AMAC Exclusive – by Pat Conroy
Things just keep getting worse for Joe Biden. According to new polling released by Gallup, Biden’s job approval rating has fallen a whopping six points to 43%, the lowest of his fledgling presidency. “For the first time, a majority, 53%, now disapproves of Biden’s performance,” Gallup reports. But even worse for Biden is that, as the public has turned on him, so too has the usual last line of defense for Democrats – the media. In recent weeks, normally loyal media voices have suddenly gone rogue, daring to criticize and hold the Biden administration accountable for their failures.
One of the most shocking examples came from former Democrat campaign staffer and current host of MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd. During a media appearance last week, Todd skewered Biden’s “credibility crisis” when previewing his speech to the United Nations General Assembly. “He’s got a lot of work to do. The UN speech, look, he’s got some credibility issues on the world stage. [He has] to make sure that people still view America as a, not just a stable democracy, but a competent leader of the free world right now,” Todd said.
Those comments from a usually loyal media ally took direct aim at one of Biden’s central campaign platitudes that America would be “back” and beloved again by the international community if he was elected. However, following the abysmal Afghanistan withdrawal that left 13 American service members dead, failed drone strikes that killed innocent children instead of terrorists, and France recalling its ambassador to the U.S. for the first time in history, even the left-wing media can’t deny that America is in a far weaker global position than when President Trump left office.
The reviews of Biden’s U.N. speech from his favorite liberal outlets were equally harsh. The New York Times pointed out how Biden likes to bizarrely pretend the calamity unfolding recently is disconnected from his direct actions. “He [Biden] made only scant mention of the global discord his own actions have stirred, including the chaotic American retreat from Afghanistan as the Taliban retook control 20 years after they were routed,” the New York Times recounted.
The hyper-liberal magazine Slate also took Biden to task over his hollow speech which was filled with cognitive dissonance: “Still, Biden couldn’t drown out the hubbub over America’s actions—Biden’s actions—of the past several weeks. It wasn’t the actions themselves that caused rancor… rather, it was that Biden announced the moves without first consulting the allies, whose central importance he was now lauding before most of the world’s heads of state.” It appears no amount of apocalyptic climate change rhetoric or other progressive gobbledygook that filled the rest of Biden’s speech could distract from his clear record of failure, something even the corporate media could not cover up.
One topic unsurprisingly left out of Biden’s UN speech was the raging crisis at the southern border, which the media has also zeroed in on recently. MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle questioned Vice President Kamala Harris Monday for her absence during the ongoing crisis on the southern border despite being appointed the administration’s ‘border czar.’ “How about the message from our Vice President?” Ruhle asked. “Where is she? She was supposed to be in charge of all of these migration issues.” That question has been posed for months by Republican lawmakers and it has remained unanswered.
It is both striking and significant that members of what Trump dubbed ‘MSDNC’ (MSNBC) are turning on the Biden-Harris administration. In a complete 180 to the hysterical outrage over the Trump administration’s strong approach to border security, MSNBC commentators like Chuck Todd are now admitting the current administration’s immigration policies are a “magnet” for illegal migration.
Even Democrat politicians are admitting his policies are an abject failure. Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii and 2020 presidential candidate, did not mince words in her criticism of the ongoing Biden border crisis: “The Biden/Harris open-door policy has been a disaster. It needs to end now,” Gabbard tweeted. “The main beneficiaries of open borders are the gangs, cartels, and human traffickers. The Trump policy of having people wait on the other side of the border worked and needs to be reinstated.”
But before lauding the media for finally displaying a semblance of integrity, keep in mind one major factor – the calendar. We are only through eight months of the Joe Biden’s presidency, which means there’s still more than 13 months before the midterms. The media’s deranged coverage of President Trump the last four years, consistently unfair treatment of past Republican presidents and lawmakers, and shameless willingness to cover for any Democrat mistakes and shortcomings should not be forgotten merely because of a few weeks of semi-honest coverage of President Biden. It seems highly unlikely that the mainstream media plans to permanently abandon Biden now.
For all their deficiencies, the media understands how to effectively manipulate enough people to have a significant impact on political outcomes. One possible explanation for the media’s coverage of Biden could be that they are planting the seeds of a comeback story that may reflect well on Democrats heading into the midterms. After knocking Biden down for a few months, the media may then artificially prop him up in the months leading up to the midterm elections, creating a false “comeback” narrative that energizes the Democratic base in 2022.
It’s also possible that the mainstream media, whose first interest is always self-preservation, simply recognizes that Biden’s failures were too big and too obvious to cover up any longer without completely exposing their own dishonesty and thus losing the confidence of the few viewers they have left. If this is the case, it’s likely that they plan to weather the storm and resume favorable coverage of Biden once it seems politically expedient to do so.
Regardless, Biden still remains in treacherous political waters, and if Democrats hope to have any chance of retaining their majority in 2022 – and not making Biden an effective lame duck president two years into his four year term – they are going to need their allies in the media to fall back in line and faithfully push their agenda once again.
Pat Conroy is Washington, D.C.-based political strategist.