Special to WorldTribune.com
They’re pulling out the same tired playbook for an even worse candidate this time around.
Four years removed from their enormous distortions and whopping lies on behalf of the most unlikable major-party presidential candidate in U.S. history, Democrat Hillary Clinton, the establishment media are trotting out the same shameless, lazy and lame antics on behalf of the most feeble presidential candidate in modern American political history, Democrat Joe Biden.
The double whammy of having their hollowness thoroughly exposed in 2016 and having to carry water for a historically–awful Biden has not dissuaded these partisans with press passes in the least from further torching whatever shreds of credibility with the general public they may have had left.
Imagine trying to create an aura of dynamism, charisma and inevitability around a gaffe-prone D.C. lifer who is about to turn 78 next month and can’t communicate canned talking points to the handful of people who show up for his rallies without constantly eyeballing a teleprompter:
WTF IS GOING ON HERE?pic.twitter.com/NUQ4aWUdZ6
— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) October 17, 2020
Yet that is what we are witnessing, and there is even something of a pat formula to it all. We’ll focus here on three staples of Biden’s Media Wing in Action.
Spinning the Lethargy
Biden has been a regular at calling “lids” – informing the media that he is done with all campaign activity for the day – before many Americans have digested their breakfast. 8:30-9:30 a.m. lids have been a norm for his campaign over the past two months of prime general election season. The candidate also refuses to reveal much of his policy agenda and is unwilling to face serious press questioning on the issues. His “rallies” usually lack a real audience, with only a smattering of attendees in contrast to President Trump’s mass gatherings. How does an intrepid big-box reporter go about turning all this into favorable shade for Biden?
Well, first you give him a giant non-existent lead via the expertism fetish known as “polling.” Then you hail the nothingness as savvy strategy for the man with the dominant lead who has been scientifically proven to be vastly more popular than his Republican rival, no matter what those rally crowds involving actual on-the-spot people might suggest.
Amie Parnes is “Senior Political Correspondent” at The Hill. This means she is a reporter, not an opinion writer. She’s ostensibly neutral. In an Oct. 14 article presented as straight news by the publication, Parnes declared that Biden is cruising to victory and is thus wisely throttling down his never-revved campaign to avoid having any bumps appear on his smooth path. Here are the first four paragraphs of Parnes’ ludicrous piece:
Call it the don’t-touch-anything strategy.
Team Biden knows they’re ahead against President Trump, with national polls showing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden above the 50 percent mark. And with under three weeks to go until Election Day, the campaign has been doing just enough to keep things where they are as the clock ticks down to Nov. 3.
“They don’t want to break anything in the last three weeks,” said one Democratic strategist. “If the election were held today, they would win. They know it, and more importantly, Trump knows it.”
“To put it simply, they’re winning,” the strategist added. “And they don’t need to do much. They need to firm up their support and call it a game.”
Disgracefully, The Hill never even offers a hint to its readers that its impressively-titled “Senior Political Correspondent” is wildly biased. A casual look at Parnes’ Twitter page reveals a litany of anti-Trump and pro-Democrat tweets. Here is Parnes’ take on the vice presidential debate between VP Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris on Oct. 7:
This is all Momala!
— Amie Parnes (@amieparnes) October 8, 2020
That is embarrassing. The shallow emotionalism on display here is the hallmark of someone who is personally invested in a candidate. It’s fine to take sides, of course. But don’t offer tripe like “Joe Just Needs to Run Out the Clock Now” as unaligned political analysis when you are so clearly emotionally engaged with a campaign.
Agence France-Presse “White House Correspondent” Jerome Cartillier similarly puts a professional pose to his opinionating, one that comes with a touch of international flavor. This facet deserves to be noted, as the self-indulgent press, which takes itself far too seriously to begin with, loves to lap up the one-sidedness exhibited by its foreign press agency comrades as “sober, detached observance from abroad.” It’s a game various outlets such as Reuters, the UK’s Independent and even the flagrantly leftist-establishment The Guardian enjoy playing.
“Trump headed for trouble — and not changing course,” screamed the headline for the Oct. 14 AFP article, which was picked up by Yahoo News. “President Donald Trump is down in the polls, running out of time, and facing a resurgent coronavirus across the United States. Yet seemingly headed for defeat, he is doing nothing to change course,” Cartillier breathlessly declares in his lead. He then paints Trump as living in denial over Biden’s daunting advantage in the polls.
“Proud of his status as a non-politician who won the White House in his first shot, Trump brushes off polls ahead of November 3, preferring nostalgic reminiscences about his 2016 upset,” Cartillier writes.
He then takes his labors even further, directly citing the differences in crowd sizes while puffing up the Biden Steamroller. “Trump often contrasts his enthusiastic events with the quieter, much smaller versions on the Biden campaign trail,” the White House scribe detailed. “But polls show Biden is more popular and the Democrat has chosen a low-key campaign in keeping with his message of responsibility during the pandemic.”
This is reporting?
Along with revealing shocking bias, AFP is joining The Hill here in not so cleverly having its political beat writers lean on a fraudulent phantasm – polling – that was proven to be catastrophically in error in 2016 as sure and irrefutable hard data that not only excuses but actually justifies Biden’s low-energy campaign.
Establishment Republicans Are Just Sick About It
Step Two then involves finding trustworthy professional Republicans to seemingly validate the hoax narrative from the other side of the aisle. This tactic manifestly failed in 2016 as well (see Romney, M.) but the dominant media still can’t resist trying to pump this dry well.
“It’s not good for my side,” “veteran GOP pollster Whit Ayres” told The Associated Press on Oct. 12. “Pretty obviously, in many ways down-ballot Republicans are in the boat with Donald Trump. That’s good for Republicans in deep-red states, but more problematic for those in swing states.”
