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Tipsheet

'Goodest Bunker': NYT Columnist Torches the Biden White House After They Emailed Her About This

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Maureen Dowd is no fan of Donald Trump or Republicans. She’s also not going to let the Biden White House slide as it becomes engulfed in controversy over whether top aides executed an elaborate cover-up of the president’s mental health. Dowd is brutal in naming instances where the press pool has noticed a dip in Biden’s mental faculties. One reporter, Peter Baker, now admits to using translation technology, even if he’s 20 feet away because no one can understand Joe. 

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She also indirectly criticized the industry for not going hard enough on health matters, leading to a Biden health coverage overdrive. Dowd also likes how publications are now averse to adding editor’s notes that include corrections from White House staff on what the president meant to say. That’s not their job. The email exchange drove the New York Times writer into a frenzy because it's insane. Biden used the word “goodest” during his interview with ABC News. Dowd was contacted by TJ Ducklo about tweaking her piece based on the new transcript from the news outlet. Dowd wasn’t going to automatically do this, which led to a testy back-and-forth that ultimately ended in confusion for Dowd (via NYT): 

In my Saturday column, I quoted Biden’s line to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, about how he would feel if Trump were sworn in as president because he refused to step aside: “I’ll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job as I know I can do, that’s what this is about.” 

Now, “goodest” isn’t a word. But my researcher, Andrew Trunsky, and I listened to the video, our ears up against the computer, 10 times, and that’s what it sounded like. We also checked the ABC News transcript and that’s the word they used. Times news reporters and reporters for other news outlets took their cue from the ABC transcript. 

The confusion was so universal that on Axios Saturday, there were two different versions: Mike Allen’s newsletter used “goodest” and another story used “I did as good a job as I know I can do.” 

After my column posted Saturday morning, T.J. Ducklo, a Biden campaign spokesman, emailed me to “flag” that ABC News had updated its transcript to read: “I’ll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the good as job as I know I can do, that’s what this is about.” 

Ducklo asked if I could “tweak” the column and change the word “goodest” to make my piece “consistent with the corrected transcript,” even though the revised version was also gobbledygook. 

When I said we would tell our editor what he thought, Ducklo wrote back: “Yeah again, it’s not what I think. It’s what ABC News, who conducted the interview, thinks. I think it would be quite unusual if the Times asserted the president said something that the news organization who conducted the interview says he didn’t say …” 

Andrew and I both emailed Ducklo, asking whether ABC had changed the transcript on its own or if the Biden team had asked them to change it. 

ABC News, like any news organization, makes their own independent editorial decisions,” Ducklo replied to us. “Surely you are not suggesting otherwise.” He emailed again to add: “Had another convo on this. ABC News received the tape and confirmed the error to us. Then made the correction.” 

I was more confused than ever. What tape? From whom?? Why the runaround??? Given the White House’s egregious coverup about Biden’s sag from aging, the spokesman’s coyness seemed de trop. 

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Dowd also points out, albeit without saying outright, that this isn’t normal. There’s something wrong, and it goes beyond messaging. The more they deny that there’s a health issue, the more people think they’re hiding something. That ABC News interview was also riddled with poll denialism, where Biden said that his people told him it was a toss-up. That was annoying enough. The Biden team is now trying to get the press to alter their stories to fit political needs. 

No gold stars yet. The media knew for years things were off and didn’t do much about it. The only spin left is for Biden’s people to play the victim card, claim the press is being too nit-picky, and play this “Mab Libs” game regarding what the president said since he’s serving healthy helpings of word salad. That’s also the problem, guys.

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