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Biden Debate Debacle Shows How Democrats Take Their Cues From Legacy Media

Joe Biden
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Now that the media is hammering the White House with questions about the president’s age, Democrats and their donors are turning on Biden.

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The press is engaged in an all-out blitz to oust President Joe Biden following the frail 81-year-old commander-in-chief’s disastrous debate performance last month.

The New York Times has published not one, but two editorials calling on the Democrat incumbent to step down from the party’s top ticket just weeks before the August convention. The second column, published Monday, followed their first post, which was put up the day after the prime-time event.

“At Thursday’s debate, the president needed to convince the American public that he was equal to the formidable demands of the office he is seeking to hold for another term,” the Times editorial board wrote. “Voters, however, cannot be expected to ignore what was instead plain to see: Mr. Biden is not the man he was four years ago.”

Biden, however, has remained stubbornly defiant even as ranking House Democrats join the open chorus calling on him to gracefully step down.

“I am not going anywhere,” the president said on MSNBC’s Monday edition of “Morning Joe.”

Biden has good reason to believe voters will, in The New York Times’ words, “ignore what was instead plain to see,” namely, his nakedly obvious decline on national display. That’s because four years ago, voters did ignore Biden’s cognitive deterioration. Biden previously confused his wife and sister on stage, mumbled through the words of the Declaration of Independence, swapped “Super Tuesday” with “Super Thursday,” mixed up which office he was campaigning for, and wondered which state he was in, more than once. This was all before Biden was nominated in 2020.

And this was Biden on the campaign trail:

The Times editorial team joined the opinion boards of The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to encourage Biden step aside, while The Washington Post recommended the president spend time “soul-searching.” Only Biden will be able to decide his own fate this election. But the media campaign to find a replacement has given prominent Democrats ammunition to “knife Julius Ceasar.”

There was no effort among Democrats to keep Biden off the ticket four years ago despite the former vice president’s obvious age-related decline. Instead, Democrats have scoffed at concerns about Biden’s age and aptitude to command the Oval Office even after former Special Counsel Robert Hur concluded the president was too senile to face felony charges over the mishandling of classified documents. But now that the media is hammering the White House with questions about Biden’s age at every press conference following the president’s catastrophic debate, Democrats and their donors are pursuing a rebellion.

The Democrats’ response to the media’s sudden grasp of Biden’s cognitive deterioration highlights to what extent the party takes its cues from the press. Everyone knew the Biden campaign’s claim about the president’s apparent “cold” at the CNN debate was bogus because of how the press reacted to news of then-President Donald Trump’s cold in the 2020 election.

A doctor on NBC warned Biden’s risk of contracting Covid-19 was a “deep concern” after the first debate of 2020. The New York Times traced Trump’s contacts and travel over an entire week. The Washington Post published a long-form breakdown of “How the coronavirus spread in Trump’s White House” focused on the Supreme Court nominating ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

“Though White House officials have begun contact tracing to try to identify the origin of the outbreak, it is not publicly known whether the Rose Garden announcement of Barrett’s nomination was a superspreader event,” the Post reported. “Still, the jarring contrast between the carefree, cavalier attitude toward the virus on display in the Rose Garden last Saturday and the pernicious awakening that occurred Thursday night resembles a Shakespearean tragedy.”

“The Presidential Debate Was the Kind of COVID-19 Risk Experts Have Been Warning Us About,” read the headline on another piece in Time magazine.

“For months, experts have hammered home this message: The riskiest place to be during the COVID-19 pandemic is a poorly-ventilated indoor environment with lots of other people, particularly if those people are unmasked,” Time reported. “If even one person in such circumstances is infected, an innocent gathering can quickly turn into a super-spreading event.”

But there was no catastrophizing of a “super-spreading event” when the Biden campaign nonchalantly announced the president’s debate-night cold once he stepped off stage. The media began to raise doubt about Biden’s mental health instead, catalyzing efforts within the Democratic Party to replace the incumbent nominee.


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