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With Nothing Else to Hype, The New York Times Gushes Over Biden's Sunglasses

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Things in the United States are not great under the Biden administration, not that any of that is news at this point. There's inflation at 40-year highs, the country officially entered a recession with a second quarter of negative GDP growth, supply chains are still a mess, and common goods are in short supply. Then there's Biden's wide-open U.S.-Mexico border and the resulting public health, crime, and drug crises that have exploded out of control. Don't forget Biden's colossal foreign policy disasters such as his deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan one year ago, his contradiction of U.S. policy toward Russia and China, and his other moves that saw U.K. parliament censure the president and France recall its ambassador to the U.S.


Needless to say, Biden is a gaffe and failure machine. But, The New York Times still needs to do its duty to champion the party in power and its president in the White House. So what's a paper to do when everything is bad and Biden's making things worse? Gloss over the obvious failures and pain caused to Americans in order to celebrate his...sunglasses. Yes, really.

"The Return of Aviator Joe," is how the formerly impressive newspaper that claims to report "all the news that's fit to print" wrote about Joe Biden on Tuesday. "It’s the attitude as much as anything (even taking into account the glare of summer)," gushed The Times' apparent chief fashion critic. "He’s not just wearing sunglasses now. He’s wearing shades." Swoon?

For The Times, the answer was apparently yes:

Forget the glowing eyes of Dark Brandon. As President Joseph R. Biden Jr. arrives back in Washington, D.C., to enter the White House to sign the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, it is his Ray-Ban 3025s — the dark, wire-rimmed, teardrop-shaped sunglasses he has made his signature — that once again seem the emblem of the man.

Though the aviators and the big grin, public-service-is-cool persona they represent never exactly went away, they receded into the background, relegated mostly to bike rides and similar low-eyeball appearances as the president wrestled with Covid (policy, variants, his own case), the war in Ukraine, inflation and other grim issues. At the G7 outdoors family photo in June, he went tieless (like everyone else) and aviator-less. At the White House Easter Egg Roll, the first since the pandemic, the glasses were similarly gone.

But ever since Mr. Biden emerged from his Covid isolation into the sunshine earlier this month, the aviators have been front and center on his face: as he proclaimed his negative status in a Rose Garden speech, on his trip with the first lady to eastern Kentucky to survey the flood damage, during his vacation in South Carolina. Symbolic, once again, of a president who, as John Harwood wrote for CNN, “suddenly looks different.”


But it gets even worse. The Times' report then seeks to tie Joe Biden, the nearly octogenarian sputterer-in-chief, to Tom Cruise's character in Top Gun — because nothing makes one think of Joe Biden like Maverick's aviator-clad visage on advertisements for the 2022 sequel:

After two months of seeing Mr. Cruise’s giant grin under his Ray-Bans in ads and posters, and being inundated with headlines and tweets proclaiming his superpowers, there’s an almost Pavlovian reaction to seeing the same glasses on Mr. Biden. Such images push our subliminal buttons and play on associations, whether we are aware of it or not. It’s basic human psychology.

The New York Times' glowing "news" about Joe Biden invokes what CNN reported on Sunday, breathlessly declaring that "suddenly, images of Biden as a feeble septuagenarian atop a mismanaged White House have given way to those of an experienced leader, smiling behind aviator sunglasses." Spare us.

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