A left-wing journalist has said the quiet part out loud: The liberal media got what they asked for, and things are actually worse for them.
Last week, Brian Karem, a columnist for the website Salon who was once the White House correspondent for Playboy – yes, there is such a thing – penned a piece suggesting that President Joe Biden is “failing” because his handlers keep him away from the media.
For years, under former President Donald Trump, the media endured taunts of being called “fake news” and “the enemy of the people,” and being subjected to Trump’s mean tweets.
Trump’s insults and routine impolite sparring with reporters, combined with the innate left-wing ideology of the White House press corps, prompted a media mindset that the gloves were off – and that they, and only they, could save the country from the former game-show host, partly by dispensing with the rules of traditional journalism and giving oxygen to every half-baked rumor that came along.
In his column, Karem, who once almost came to blows with former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka, wrote that the press corps was “thrilled to have fewer death threats, happy to have a return to daily briefings that don’t include unending rancor and drama, and set at ease by a new president who doesn’t routinely refer to reporters as ‘fake news’ or the ‘enemy of the people,’ was at first very happy with Joe Biden.”
“He had a very low bar to crawl over to ease tensions with the free press — and his administration did just that,” Karem added. “Now, after nine months, it has become painfully clear the Biden administration will do little more than just that — crawl over a very low bar.”
Karem noted that old-timers on the White House beath describe the Biden administration as “very strange” and “controlling.” “This administration,” he added, “clearly does not want us to observe or interact with the president in a regular and robust fashion.”
Karem criticized Biden’s handler for keeping him at distance, which deprives him of the opportunity to be seen as a person.
“If the White House doesn’t humanize the president he’s seen as cold, aloof, and uncaring,” Karem wrote.
“Biden embraces the press, but is far more limited in his interactions with us — making him every bit as frustrating professionally as Donald Trump, although so far he’s been far less personally annoying,” Karem added.
“But the honeymoon is indeed over. Press pundits and analysts are all talking about how badly Biden is doing. This is in large part because he doesn’t connect with people — because the White House staff doesn’t let him. His communications team strictly limits his appearances, and therefore the administration comes off as arrogant, elitist and controlling.”
Karem also shared an anecdote of when one of Biden’s wranglers said the staff didn’t want him near Biden. Karem responded that Biden always answers his questions when he does get close.
“And [I] was told that’s exactly why they don’t want me there. The staff is afraid of what some of us will ask him, and what his responses will be.”
According to Karem, they not only do this by limiting Biden’s appearances, but also by lying about the need for COVID restrictions in some cases.
“One byproduct of this that’s invisible from the outside is that by making the press pool and a few others feel special by their proximity and access, the Biden administration has been far more successful in stifling free speech than Trump ever was with his bullying,” Karem continued.
“Bullying is easy to fight back against. A smile, a warm embrace and a stiletto in the back is a little more difficult to counter.”
In concluding, Karem still got in a shot at the man he reviles. He accused Trump of leading a “slow-moving coup” that has boosted the “threat of fascism” in America – even though the current guy busts all constitutional norms whenever he can – and argued that by restricting Biden’s access to the media, and frustrating their efforts to report on him, Biden’s staff is actually facilitating this imaginary “coup.”
But perhaps Biden’s staff is keen to reality: That if they allowed him to go unfettered before the media, the American people would see him for what he is – an old man who routinely yells without provocation, who forgets what he’s saying and those around him, and who, when is teleprompter is not there to help, seems overwhelmed by the job he was elected to do.
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