The media complex in this country has been on a remarkable streak of obsequiousness. Ah screw that—they have been sucking up to the Biden administration since last November. We have seen the fawning and swooning from journalists for months, including the rapturous praise over the disaster of a press conference Biden turned in last week.
One of the signs of the tongue bath Biden has received is in the wealth of insipid stories the press has resorted to in covering the administration. This includes the coverage of the first dogs, Major and Champ, and the drama surrounding some aggression. These are the kind of human stories the media refused to engage in during the Trump years; in fact, they usually turned those into points of contention. When Ivanka Trump told a family anecdote, one about her son making a Lego White House for her grandfather, the press teamed up to turn it into an accused lie, all while they were incorrect the whole time.
In recent days there was another report of First Dog Major (or is he Second Dog?) biting someone, a big story that was soon overshadowed by the extensive pool report from yesterday of a pile of canine fecal matter spotted in the West Wing. That the press busies itself with these types of stories is bad enough, but when one of the self-proclaimed media arbiters comes forward to praise this coverage you have to ask just what in the hell is going on anymore.
Brian Stelter took the time to address the wealth of quadruped coverage, and he was comprehensive. His latest Reliable Sources newsletter was not only looking into this detail in the White House press corps, it was mostly dedicated to this specifically. With nothing else of concern taking place - like border chaos, lies about the Georgia election law, a looming stimulus bill costing untold yet trillions—Stelter warbled on for 900 words on the media coverage of the White House pets. Yes - seriously.
“I think,” says Brian, unconvincingly, by way of introduction, “we can learn some things by looking at the reactions to coverage of the Presidential pooches.” Quixotically he goes into some detail on the dog stories, and then he mentions a slew of outlets which had some mirthful reports. Then Stelter lapses into his condescension, stating how the stories generate traffic; “Everyone wins, except for the readers who aren’t in on the jokes.” Sure Brian, those dog-pile reports are lost on a huge segment of news consumers.
Next Brian says there’s been serious coverage of the two hounds, “and rightly so.” Sure, Brian. Then he bemoans that people see this insipid coverage and develops contempt for the press in general. “Not good!” declares CNN’s Hall Monitor. He then goes forward to deliver more of the very coverage he cites people groaning about, unabated.
He turns to his CNN coworker Kate Bennet, whom he declares “broke” the stories of the two dog-biting incidents. I am trying to imagine being part of the journalists and news outlets competing over who it was that got the exclusive on these incidents. Trying, but I am not succeeding. She summarizes this whole edition by saying, “The stories that rile up the Twitterverse and peanut gallery the most are the ones that are human.” Uh...except...we were talking about those stories centered on dogs.
This is the state of the media today. They steer things away from the import, and the likes of Brian Stelter try telling us how important this kind of piffle actually is in the scope of the news of today. “More than anything, the doggie drama heralds a return to a more mundane post-Trump news cycle. The Biden White House is largely scandal-free (by design) so a problematic pet counts as newsworthy.”
This is pure gaslighting, with the lowest possible octane for fuel. Attempting to tell us that the dog stories reach a higher level in the news cycle because Biden is without scandal is laughably inept, when these stories are relied upon to distract away from the scandals. The border is in meltdown (yet never in a crisis), Biden wants to drop a budget costing untold trillions of dollars (when a similar budget from Trump was scorned for a $200 billion price tag), and his blatant mental decline is a source of Vegas oddsmaking—but there are no scandal-level stories to be found.
Brian taking a position off on the side and waving his arms, pointing at dogs, is not proof that Biden is scandal-free. It is proof the media is working for his benefit. It generates the type of stories which are worthy of being collected in a plastic bag and deposited in a bin found at the local dog park.