One of the most bizarre things to behold is when mainstream
or cable news media figures object to the reputation of bias and partiality
that they have carved out for themselves. No one forced them to sacrifice
professional objectivity to operate as political operatives. And even though
they have baked such favoritism into their daily routines that they don’t even
notice it anymore, examples abound.
Consider yourself whether the media reaction to leading
Democrat presidential contender Joe Biden calling a heavy-set man “fat” in a
tense exchange is proportional to what it would have been had the insult come
from the lips of President Trump.
You actually don’t have to wonder, because we’ve been here
before. The circumstances are slightly different, but go back to 2015 when then
candidate Trump was storming the nation and seemingly causing a ruckus wherever
he held an event. The New York Times chronicled what happened next:
Before a crowd gathered at a Myrtle Beach convention center, the candidate hoisted one hand up, flailed his arms and mocked a New York Times reporter who has a physical disability that almost precisely mirrors Trump’s movements that evening.
Despite Trump’s ardent denials, the Times happily led the
prosecution and the rest of mainstream media joined in. Now, let the record
show that I personally think Trump did mock the disabled reporter and I found
his explanations to be weak at best. I don’t fault the media for covering the
offensive gesture, or hammering Trump for it repeatedly. I do, however, fault
the media for not doing the same with Trump’s likely 2020 opponent Joe Biden for
him recently mocking and deriding a citizen at a public forum:
A man, who later told the New York Post he is a Marine Corps veteran, irked Biden by asking about son Hunter’s role on the board of a controversial Ukrainian natural gas firm at an Iowa town hall event. Biden responded by calling the man a “damn liar,” “too old,” and referred to him condescendingly as “jack.” Biden also challenged the man to a pushup contest, IQ test and many observers feel he also called him “fat,” but the candidate denies criticizing the man’s weight.
And those denials, just like Trump’s claim he didn’t mock
the reporter, are absurd to anyone who has actually watched the video of the
exchange. In fact, the only significant differences in the two situations are:
- Trump’s target was a hostile reporter; Biden’s
target was a private citizen with a question
- The media went after Trump aggressively; to this
point they have either ignored or even praised Biden
If you find that hard to believe, consider that while NBC
largely ignored the embarrassing moment for Biden, CBS seemed to be pleased with him. Anchor Norah O’Donnell:
described how “Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden went at it with a voter who accused him of sending his son Hunter to work for a Ukrainian energy company for the family’s benefit.”
“Well, the Vice President even challenged the man to a pushup contest,” she said with a big smile on her face”
O’Donnell then pitched it over to reporter Ed O’Keefe who
compared Biden to a “prizefighter,” lauding the feisty performance.
So you tell me, if President Trump would have spun around
and attacked a private citizen at a townhall by saying, “Look, fat,” would CBS
Evening News admiringly refer to him as a “prizefighter?”