WSJ Editor Has a Message for All the Critics of Its 'Dr.' Jill Biden Op-ed

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Posted: Dec 15, 2020 7:00 AM
WSJ Editor Has a Message for All the Critics of Its 'Dr.' Jill Biden Op-ed

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot pushed back on the Biden Team’s criticism of an op-ed the paper recently published that called on Jill Biden to drop her use of “Dr." since she’s not an M.D., saying she “can’t be off-limits for commentary.” 

“The complaints began as a trickle but became a torrent after the Biden media team elevated Mr. Epstein’s work in what was clearly a political strategy,” Gigot says of the opinion piece by Joseph Epstein, “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.”

Epstein began his piece: “Madame First Lady—Mrs. Biden—Jill—kiddo: a bit of advice on what may seem like a small but I think is a not unimportant matter. Any chance you might drop the ‘Dr.’ before your name?”

Team Biden swiftly responded by calling it a “sexist attack” by the author and paper.

“Why go to such lengths to highlight a single op-ed on a relatively minor issue? My guess is that the Biden team concluded it was a chance to use the big gun of identity politics to send a message to critics as it prepares to take power,” Gigot said. “There’s nothing like playing the race or gender card to stifle criticism.”

Gigot also pointed out that criticism of Biden’s use of “Dr.” goes back to 2009, when the Los Angeles Times wrote a story on it, too. 

From the piece by Robin Abcarian: “Joe Biden, on the campaign trail, explained that his wife’s desire for the highest degree was in response to what she perceived as her second-class status on their mail. ‘She said, “I was so sick of the mail coming to Sen. and Mrs. Biden. I wanted to get mail addressed to Dr. and Sen. Biden.” That’s the real reason she got her doctorate,’ he said.” (WSJ)

Since she will be playing a role in education policy for the incoming Biden administration, she’s fair game for criticism, he argued. 

“If you disagree with Mr. Epstein, fair enough,” Gigot said in conclusion. “Write a letter or shout your objections on Twitter. But these pages aren’t going to stop publishing provocative essays merely because they offend the new administration or the political censors in the media and academe. And since it’s a time to heal, we’ll give the Biden crowd a mulligan for their attacks on us.”

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Speaking about the dust-up and pointing to the real reason Biden got the degree, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson said she was suffering from a "very bad case of status anxiety."

“That is all true, it’s all obvious, therefore you are not allowed to say it," the host said. 

Her doctorate in education “means basically nothing,” Carlson added. “She’s got the same degree as Dr. Bill Cosby.”