Several in the mainstream media got a taste of what reporting will look like in a potential Biden administration after dunking on a verbal challenge for the former vice president.
Reporters from The Washington Post, the Associated Press, ABC News, and more, quickly faced backlash this week after they dared to mock Democrat Joe Biden when he butchered the name of his Health and Human Services Secretary nominee, Xavier Becerra.
Becerra, California’s attorney general, and a former Democratic congressman was named as Biden’s pick during a press conference on Tuesday as other members of a potential incoming health team were named. But Biden not only tripped over Becerra’s last name, but he also seemed to create a new government agency for him to lead as well.
“For Secretary of Health and Education Services, I nominate Xavier Bacheria,” Biden said, reading from a teleprompter.
Joe Biden defeated AGAIN by the Teleprompter.
“For Secretary of Health and Education Services, I nominate Xavier Bacheria.”
Joe Biden is a mess.
It’s Health and Human Services.
And it’s Xavier Becerra.
Biden doesn’t know the the cabinet office or name of the official. pic.twitter.com/5joLVKgdcc
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 8, 2020
The blunder ignited an immediate reaction on social media where many mocked the gaffe-prone Democrat. Many journalists joined the pile-on.
“Biden botches the pronunciation of ‘Becerra’ as he introduces his pick to lead HHS,” Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim tweeted.
Biden botches the pronunciation of “Becerra” as he introduces his pick to lead HHS
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) December 8, 2020
“Biden rather incorrectly pronounces ‘Becerra’ as he introduces his new HHS pick,” Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire wrote on Twitter.
Biden rather incorrectly pronounces “Becerra” as he introduces his new HHS pick
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) December 8, 2020
“Biden mispronounces the last name of his HHS nominee, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra,” ABC News political reporter Johnny Verhovek wrote, adding: “He then quickly corrected himself.”
Biden mispronounces the last name of his HHS nominee, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra
He then quickly corrected himself
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) December 8, 2020
The Daily Beast‘s Sam Stein also weighed in, tweeting: “Oooof. Biden says Xavier BACK-A-Ria. Before correcting himself.”
Oooof. Biden says Xavier BACK-A-Ria. Before correcting himself.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) December 8, 2020
While there were plenty of other similar comments, these four were especially ratioed on Twitter where they quickly learned what Biden critics will be facing in his administration.
The likes and retweets for their posts paled in comparison to the thousands of comments the tweets generated, with Biden supporters, and many media colleagues, slamming their criticism. Of course, it was also another great opportunity for the left to attack President Trump as well.
“Trump continues to assault or Democracy, God knows how many people Rudy gave #COVID19 too but heaven forbid Biden miss pronounces a word,” anti-Trump activist Dave Weissman tweeted to Kim, referring to the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his recent coronavirus diagnosis.
Seriously, every reporter who thought it was worth excitedly tweeting that Biden mispronounced a name needs to go for a long walk and think about whether they’re in the right job. It’s this focus on trivial bullshit that got us where we are.
— Michael Marshall Smith (@ememess) December 8, 2020
“This is pathetic, Jon,” photographer John de Guzmán told Lemire.
Christine Pelosi, daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also joined in.
He. Has. A. Stutter. Stutters cause mis-pronunciation. Biden corrected himself. You and the @washingtonpost editors really need to reflect on your ableism and #dobetter. Many people can help you better cover the President and his disability – look up #CripTheVote for starters!
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) December 8, 2020
My dad stutters. You should be ashamed of yourself. Delete this tweet.
— Andrew van der Stock (@vanderaj) December 9, 2020
Can’t resist joining the ratio, Sam.
Come on – you’re better than this.
— Mollie Katzen (@MollieKatzen) December 8, 2020
…As introducing the first Latino to head up HHS – he said his name wrong. Bring back the other guy, cages are better than whatever this is.
*blink* because I know y’all need drama, sh*t happens. Yes, I’d usually tweet LOL he said it wrong. But not necessary – it’s ok to win. https://t.co/3uhRnklb0Y
— Astrid Silva (@Astrid_NV) December 9, 2020
How are so many journalists actually reporting on this? On what planet does this rise to the quality of “news”? https://t.co/JavTarceDb
— Dennis DiClaudio (@dennisdiclaudio) December 8, 2020
theyre going to be deathly bored under biden. the trump show is ending. so its time to elevate all kinds of nonsense to a national scandal. https://t.co/olyuyhTTsI
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) December 8, 2020
More than a quarter million Americans are dead in a pandemic that is being completely ignored at the federal level, and it’s going to get much worse. But yeah, Biden said a name wrong before correcting himself. Thanks so much for your laser focus, Sam. https://t.co/mZ99x2hGQS
— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) December 8, 2020
Stay classy, ma’am.
— Dave Hogg (@stareagle) December 9, 2020
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