How Scandalous Is Joe Biden’s Peloton Bike On Scale Of One To Are You F*cking Kidding Us, New York Times?
The New York Times offered a sneak peak Tuesday for how it might cover a non-criminal president who isn't locking up children, invading American cities, and siccing violent mobs on Congress. Let's take a look.
New York Times
OMG! Joe Biden has a bike, and he plans to ride it as president. This is worse than that Queen song about a bicycle, which is objectively terrible.
Writer Sheryl Gay Stolberg explains that Biden enters office facing a Satanic smorgasbord of challenges: There's a global pandemic that's killed at least 400,000 Americans and climbing, along with a punishing recession, racial discord, and rightwing extremism.
But Mr. Biden's personal weight-control and exercise regimen will face a different kind of burning question: Can he bring his Peloton bike with him?
No, wait, that's not a “burning question" at all. It's less relevant than “boxers or briefs." But Stolberg pushes this contrived issue that's only an issue because she chose to waste several hundred words on it.
A Peloton, for the uninitiated, is part indoor stationary bike, part social media network. The bikes are expensive — upward of $2,500 apiece — and have tablets attached, enabling riders to livestream or take on-demand classes and communicate with one another.
They start at $1895 on the Peloton site. Someone must've screwed her.
The article mentions that Dr. Jill Biden and the president (damn right) share a Peloton. Unless they fall apart after a year, the average cost of a Peloton would work out to less than a monthly gym membership. Many Americans started transitioning to at-home workouts during the COVID-19 outbreak because it took a deadly pandemic for us to realize how gross gyms are. It's not just rich people.
But Peloton does not exactly comport with Mr. Biden's "regular guy from Scranton" political persona.
Biden is down-to-earth and relatable, unlike certain people who live in Palm Beach resorts, but he's also quite successful. I know this because he's literally president of the United States. He was also vice president for eight years and a US senator for another 36. Look, Joe Biden is 137 years old (Joe always lied about his age). Sure, he came from humble beginnings, but if he'd remained there, we'd have reason to worry. After years of hard work and public service, a “regular guy from Scranton" should enjoy the finer things in life, such as sharing a stationary bike with his fancy, doctorate-having wife.
Being president is stressful, and most in recent years have had exercise routines. Bill Clinton jogged. George W. Bush ran until his knees gave out, and then turned to other forms of exercise, including mountain-biking at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Mr. Obama played basketball. Mr. Trump sticks to golf.
One of these things isn't "exercise." Donald Trump ain't Tiger Woods.
My wife and I enjoy those wine tours where they drive you around to different vineyards all day. If we swung a golf club whenever we stopped for a tasting, that would rival Trump's "exercise regimen."
The white working-class hero and Big Mac connoisseur's regular golf trips cost taxpayers an estimated $140 million. Biden could buy a few houses and fill each of them with his-and-her Pelotons, but he won't because the never-ending grift is finally over. Stolberg is seriously giving Biden grief over how he modestly spends his own damn money.
For Mr. Biden, who at 78 will be the oldest person to be sworn in as president, riding a Peloton makes good political sense, even if it clashes with Working Class Joe.
No, it doesn't. Stop it. Just a paragraph later, Stolberg quotes Peloton user Jennifer Loukissas, a federal employee from Kensington, Maryland. She's probably not riding her gold-plated bike while wearing a mink coat like Eva Gabor.
To make the bike White House friendly, the camera and the microphone in the tablet would have to be removed, said Richard H. Ledgett Jr., a former deputy director of the National Security Agency. He would advise Mr. Biden to pick a nondescript user name and change it every month, and keep the bike far from any place where there might be sensitive conversations.
We can trust that Biden's Peloton won't prove a giant security risk like Jared Kushner. It'll also make more positive contributions to the country.
Thus ends the non-scandal of Joe Biden's home exercise equipment. Enjoy the rest of your Trump-free day!
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).