Biden's Race Gaffes Expose Media's Turn from Junkyard Dog to Purse Dog

August 9th, 2020 9:17 PM

Becket Adams at the Washington Examiner nailed the current pattern of Biden coverage. His headline: 

Media offer a glimpse of what journalism will look like under President Biden: Subservient

Or in other words, they would turn from mangy junkyard dog to placid purse dog.

First, Biden uncorked his anger at being asked about a mental acuity test by suggesting to black CBS reporter Errol Barnett that he should take a drug test to see if he's a "junkie."

Then he told NPR anchor Lulu Garcia-Navarro that unlike the blacks, American Latinos have quite a diversity of thought. Adams said "you would never know from following the news that the former vice president even said something potentially offensive about the black community."

While everything Donald Trump says on racial matters can be wildly played up, Biden is assumed to be a racial liberal in good standing who won this nomination due to black voters who still love Obama. So he was strongly played down:

“Biden draws distinction on Black, Latino political diversity,” reads the headline to the Associated Press’s first and only report on the interview.

Only for a Democrat would a news outlet so willingly bury the lead this deep.

“Biden faces backlash for comparing diversity in African American, Latino communities,” ABC News reported Thursday, choosing inexplicably not to quote anything Biden had said. NBC News similarly downplayed the former vice president’s remarks Thursday with a bland headline that reads, “Biden faces backlash over racial diversity remark.”

On social media Thursday afternoon, Politico marketed its own coverage of Biden’s comments thusly: “Joe Biden contrasted the Black and Latino communities in remarks on Wednesday, stating that the latter is ‘incredibly diverse.’”

What he said was that blacks are not diverse, but Latinos are.

Adams turned to Steve Krakauer, who was also expressed shock at the the pro-Biden defensive crouch on Thursday:

The Biden camp felt an obligation to correct this offensive remark. But lucky for him, the media had been covering for Biden, not covering him -- there was barely a mention of this comment. CNN covered it one time today on air, and not a single time on their website or Twitter. MSNBC didn't mention it once. The New York Times only picked up the AP story - and it didn't touch their Twitter account (or the Washington Post's). In fact, the Washington Post's fact-checker actually tweeted, "If you listen to the clip, he didn’t actually say this."

Instead, the coverage of it from reporters like the New York Times' Jonathan Martin was more big picture - not covering what was said (or even mentioning it) but discussing the cultural moment we're in, examining what the "gaffes reflect." 

Liberal journalists are upset after all this time that blowing a gasket over Trump tweets or remarks never seems to damage Trump’s standing among his supporters. But their timid coverage (and often non-coverage) of Biden betrays their fear that they could damage Biden in any way by actually just reporting what he has said.