It took two days.
The media's giddiness for the incoming Biden administration was palpable. Before the inaugural ceremony many journalists were pouring out praise and excitement that a new administration was eminent, one that adored the media, respected free speech, and -- best of all -- was going to hold daily press briefings again!
USA Today raved how the press would not be seen as an enemy any longer. Business Insider promised incoming press secretary Jen Psaki would be bringing the truth back to the White House. And, of course, CNN’s Hall Monitor Brian Stelter waxed at length on how he hoped the war on truth was over. The journalists in D.C. were all alight with joy, wonderment, and beatific exaltations that the truth was returning, transparency would reign supreme, and the American public would be treated to an open discourse from our leaders and the media.
And in just two days that has all been blasted out of the water.
In her first briefing Psaki was pelted with marshmallow-stuffed sandbags, such as how she would handle her job in the wake of the assault on the truth, and the plans to redecorate Air Force One. One of the more solid questions she received involved whether FBI Director Christopher Wray would retain his post. Her response was that she had not discussed this with the president, but the non-answer sent shockwaves out in D.C. with speculation. Psaki issued a correction, declaring Wray would remain in place. Notably not in place - the media declaring how the administration appeared to be in disarray and not communicating with each other, in Trumpian fashion.
Yesterday in her second presser, Psaki displayed what has become her trademark; addressing questions directly, while never managing to actually provide an answer. When she was hit with the challenge of the Biden family visibly defying Joe’s immediate executive order on masks being mandated on federal grounds, she excused it away. Her rationale was this was permissible as it was all part of a celebration.
And the press accepted it. Note the difference from when Trump was seen without a mask. Curious, the Bidens were not scolded for politicizing masks, they were not charged with ignoring the science, and they certainly were not accused of wanting to kill people. Consistency from the press was already in tatters, but now the truth was threatened as well.
Yesterday, CNN Obliterated it. The Apple Network showed its disdain for the facts when it rushed off a Biden puff piece, backed by nameless sources, stating the Trump administration did nothing regarding the distribution of Covid vaccines. This ridiculously incorrect burnishing of Biden was reduced to confetti in almost no time at all, and in a matter of hours Dr. Anthony Fauci lit those shreds on fire, declaring the distribution had been going strong for some time. The same network hailing a return to truth became exposed when it no longer had Trump lies to distract away from its own fraudulent narrative.
Then there was Joe’s dust-up Thursday afternoon, with a telling reaction from the White House itself. During one of his many signing ceremonies President Biden took a question from Zeke Miller of the Associated Press regarding the challenge of his pledged 100 day rollout of vaccine distribution. It was a rather benign question, but Biden snapped at Miller, “When I announced it you all said it's not possible. Come on, give me a break, man.” The president is then shown leaving the room testily, with Kamala Harris looking uncomfortable as she trailed behind, confused.
Then it gets better. On the official White House YouTube account they have a video of the signing, but it then ends abruptly, prior to this exchange, a clear effort to erase Joe’s perturbed response. So where is the lecturing and condemnation over all of this from the press corps, invigorated as they all are right now with the newly returned dedication to facts and truth? Well...they are silent.
It's pretty obvious the standards have been completely flipped with the arrival of a new leader who sports a (D) beside his surname. Here was Biden refusing to answer a direct question, something the press routinely would hold Trump accountable for doing. He lashed out at a reporter, challenging the man directly in the course of his appointed duties; where are the lectures about threatening their profession, one assured by the Constitution, and this being an attack on free speech while also being a threat to our democracy? And will any journalist explain how the Biden administration is adhering to truth and transparency by trying to memory-hole these negative optics?
There is little in the way of surprise that the media was going to make a shift in its positioning of stories, take a different approach to this administration, and alter how it presented stories involving Joe Biden. What is a bit arresting is how ham-fisted they would be in this execution, and how little time would be needed for the media to invalidate all of their lofty claims of a new dawn in journalism.
It took only two days for them to expose their own ruse. The coming years may actually have some amusement to be found after all.