Is The Biden White House Instructing The Media's Anti-RFK Jr. Coverage?

September 16th, 2023 4:00 PM

The Biden White House - in the person of Biden aide Ian Sams - made news recently when it became known that Sams had sent out a letter to media organizations telling them they needed to malign the GOP House impeachment inquiry. 

The New York Post headlined it this way: 

White House sends letter urging news outlets to ‘ramp up scrutiny’ of Biden impeachment inquiry

The Post reports: 

“President Biden’s White House has told America’s news organizations — including CNN, the New York Times and Fox News —  to ‘ramp up their scrutiny’ of House Republicans ‘for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies.

Got that? The Biden White House is now telling America’s major media outlets just how they should cover and report on the GOP’s impeachment inquiry.

As my NewsBusters colleague Tim Graham has noted: 

The Sams memo implies that our “objective” media are far too objective. That’s ridiculous. But it’s clear that Democrats – inside and outside the White House – expect journalists to practice 100 percent compliance with Democrat spin. Professionalism equals propaganda.


But there’s a curious other question in all of this. 

The impeachment inquiry isn’t the only problem the Biden White House is facing. 

There is the bothersome reality that fellow Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is well out there challenging Biden for renomination. Here’s a recent headline from Forbes

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Tops Biden And Trump In New Favorability Poll

The story reports: 

TOPLINE 2024 Democratic presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr.—an environmental lawyer with anti-vaccine views and a strong family dynasty at his back—has higher favorability numbers than either President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump, according to a new poll by The Economist and YouGov, even as Biden maintains a lead in the 2024 primary.

…Kennedy Jr. was viewed favorably by 49% of respondents and unfavorably by just 30%, leaving him with a net rating of 19 points—higher than any other candidate in the poll, which surveyed 1,500 adult respondents from June 10 to 13.

Biden had a negative 9-point net favorability rating, with 52% of respondents viewing him somewhat or very unfavorably while 45% have very or somewhat favorable impressions, and Trump had a negative 10-point net rating, with 53% viewing him unfavorably and 43% favorably.


The issue here is not “is RFK Jr. beating Biden.” No, the issue here is, as long as it is issuing commands to media on how to cover the anti-Biden GOP impeachment inquiry - is the Biden White House quietly issuing a command to the same Biden-protecting media? Sending the message that they need to rev up negative coverage of Biden rival and critic RFK Jr.?

In fact, Kennedy recently said this to Fox’s Martha McCallum: 

It is surreal. My polling numbers are better than Ron DeSantis and/or any other candidate except for Biden and Trump. But I’m you know, even when they talk about me on the DNC channels, on CNN and MSNBC, they always refer to me, my first name as a longshot candidate, whereas everybody else has a candidacy that is taken seriously.

Then there was this in The Washington Post

Democratic leaders push back on ‘erroneous’ Robert Kennedy Jr. attacks

Kennedy has recently made unsupported claims of Democratic vote-rigging in the primary a central message of his campaign

The Post story said this: 

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has made denunciations of his own party a centerpiece of his campaign, attacking leaders with a blend of unfounded election-rigging allegations and real complaints about the disadvantages he faces in the nominating process.

The New York Times has also stepped up as an RFK critic, headlining: 

Where Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Delivers His Fringe Views: Not on the Trail

The Democratic presidential challenger continues to espouse extreme ideas, but has dialed that messaging back in large public forums.

Then there was this telling headline from the leftist Vanity Fair

The Media Is Reckoning With How to Cover RFK Jr.’s Presidential Run 

Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gets his first national town hall with NewsNation, as the media grapples with another conspiratorial candidate. “There’s a difference between giving him a town hall and just covering his candidacy,” one network executive says.

In other words? Already the liberal media is instinctively expanding its Biden-protecting coverage from the typical anti-GOP coverage and extending it to include Biden’s only opponent (so far) with any standing. Democrat Marianne Williamson, unlike RFK in single digits, doesn’t yet appear to count here.

The obvious question is: if the Biden White House is issuing marching orders to the media in terms of its coverage of the GOP impeachment inquiry - are they similarly issuing marching orders to the same media on how to cover RFK Jr? Or even simply whispering those RFK marching orders quietly, without the formal letter?

It wouldn’t surprise. But it is curious indeed that RFK Jr.’s coverage in places like the lefty Washington Post and New York Times treats RFK as some sort of right-wing prank and Covid crank and that coverage from what Kennedy calls “the DNC channels, on CNN and MSNBC” isn’t much better.