On Sunday night and Monday morning, the broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC were more or less obsequious vessels in channeling the so-called press of the country they were reporting on in the communist Vietnamese by trumpeting President Biden’s overseas trip there (and to India in the days prior) other than a few hits from the left or notable mentions of poor Biden polling.
Not surprisingly, they all helped Biden’s reelection campaign by refusing to show Biden’s ironclad refusal at a Hanoi press conference to deviate from a pre-selected, staff-collated list of five liberal journalists as well as his bizarre pop culture references, voicing his desire to go to bed, and abrupt end to said presser thanks to Karine Jean-Pierre and his mic being cut.
In two soundbites of separate clips strung together by Fox News, Biden trotted out his “lyin’, dog-faced pony soldier” line, struggled to pronounce someone’s name, seemed confused about which reporters to call on (despite having a list in front of him), and boasted he was “gonna go to bed” (click “expand”):
As you know, there’s that — one of my staff member said remember the famous song, you know, Good morning in Vietnam. Well, good evening Vietnam.
And now, I will take your questions. Let me see. They told me they gave me five people here.
Uh, sorry. Okay. Um — am I pronouncing it. Olivila — am I pronouncing that correctly? There you are.
Well, there’s a lot of lyin’, dog-faced pony soldiers about — about global warming, but not anymore. All of a sudden, we all realize it’s a problem.
I’m just following my orders here. Uh — [PAUSE] staff, is there anybody I haven’t spoken to? [REPORTERS SHOUTING] I ain’t calling you. I’m calling on — I said that. Five questions.
I’ll you what. I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna go to bed.
Biden went against his handlers by taking another question. It was here that Jean-Pierre interjected to put an end to this along with having his microphone cut and replaced with music.
NBC only mentioned the presser on Sunday’s NBC Nightly News with Sunday anchor Kate Snow boasting that “[o]ne of the happiest stories now is in Vietnam tonight, striking a deal with that key ally, the goal to strengthen U.S. ties with South Asia right on China’s doorstep.”
NBC’s Beijing-based correspondent Janis Mackey Frayer made the trip and channeled the press in communist China by hailing Biden’s trip, touting what “[t]he Biden administration sees...as a significant tactical step toward counterbalancing China’s influence” with Biden telling reporters “it’s about stability, that he doesn’t want to contain China” and instead “having a relationship that’s on the up and up.”
ABC’s World News Tonight had fawning coverage on Sunday with correspondent Selina Wang boasting of “Biden today in Vietnam agreeing to a new strategic partnership, upgrading America to the highest Vietnamese diplomatic status...as a part of the administration’s broader effort to counter Chinese influence in the region.”
She only offered light criticism, pointing to Biden meeting with the communist Vietnamese, “smiling and shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman,” and the lack of stern G-20 statement about Ukraine.
ABC’s Good Morning America had former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos toasting to Biden “countering a rising China” and chief Biden apple polisher Mary Bruce hailing Biden working with Vietnam “to put their past behind them.”
On Sunday’s CBS Weekend News (which aired only on the West Coast) and Monday’s CBS Mornings, Ed O’Keefe ducked Biden’s mental lapses, but he emphasized that “a new CBS News poll finds 57 percent of Americans believe Mr. Biden is being too easy on China” and “50 percent of Americans believe the President’s making the U.S. weaker around the world.”
The Fox News Channel was all over this from when the Hanoi press conference ended.
All afternoon, correspondent Peter Doocy slammed the ordeal. On The Fox Report, Doocy blasted the five reporters for having “zero questions about anything going on back home” as “poll after poll after poll [has found] the American people overwhelmingly worry that he may be too old for a second term” and “it never came up.”
Doocy later jabbed the pre-selected reporters on Monday’s Fox & Friends for having only asked “variations of the same thing” and Biden for being “very, very concerned” about “deviating from a plan drawn up by his staff.”
“It’s unclear how that is going to ease concerns that people have back home that he might be too old for a second term,” he added.
On America’s Newsroom, he doubled down on calling out the “polite chat about China” that abruptly ended even though Biden “usually...leaves an ear open to kind of listen...but he was determined...not to deviate from the list of people that his staff had pre-selected.”
Sadly, Doocy was on an island on The Fox Report as it sounded like ABC or CNN in rallying to Biden’s defense, suggesting anyone struggling with long days overseas and jet lag would have trailed off (click “expand”):
JACQUI HEINRICH: You know, Jon, I am a White House correspondent in my day job. I’ve been on the international trips with the President and going to Asia, pulling all nighters is not easy for someone in their 30s, nevermind to someone in their 80s. But some of those awkward moments overshadowed what would’ve been a show of stamina for this President. You know, the press secretary ended the press conference while he was still talking. He took another question while the music was playing — made the obscure movie references and then ended with I don’t know you, but I’m going to bed. So, does that do anything to help the President counter these poll numbers from your own outlet showing 73 percent of people think is too old?
JOHN BUSSEY: So, you know, you are right. It’s the end of five days of grueling meetings and really kind of rough jet lag. And if you were to look at that — I — you know, look. The people who think Joe Biden’s tool for president have made up their minds about that. Then there are others who feel that, yeah, he’s old, but he’s a good president. Whether or not this session is going to change any of those minds, I somehow doubt it. Look, between those clips you showed was a half hour press conference in which he talked about everything from the relationship that the U.S. has with China to that with Vietnam, to that with the rest of southeast Asia, climate change, the agenda in India, there was a lot of substance in that meeting as well. And yeah, you know, Joe Biden, guess what can be goofy particularly when he is speaking extemporaneously. We have not always had the most eloquent of presidents. George Bush also when he was speaking off-the-cuff would have, you know, obscure references and kind of goofy moments like other presidents have had and I think that that — that’s what you saw tonight.
HEINRICH: And it’s not unusual for this President, as you’ve pointed out. You know, even when he was a senator.
Our friend Joe Concha was more suited back in reality during a hit on Monday’s Fox & Friends First (click “expand”):
Could you imagine if Donald Trump had said on the world stage in Vietnam here, for example, that I think I want to go to bed. How pathetic is this? How do Americans — even those who voted for this man accept this sort of stuff even more? It — it really is disturbing. And, by the way, for the President's staffers, obviously, this is the least transparent, most protected President we have ever seen and it's a movie we’ve seen time and time again.
The President's staffers yelling at reporters, all in an effort to ensure the voters of this country don't get answers to simple questions. And this is why — exactly what you’re seeing here — this is why nearly eight in 10 measures say Joe Biden should not run for re-election because he’s too old. And it’s not the number around age that’s disconcerting. It’s inability to answer questions outside of a teleprompter and because his advisers and his handlers treat him like a six-year-old. People see this and they say enough. Either replace him as far as the democratic nomination or he should resign because this is not what a leader does at this point[.]