With President Biden having delivered his first primetime address on Thursday night to mark the one-year anniversary of the day that many Americans realized our lives would be changed forever, CNN’s New Day went right to work and used its three hours to prop up the sheltered President, fawning over his FDR-like speech that showed his “common touch,” “empathy” and “appeal to universal values...in unadorned language.”
Co-host Alisyn Camerota dutifully set the table, informing Americans that, thanks to the goodness of Biden, he’s “targeting July Fourth as the day that America can start feeling a sense of independence from the pandemic.”
A Jim Acosta wannabe during the Trump years, White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond followed with the kind of segment he’d never be caught giving about Trump, boasting that Biden “[spoke] directly into the camera, leaning over his podium” and employed “his trademark empathy” to “recall the grief and sacrifices that Americans have endured over the last year.”
Diamond went onto add:
[A]t a time when more Americans than ever, three-quarters of Americans, believe that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, you also saw the President express some cautious optimism. In his first prime-time address, President Biden giving a pandemic-weary nation glimmers of hope with two dates on the horizon. One year after coronavirus upended life in America, the President injecting cautious optimism and challenging Americans to help him defeat the pandemic.
A few moments after touting the American Rescue Plan as “a lifeline for millions devastated by a pandemic,” Diamond closed without any mention of the non-COVID-related items that drove much of the Republican opposition.
Instead, he stated that “the Democratic National Committee, in coordination with the White House, is launching a new national ad campaign to once again tout this bill” as “[t]his is all about setting up the 2022 midterms.”
In the next hour, CNN political analyst David Gregory and co-host John Berman hailed Biden as akin to FDR with an “ability to lead the country in grieving,” “common touch,” and “empathy” who all but “[shook] Americans by the lapels and [said], I need you” to help end the pandemic (click “expand”):
BERMAN: You know, and you were at the White House after 9/11, and I'm not saying Presidents haven't called for sacrifice before, David, but I don't remember seeing a President lean over a podium like that and — and reach out and basically shake Americans by the lapels and say, I need you, you know, help me. It was different.
GREGORY: It felt a lot more of, you know, reading about FDR than seeing modern Presidents that we've covered in that setting in the East Room who are more formal, you know, and are more grave and certainly President Biden had the gravity, but I was struck by the same thing. He leaned forward. I mean, he's a very professional politician. He's been in this town for decades, as we know, but he has not lost that common touch and that is really what defines him and the empathy. So to combine the empathy and the ability to lead the country in grieving but then say, I need something very specific of you. And as you were discussing with Sanjay, it's so important the weather is getting warmer. Look at our polling showing most people think that we're basically out of this thing. There's still so much pain out in the country economically, of course, and there are more precautions to take with regard to this virus. It was a fine line for the President to walk, and I thought he did it very well.
Fast-forward to the 8:00 a.m. Eastern hour and White House correspondent John Harwood reminded viewers of his fervent support of leftists and a willingness to suck up to elected officials with apple-polishing nonsense.
Harwood said that “a spiking of the football is the last thing that President Biden wanted to do,” but instead gave a speech with an “appeal to universal values.”
The former CNBC correspondent was only just getting started as he swooned over how “striking” it was “in the way that the President conveys empathy in unadorned language, trying to appeal to the common experiences that all Americans have been missing during this pandemic, appealing to them for assistance.”
Harwood also had to make it all about Donald Trump, expressing relief that after “four years of a President...who was saying to the American people, you need me,” Biden has decided his message is “I need you,” “I need the science, I need the business community,” “I need state and local governments to push vaccines out, and I'm backing them up with a rushing river of money from the American Rescue Plan.”
His massive valentine to the White House dragged on and on, but to co-host John Berman’s credit, he made sure to note that Biden did level “some indirect shots at the former administration” and “stretched the facts” on the creation and rollout of vaccines (click “expand”):
HARWOOD: [T]he first thing he needs to do politically is to convey to the American people exactly what this Rescue Plan is going to do, get them to understand the benefits, get his government to stand up the programs needed, including assistance to small business, many businesses that haven't been eligible before, to try to make sure that that aid gets out the door. That effort to achieve the goals of the Rescue Plan and sell the Rescue Plan, show the American people not just $1400 checks which are going to land in their mailbox, but things like the child tax credit, the effect aid to state and local governments. All the things that come with the bill, they’ve got to make that case. That gives them time to figure out what comes next. One of the things we don't know, John, is the unity achieved by Democrats on this plan, no Republican support, they rallied around the President's objective. Can they replicate that with the next phase of legislative activity? He wants a big infrastructure plan. Disagreement over whether you try to do it through the same process that only requires Democratic votes. Do you reach out to Republicans? Does that slow things down? Can you recreate what they have just done? They don't know the answer to that and they're in the process of figuring it out. But what the President is trying to do is unplug the electricity from the ideological polarization as he moves forward. Didn't take direct shots at President Trump last night. Didn't take direct shots at the governors who are lifting mask mandates, but went straight to the American people and said I need you to act. And the decisions of those Americans, more than the decisions of the governor, are going to determine whether or not if we can get out of this pandemic in the way that he wants to.
BERMAN: There were some indirect shots at the former administration —
BERMAN: — and some suggestions about whether the vaccine situation was —
BERMAN: — some that stretched the facts a little bit. We'll get to that in a little bit.
What a difference a year makes. Whereas President Trump’s first COVID address was met with derision and claims of xenophobia, CNN has reacted to Biden’s first with ebullience. For all the criticisms of Fox News at CNN, they might want to look in the mirror and think about whether they’re now state-run TV.
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