WH fires off examples of biased reporting when media dares to criticize Biden’s ‘political’ speech

The media and the White House are at odds over whether or not President Joe Biden’s Independence Hall speech in Philidelphia Thursday night was political and critics have sparked a heated response from the administration.

While the Biden administration is expected to be politically charged, the focus Biden seemed to have on campaigning for the upcoming November elections was what the media levied their critiques at. The continued targeting of Republicans — or as Biden terms them, “MAGA Republicans” — was also unappreciated, as were the shots at former President Donald Trump, claiming that both were threats to democracy. Not only that but the presence of two US Marines was also called into question by reporters.

“There’s nothing unusual or wrong with a President delivering a political speech — it’s inherent in the job description,” CNN correspondent Jeff Zeleny tweeted. “But doing it against a backdrop of two Marines standing at attention and the Marine Band is a break with White House traditions.”

“Like or loathe what he said tonight, it should be noted: The president spoke tonight on the grounds of a national park, flanked by US Marines, and took direct, specific aim at his predecessor and members of the Republican party,” CBS News correspondent Ed O’Keefe wrote.

“The White House said earlier today the speech was not political,” Jeff Mason, White House correspondent for Reuters, tweeted.

The White House responded to these critical tweets by using previous articles written by the reporters and the networks they work for to counter their accusations, highlighting that the reporters have been as “political” as Biden was.

“It’s no more ‘political’ than this accurate and timely reporting from CNN,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates responded to Zeleny, sharing examples of CNN headlines.

Bates also fired back at Mason with Reuters headlines and at O’Keefe.

It’s an interesting and at times rather juvenile counter, pointing out that the reporters have been as political as they’ve accused Biden of being, but it raises a fair point. Journalists are supposed to be impartial, reporting the news as it happens and leaving the audience to make their decisions. But with a heavier emphasis on journal politics, it reduces any good points the media has.

And these tweets do bring up good points. As CNN anchor Brianna Keilar said, the military should be apolitical, so their presence here is questionable. It’s not the first time that some form of the military has been present at a political speech, but combined with the content of the speech — in addition to the questionable lighting, as highlighted by other reporters — it casts some doubt.

White House deputy press secretary Chris Meagher had a ready response for Keilar, tweeting, “Democracy is not a partisan or political issue.”

The main point of contention continues to be Biden’s divisive speechifying in the wake of his cries for unity. The reference to “MAGA Republicans” invokes previous comments about “MAGA terrorists” — the claim that those who voted for Trump are anti-American. It’s always been a strange claim, but like many political comments, the intent is to distract. By claiming that a certain subset of the American people is responsible for the issues currently plaguing the administration, Biden can theoretically absolve himself of any responsibility and make the claim that this can all be solved if people “vote, vote, vote.” Considering Republicans are currently the minority party, this seems a strange claim indeed.

In the end, it’s no surprise that Biden’s speech involved politics and criticism. Turning the narrative onto the reporters questioning his wording is par for the course of his administration. But the fact that they were able to do so indicates the issue with politically-driven reporting. Had journalism remained impartial, these particular claims would have less weight.


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