At White House press conferences, we’ve grown fairly accustomed to Fox News reporter Peter Doocy making an ass of himself by bringing up a right wing conspiracy theory in the form of a question only to end up badly owned by Press Secretary Jen Psaki. These exchanges are part of why she’s become a social media phenomenon. Now, however, other prominent news outlets have gotten in on the act – but couldn’t meet Psaki with much more fortitude than Doocy has. The New York Times, a regular target of Donald Trump for much of his administration, has, like many outlets, seen a drop in its subscription and ratings. This and frequent accusations of having a liberal bias have led them to hire a number of conservative leaning columnists while also trying to scandalize fairly trivial aspects of the Biden presidency.
This happens, of course, despite nothing in the administration even coming close to the scale of what corruption we saw in the Trump years. The last straw was when a reporter left no holds barred and immediately sought to draw a comparison between President Biden and the former guy by asking what policies are similar. Psaki wasn’t willing to entertain it, so she carefully took down the reporter by bringing up three prominent issues: Afghanistan – where Donald Trump pardoned 5,000 Taliban fighters for no reason, how withdrawing from that war pertains to trade, and the pandemic. She wanted the reporter to have a logical comparison ready, but of course, he had none.
After she soundly lectured him, she finished: “I think people would be hard-pressed to argue the president has taken any aspect of the former president’s playbook and use it as a model of his own.” The message is clear: it’s time to stop bothsides-ing the issues where there’s no comparison, regardless of what kinds of ratings it gets. The former guy left office thankfully after only four years, but he’s left decades worth of damage that we’ll be fixing for some time, and we can do without the embellishment.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making