Asked for any bright spots for the Republican field, Ayres said, “I’m wracking my brain and just struggling,’ ” the AP report reads.
Whoa. That is pretty stark. His side is in deep trouble and it just kills Whit Ayres to admit that. Or does it?
Does the AP not understand that Internet searches are not very difficult to perform in 2020? Whit Ayres was the pollster for Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s dismal 2016 White House campaign that was blasted into atoms by Trump in the GOP primaries. Here’s what Ayres wrote for the Trump-loathing Washington Post in an op-ed in late August of that year, when it was down to a Trump-Clinton race:
“Republicans running for election this year have watched the wheels coming off the Trump Train with increasing alarm. How can Republican candidates in down-ballot races survive such a calamitous nominee at the top of their ticket?”
The Associated Press also turned to Dan Eberhart, which it duly described as “a prominent GOP donor and Trump supporter” even though Eberhart can consistently be relied on to bash the president as needed and thus serves as a dependable source of negative quotes from “the Republican side” for the big-box media.
“I hope the polls have it wrong,” Eberhart told AP, affecting personal anguish as he parroted Democrat framing of Biden’s invincibility. “But Republicans… need to develop a campaign strategy committed to protecting the Senate at all costs, even if it means sacrificing the Oval Office.”
But does Eberhart really hope those polls are wrong as he hangs Trump out to dry? Consider the following spectacularly awful take. Here’s Eberhart insanely stating in June that rioting in the streets by radicals in the wake of the death of George Floyd greatly helps Biden and spells doom for Trump. This is how it appeared at TIME magazine’s website, complete with the “Trump supporter” identifier:
“Trump’s re-election chances are going down in flames with that Autozone building, police precinct building and burning police cars,” says Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor and Trump supporter. “It’s hard to see how these riots don’t boost Joe Biden’s claim to be the Alka-Seltzer America needs to sooth its stomach right now.”
Note that Eberhart is not generically hailing allegedly “peaceful protests” in the name of “social justice,” as so many soggy Republicans weakly did early in the summer of George Floyd. He is specifically referencing arson, attacks on police officers and mass destruction of property and saying those acts committed by deranged leftists before the eyes of the nation enormously aided Biden’s standing with voters. There is simply no way this can be construed as good-faith criticism of the president.
NBC News found yet another doom-and-gloom Republican for its loaded coverage. “The president has had possibly the worst two-week stretch that a candidate could have going into the final month of an election,” Ken Spain, labeled “a Republican strategist,” told the network on Oct. 9 for its wonderfully balanced article titled “‘The president is likely toast’: Trump’s woes raise GOP fears of a blue wave.”
Here’s more from Spain:
“In 2016, the president was a buoy. In 2020, he’s more of an anchor. There’s no question there are going to be losses down the ballot…. Six months ago, Republicans were hoping that we would be talking about Senate races in Colorado, Arizona and Maine. Instead, there’s concern about the potential outcomes in states like South Carolina, Georgia and Kansas.”
What NBC completely leaves out is the little fact that Spain is the former “Managing Director of Internal Affairs” for globalist Koch Industries and a K Street Republican to the core. Not even mentioned. Of course, NBC was able to get Eberhart to once again don his mask of grave concern and pipe up in favor of its tilted “reporting” as well.
This Time It REALLY IS Different
Step Three is one our media elites would rather not take but must. Though they are intentionally refusing to learn any lessons from their 2016 fiasco, establishment organs know they must address the debacle nonetheless.
Again, personal integrity means nothing as the approach taken is unapologetically audacious. It boils down to something like this: Our lies about Hillary really weren’t lies you know but anyway this year is different and our lies about Biden are true. In this vein, CNN brazenly took on the 2016 Gorilla in a hilariously over-the-top televised exchange between anchor John Berman and network poll maven Harry Enten. The segment deserves to be quoted at length. Bold added. Enten used fake polls that have Biden’s favorability rating above 50 percent to scientifically conclude that he is going to romp:
“I often hear people say, ‘Oh, people are just voting for Biden because he’s the anti-Trump.’ Here’s the facts: If you look at the numbers, you actually see that Joe Biden is a well-liked individual compared to where Hillary Clinton was four years ago at this point. Look at this, Joe Biden’s favorable rating: 53 percent. His unfavorable rating: just 41 percent in the recent average of polls.
“Compare that to Clinton, who was very much disliked, her favorable rating was 42 percent, her unfavorable rating in fact was over 50 percent. And that essentially meant that all Trump needed to do was win the groups of voters who didn’t like either candidate. He won that group by 17 points in the exit polls. Right now, even if Trump wins the voters who don’t like either candidate, that won’t be enough because Biden’s favorable rating is over 50 percent.”
But what if that over 50-percent figure you have created your whole spiel around just isn’t real, Mr. “Data-Driven Journalist?” (Seriously, he is called that.) After just shy of five full minutes of this pre-set-parameters “evaluation,” Berman ended the blatant Biden cheerleading by flat-out declaring that it is Trump Republicans in fact who have it all wrong about 2016:
“It’s three weeks to go until people can finish voting, we don’t know what will happen. But I think people have such selective memory about 2016. They remember that Donald Trump was losing in the polls overall but what they don’t remember, and what I think what you just pointed out so successfully, Harry… he had a lot going for him. He had a lot of advantages underneath those numbers there that ultimately prevailed on Election Day. They don’t exist as we sit here today.”
All of this machinery collapsed with a resounding thud for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Do the media operatives working the levers once again really believe they can convince the American people that a stumbling, bubble-wrapped-for-his-own-protection Joe Biden is even more of a mortal lock in 2020?
Joe Schaeffer is the former Managing Editor of The Washington Times National Weekly Edition. His columns appear at WorldTribune.com, LibertyNation.com and FreePressInternational.org.