Two writers at the Washington Post said President Joe Biden’s first press conference, more than two months after taking office, would be more of a test for reporters and the media than it would be for Biden himself.
Media columnist Margaret Sullivan and opinion writer Jennifer Rubin both warned reporters against being too tough on Biden, with Rubin complaining that the press had been “hounding” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the situation at the border over the past week.
Sullivan was worried that the press would be extra hard on Biden in order to avoid the common criticism that they are going easier on Biden than they did on former President Donald Trump.
“For the White House press corps, there’s also a temptation to play to the crowd. Every TV reporter has to be thinking about the 10-second clip of their question that might be used on Thursday’s newscast, establishing them as the star du jour who bravely challenged the president,” Sullivan wrote.
“Constant bias for drama”
“Every president must be covered with a critical eye, but the constant bias for drama leads to misleading coverage when the Oval Office inhabitant is not drama-prone,” Rubin wrote.
In other words, she thinks it’s okay to go easier on Biden than Trump because Biden isn’t as dramatic as Trump. A conditional double standard is still a double standard, however.
It could be argued that the press has done nothing but go easy on Biden, even though he has done things way out of the mainstream that no other U.S. president has done. His record number of executive orders, effectively throwing open the southern border, threats to Congress over issues like the filibuster, and even falling up the steps of Air Force One all raise huge questions that just beg to be answered.
Outside of Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, Biden hasn’t even been asked why it’s taken him so long to even hold a press conference. He hasn’t been asked about his apparently failing health, either.
Nothing to worry about
These nervous Post writers don’t have anything to worry about. The press is not going to start being tough on Biden now after a year of asking him about his dogs and favorite ice cream flavors, refusing to question empty rallies and shutting down any mention of problems with the election.
Biden has all the cover he needs to keep being the doddering face of an administration that is moving toward the most radical change the country has had since its founding.
And if things seem to be getting really bad, a la the border crisis that no one is allowed to call a crisis, the press will be more than happy to change the subject to something that gives Biden more of a moral high ground, like gun control or the catch-all issue that can be applied to every other issue–racism.
But no matter how much the press tries to cover for Biden’s growing list of failures, the people will eventually see through it when it starts to impact their daily lives. At that point, hopefully, they will be willing to make a change.