with images from Vogue

What we used to call our ‘mainstream’ media now exist to further the agendas — and often, the personal vanities — of a very particular political set.

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You’ve probably noticed that the big women’s magazines are garbage these days, putting men in dresses on their covers or glorifying obesity as “healthy” or writing about the best lesbian sex toys (I’ll spare you the link to that one!). Unsurprisingly, Vogue’s recent puff piece about President Joe Biden’s struggling press secretary isn’t much closer to a serious piece of journalism. But the worst thing about the fluff-filled feature is that it’s practically indistinguishable from the coverage every leftist in politics gets from other corporate newsrooms, including those whose employees would fancy themselves a few rungs above Andie Anderson on the “serious reporter” ladder.

At the briefing podium, Karine Jean-Pierre has a “quality of directness — blunt, with a touch of compassion,” Vogue writer Mattie Kahn coos. She likes “bright colors and bold eye shadow.” Her “technique” is to “disarm with a smile, then lay out the facts.” (A smile and the facts? Oh, why hasn’t any other press secretary ever thought of that!)

As in any good piece of storytelling, after endearing the heroine to you, this one introduces an antagonist: “House Republicans”!

Then we get a heartwarming description of Jean-Pierre’s childhood and her journey into politics, punctuated by glamorous photos of her posing on the White House campus.

Jean-Pierre is “pictured here in her office in a Victor Glemaud dress,” one caption informs us. “Tove dress. Khiry earring,” reads another.

We get a snapshot of her bookshelf, which includes “Geena ­Rocero’s memoir of growing up as a trans pageant queen in the Philippines,” an inclusion that’s clearly supposed to paint her in a glowing light to Vogue’s audience. Jean-Pierre “is so organized her pens have their own coral pouch” — imagine! Of course, the piece doesn’t end without a dig at conservative media for daring to notice “a change in Jean-Pierre’s word choice regarding whether or not President Biden was involved with his son Hunter’s business dealings.”

Watching Washington elites slobber over each other on the page is about as gross as it is on camera. And while sickeningly frothy confections like this profile are easy enough to dismiss from sickeningly frothy publications like Vogue, it’s a much bigger problem when the self-appointed “serious” media sound exactly the same.

Let’s play a game: Take a guess whether these excerpts are from the likes of Vogue and Cosmo or from the “Democracy Dies in Darkness” crowd!

After the Biden-Harris inauguration, a fawning column recounted “the fabulous coats at the inauguration,” from “Jill Biden’s sophisticated Markarian tweed” to “Amy Klobuchar’s ‘big aunt energy’ gold” to “Nancy Pelosi’s turquoise extravaganza” to — my favorite — “Janet Yellen’s toasty-warm, weather-appropriate puffer.”

If you guessed that was from a corporate “news” outlet — specifically, The Washington Post — you get a point! Strangely, when I googled “Melania Trump inauguration,” the top four results under “News” were not about her fabulous coat but rather about Michelle Obama.

When Michelle Obama gave a speech, it was “like an especially eloquent neighbor chatting over the back fence.”

(Yep, that was also The Washington Post.)

A biographical article in 2012 described Hillary Clinton as a “tough and pragmatic leader, outspoken advocate for social justice and women’s rights, and resilient and intelligent politician.”

(That was PBS.)

How about this headline? “At the Met Gala, Hillary Clinton Pays Homage to Women’s History.”

(That’s from The New York Times, but USA Today, which made a “fact-check” about the dress, also counts as a correct guess.)

Read this excerpt and guess if it’s from a disturbing passage of some internet fan-fic or a Pulitzer-winning publication:

We hear papers shuffling, birds chirping, the voices of an ethereal choir. A woman’s hands drift across a policy document. As white light flares through a garden window, Hillary Clinton appears. She wears a serene smile and a magenta blouse. It feels like she’s back from the dead.

Yep, that’s what The New York Times deems “fit to print” these days.

Here’s another headline: “9 incredibly important photos of Joe Biden eating ice cream.”

(That was Business Insider.)

A piece humbly titled “The Ice-Cream Theory of Joe Biden’s Success” contends that really, no one can find fault with Biden because he “is vanilla in a world of pistachio and rocky road, unobjectionable to most people and unlikely to trigger any allergies.”

Did you guess The Atlantic? Another point for you! Of course, the author doesn’t consider whether the “unobjectionable” nature of the president — who has peddled self-centered lies to wildfire victims and Gold Star families alike, invented an award for himself from a historic racist, and advocated for killing babies in utero, among other problematic behaviors — is really just in the imagination of a deferential media.

“President Biden is back after Covid, vacation and legislative victories, and so are his shades,” announced a piece titled “The Return of Aviator Joe,” which painted Biden as a presidential version of Tom Cruise’s Maverick.

(The New York Times, again.)

In another instance of hard-hitting sunglasses journalism, one magazine ran an over-the-top cover illustration of a spry, airbrushed Biden wearing mirrored shades that reflect a diminished-looking Vladimir Putin whom, the headline informs us, Biden is “taking on.”

Cosmo? Vanity Fair? GQ? Nope, that was Time.

At this point, what we used to call our “mainstream” media exist to further the agendas — and often, the personal vanities — of a very particular political set. They no longer even try to hide it. When Biden became embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal in which his son Hunter sold access to the then-VP for foreign cash, the media tried to cover for him by insisting it was really just a story about “a father’s love for his son.”

Heck, even Volodymyr Zelensky gets puff pieces about his T-shirts!

You should give legacy outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the rest just as much weight as you do to any millennial cat lady who freelances for Vogue. Both media categories cater to a class of unhinged, self-appointed elites who likely hate you for being a normal American. On occasion, you might find a good recipe or interesting photo slideshow — but they have wholly disqualified themselves from being a serious authority on anything more than that.


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