Two major political events took place on the evening of October 6. Former Vice President Joe Biden took part in an NBC town hall session, and President Trump returned to the White House from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Both were widely covered by the media, yet one had an aura of disgrace, and the other displayed sycophantic desperation that bordered on the absurd.
No prizes for guessing which was congratulatory and which was rife with barely contained scolding.
Biden Town Hall
Billed by NBC as undecided voters putting the candidate to the test, the town hall appeared more a well-scripted platform for Biden to score political points. Opening with several direct questions on President Trump’s return to the White House, host Lester Holt asked, “Have the doctors been transparent, do you trust them?” This seemed an undisguised dig both at doctors who have given Trump the all-clear and at the president for daring to follow their recommendations.
While lambasting the president for his reaction to Charlottesville, Biden trotted out the thoroughly debunked suggestion that Trump said there were “fine people on both sides” while referring to white supremacists. “No president has ever said that,” blustered Mr. Biden with faux outrage. And on this occasion, he was right; no president ever has, not even Mr. Trump.
The only moment in the evening when the host had to offer a course correction to the presidential hopeful was when a questioner asked what three things a President Biden would do to unite the country. After a long walk down memory lane, Holt averred that the candidate was not getting to the heart of the question. Biden responded that, in his opinion, unity comes knowing that it is “always appropriate to question another man’s judgment but not their motive.” It seems in Biden-world, this adage does not apply to the president himself.
As short breaks were announced, the supposedly “undecided voters” burst into “spontaneous applause,” putting the final nail in the charade’s coffin.
Trump’s White House Return
Receiving far more headlines than the cozy town hall was President Trump’s return from Walter Reed to the White House. Accompanied by a fanfare of dizzying headlines, the president’s homecoming was condemned as not only “bizarre” but “dangerous” by media outlets attempting to paint this act as brazen disregard for safety and decency.
“A Medicated Trump Made a Reckless Pronouncement,” read one headline from the self-described most trusted name in news. Medicated? In the opening paragraph, CNN described the president as being “strongly medicated,” clearly implying that he could not be in his right mind after such heavy doses of drugs.
And lest the reader thinks that perhaps the article is merely stating uncomfortable truths, it goes on to suggest – with some clear hyperbole – that:
“… still bare-faced, Trump, in scenes that would not have been out of place in totalitarian North Korea, walked into the presidential residence, contaminating the air inside.”
Apparently, when you are Donald Trump, the act of walking into a building is congruent with being the leader of a controlling communist regime.
The real anger, however, was reserved for the president’s statement. He said:
“I could have left [Walter Reed] two days ago. Two days ago, I felt great like better than I have in a long time I said just recently, better than 20 years ago. Don’t let it [COVID-19] dominate. Don’t let it take over your life.”
The call to not let the virus dominate lives has been spun out of all recognizability by a media determined to stoke fear and loathing. Calling the phrase a “reckless pronouncement,” “an embarrassment,” and “dangerous,” is neither an accurate assessment of what he said nor a genuine effort to inform readers.
The evidence suggests that the media is carrying water for its chosen candidate. When one side can do no wrong, and the other can do no right in the ever-watchful eyes of a Fourth Estate that no longer suits its purpose, the journalistic world reaches a crisis point. Where can the public learn truthful information stripped of the partisan spin? In whom can a news-hungry nation place its trust to deliver the facts unvarnished?
What we are witnessing is not merely the death of the old guard industry, but a fundamental shift away from credibility. The purveyors of partisan opinion dressed as news have spent their believability capital in a desperate lurch to shape the country in a way that is most undemocratic. Spin, bias, and even deceit are the tools of the tyrant, not the trusted.
Read more from Mark Angelides.