The chickens have finally come home to roost for the establishment media. They have given President Joe Biden an extended honeymoon until very recently, when Biden’s missteps in Afghanistan and at the southern border with Mexico finally reached a tipping point that the media could no longer ignore. The White House is now circling the wagons.
White House correspondents were furious after President Biden’s puppet masters shouted down reporters who tried to ask Biden questions during British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to the White House on September 21st. Prime Minister Johnson took two questions from the British press. President Biden sat quietly with his mask on while his staff ran interference for him.
Editorial members of the media pool promptly complained to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
“The entire editorial component of the US pool went immediately into Jen Psaki’s office to register a formal complaint that no American reporters were recognized for questions in the president’s Oval Office, and that wranglers loudly shouted over the president as he seemed to give an answer to Ed O’Keefe’s question about the situation at the Southern Border,” a White House Correspondents Association statement said.
Psaki brushed the press’s complaint aside. In fact, Biden’s flack had the gall to blame Prime Minister Johnson for the chaotic scene. That’s because, in Psaki’s words, Johnson “called on individuals from his press corps without alerting us to that intention in advance.”
So what? Biden’s handlers could have called an “audible” and allowed U.S. reporters to ask Biden two questions, which is the customary number of questions reporters get to ask the U.S. president and another world leader when they appear jointly before the press. But Biden’s handlers were too afraid of what Biden might say during an unscripted moment.
The mainstream media gave Joe Biden cover during last year’s presidential campaign while Biden spent much of his time hiding in his basement. Indeed, the mainstream media and high-tech social media platforms helped in the cover-up of embarrassing disclosures from Hunter Biden’s laptop. They tried to kill the messenger, the New York Post, which had first broken the story less than a month before Election Day.
During the first few months of Biden’s presidency, the mainstream media gave Biden the benefit of the doubt on virtually every issue. Former President Donald Trump, by contrast, was hounded by the press from day one of his term in office.
Now Biden’s honeymoon seems to be ending – at least temporarily – at some mainstream media outlets. Recently, there has been enough critical reporting in the mainstream media concerning Biden’s disastrous withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, and other glaring policy failures to set the Biden administration back on its heels.
Biden is still getting far too much slack from left-wing cable networks and other friendly outlets such as the Washington Post. However, when even NBC’s ultraliberal anchor of “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd, says that Biden has “a pretty big credibility crisis on his hands,” the White House knows that it is in deep trouble. Biden’s plummeting approval ratings are providing more bad news for the Biden administration.
The Biden administration’s answer is to further limit the press’s ability to ask Biden questions that he must answer without a script. The administration is also doubling down on its lies and evasions, further deepening Biden’s credibility hole.
Many in the mainstream media hated Donald Trump, but he provided them with substantial opportunities for questions, nevertheless. Biden’s access for questioning is so restricted that he has remarked he would “get in trouble with staff” if he strayed too much from their directions. As a result, Biden leaves it up to his press secretary, Jen Psaki, and senior members of his administration to regularly engage in back-and-forths with the press.
Psaki spews out a steady stream of lies and distortions during her near-daily press briefings.
At Psaki’s September 20th press briefing, for example, she claimed with a straight face that the thousands of migrants from Haiti and other countries who have recently crossed the Rio Grande River and arrived in Del Rio, Texas are “not intending to stay here for a lengthy period of time.” Therefore, she argued in response to a reporter’s question, they don’t have to be treated the same way as people flying legally into the country, such as requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Only those showing symptoms of COVID-19 are supposedly quarantined.
Of course, it doesn’t make any difference how long the illegal immigrants intend to stay in the United States. They could become super spreaders of the coronavirus the day they arrive in the United States, infecting other illegal immigrants with whom they come into contact in close quarters. They could also spread the virus to Americans living in the border towns.
Moreover, the Biden administration is releasing illegal immigrant families and pregnant women to go wherever they want in the United States. Administration officials, including Psaki, have been evading questions as to exactly how many illegal immigrants from Del Rio have been released and sent on their way versus the number of illegal immigrants who have been deported.
The illegal immigrants who are released with little expectation that they will return for a scheduled hearing date are surely intending to stay in the United States for as long as they can. Those illegal immigrants who have COVID-19, and either don’t know it or choose to ignore it, will needlessly expose millions of Americans across the country to the virus.
Psaki repeatedly lied or sidestepped reporters’ questions regarding Biden’s Afghanistan debacle. For instance, she mischaracterized what Biden said to then-President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani during a July 23 phone call. According to a leaked recording of the call, Biden said, “The perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban. And there’s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
According to excerpts from the call published by Reuters, Ghani told Biden just how dire the situation really was: “Mr. President, we are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this, so that dimension needs to be taken account of.”
Ghani added a request for “close air support,” which he asked to be “front-loaded.” Biden promised such close air support during the call. About three weeks earlier, however, the U.S. had already abandoned its crucial Bagram Airfield base in Afghanistan during the night without even the courtesy of first notifying the huge base’s new Afghan commander. Biden was making an empty promise to Ghani. At the same time Biden was asking his Afghan counterpart to publicly project a false picture of the military situation in Afghanistan, much as Biden had been doing himself.
When asked about this call during her September 1st press briefing, Psaki went into full spin mode. First, she sought to deflect any further questions about the call by saying that “I’m not going to get into private, diplomatic conversations or leaked transcripts of phone calls.” Then Psaki claimed that the recorded conversation was “consistent” with the administration’s talking point that “no one anticipated . . . the Taliban would be able to take over the country as quickly as they did or that the Afghan national security forces would fold as quickly as they did.”
If past is prologue, many in the mainstream media who have recently taken issue with some of Biden’s policies will be back in Biden’s corner before too long. They will in all likelihood swallow the administration’s lies and lob easy questions Biden’s way in order to obtain more preferential access to him.
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