Originally published May 5, 2021
Last week, President Joe Biden spoke to a Joint Session of Congress – or as much of a Joint Session as the latest COVID regulations would allow. In a speech that was filled to the brim with lies and misleading statements, the media reaction was far different than it was under Trump.
It’s no secret that the media treats Biden and Trump differently. Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, who diligently kept a database of Trump “lies” (and the use of scare-quotes was deliberate) openly said that the Post was shutting down its database for Biden. This database took every line that Trump said and figured out a way to add it as a lie or a misleading claim, by their standards.
Their standards do not apply to Biden, however. They will pick and choose which comments to fact-check, and those fact-checks are applied one at a time. So when CNN, MSNBC, and the networks cover Biden, they will not have the attention-grabbing headline of “Biden’s Thousand-Lie Week” like they did with Trump. Instead, they’ll have the typical slanted roundtable discussions of one comment at a time. That’s if these roundtables decide to cover Biden at all, instead of finding another Republican scapegoat like Ron DeSantis or Tim Scott to unleash their ire on.
It is a given in politics that politicians lie, and it has been forever. This is why the public has, over time, chosen to discern between lies that cause actual damage to the fabric of the nation, and hyperbole that really doesn’t matter.
Trump was a master of the hyperbolic lie. While he did have some very damaging lies, like saying the 2020 election was stolen, those were not the statements he made with any regularity. This is why the media, who hated Trump and worked for years to get him out of office, decided that they were going to attack Trump on quantity, not quality.
Biden’s lies are far more damaging in terms of quality. Claiming that the attack on January 6 was the biggest attack on democracy since the Civil War is far more damaging than the media would like you to believe. It completely whitewashes the blemishes in our own history and the actions of far more evil people than some yahoos in Viking helmets. Jim Crow was more damaging to our democracy than January 6. Four presidential assassinations were more damaging, as was Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Biden’s lie further deepens the Right/Left divide because those on the Left will take it as gospel, while those on the Right will be forced to rebut the claim.
Then there are Biden’s lies about COVID. Biden refuses to acknowledge the miracle of the vaccines. Biden, along with nearly everyone on Capitol Hill, was vaccinated months ago. Yet he still wears a mask outside, despite CDC guidelines (guidelines that should have come out a long time ago, but the CDC is 6-10 months late on everything). He claims it’s Americans’ “patriotic duty” to wear a mask. He also claims that “science is back,” despite the fact that he is not following the science at all. Vaccine hesitancy is an issue, and that issue is being exasperated by Biden when he doesn’t show the efficacy of vaccines to the public.
The media does not focus on these statements, nor the dozens more that are comparable. Instead, they focus on Senator Tim Scott’s rebuttal, specifically when Scott said, “America is not a racist country.” The crime Scott committed, according to the media, was that he said that line while being black.
According to the media and the Democrats, America is a racist country. The only way to cure American racism is to vote people into that system that will change it – namely Democrats. This is why for days after the rebuttal, MSNBC hosts called Scott a “clown” and a “token.” This is why NBC host Chuck Todd accuses Tim Scott of ruining police reform, despite the fact that it was Scott who pushed a police reform bill last year that Democrats filibustered. Now the media echoes the Democrat talking point that the filibuster is a racist relic of Jim Crow.
According to the Media Research Council, the three major networks – ABC, NBC, and CBS – who covered Trump’s first 100 days with 89% negative coverage, gave Biden 59% positive coverage in that same time period. Of the “negative” coverage shown to Biden, 1 of 6 criticisms were that Biden wasn’t far-left enough.
So after 100 days, the Biden administration has learned that they can say whatever they want without any of the “referees” crying foul. It is expected that both Democrats and Republicans will lie to get what they want, but the true damage to our nation is that those who are supposed to tell the truth no matter what, lie as much as any politician could.
Moshe Hill is a political columnist and Senior Fellow at Chovevei Zion. You can find Moshe on his blog at www.aHillwithaView.com, facebook.com/aHillwithaView, or twitter.com/TheMoHill.