Howard Kurtz: Media Unfairly Noticing The Bidens Aren’t Total Jerk Monsters, Unfair!
President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden actually like each other. It's adorable and a welcome change from the hot mess in the White House that preceded them. However, conservatives are up in their feels over the positive press. It's further evidence of media bias! Yes, these are the same people who claim that equal treatment doesn't (and shouldn't) guarantee equal outcomes.
The white supremacist who headlines the 8 p.m. hour on Fox News claimed last night that the Bidens' “love is as real as climate change," which logically means that it's real and heating up the world at an alarming rate. “Our Love Is As Real As Climate Change" even sounds like a celebrity sing-along charity single intended to raise awareness for environmental issues.
Taking cues from his Fox News grand dragon, “Media Buzz" host Howard Kurtz dropped this load on us today.
People magazine also named Idris Elba, John Legend, and Michael B. Jordan the “Sexiest Man Alive," but never me ... why not me? My wife thinks I'm funny, and that's sexy in a way.
Gee, why would the media ignore the undeniable affection between the previous White House squatters? Maybe it's because the not-quite-first lady always looked like she was praying for death when around her husband ... and not necessarily her own.
The Einstein visa recipient often resisted holding the twice-impeached loser's hand, which made sense because he's gross. When meeting world leaders, he also didn't seem to know how long a handshake should comfortably last. An upcoming BBC documentary reveals that President Klan Robe freaked out Prime Minister Theresa May when he creepily held her hand during a White House meeting.
Kurtz concedes that President Biden is "a warm and empathetic person who thrives on human contact," so not a horror movie monster like his predecessor. Dr. Biden has the "welcoming presence of a teacher" as opposed to a woman who didn't “give a fuck about Christmas decorations." The liberal media just can't resist comparing the two couples!
But the nutritional content of some recent stories is like saccharine. It's not for nothing that such features are known as "beat sweeteners" to help reporters get access. Even their dogs get good press--with the inevitable note that Donald Trump didn't have a dog, or even a cat.
I'm not a pet person, either, but I have a son so my canine-free days are numbered. The previous White House occupants also have a child, but maybe they just told him he was allergic. Anyway, here's a video of the Bidens walking their dogs and interacting like human beings capable of simple joy.
▶️ President Joe Biden, his wife and their two dogs took a stroll on the front lawn of the White House, Friday, Feb… https://t.co/rdYKNCRAws— The Voice of America (@The Voice of America)1613150736.0
Kurtz suggests that what the media is really saying in its fawning coverage of the Bidens is that we should be glad the previous White House squatters are gone. This is a sad attempt at mind reading but also quite true.
The Washington Post, not to be outdone, broke the news yesterday that Jill Biden had lit up the Internet...by wearing a scrunchie.
But the hair-management news wasn't reported without context: Melania Trump, we are informed, "once made headlines for wearing a $51,000 Dolce & Gabbana multicolored floral jacket." Now the lowly scrunchie signals a "return to normalcy." We get it: the Trumps are ultra-rich, the Bidens not so much, and Melania is a former fashion model.
The not-quite-first lady's former profession isn't the point, though. The issue was that she never bothered connecting with the public on a human level, which admittedly would require some humanity. Dr. Biden didn't just wear a scrunchie. She went to a Black-owned bakery and bought Valentine's treats for her family.
Dropped by @TheSweetLobby earlier to pick up some Valentine’s treats for the weekend. Shhh – don’t tell Joe! 💕 https://t.co/YXmtLciuws— Jill Biden (@Jill Biden)1613175003.0
Dr. Biden was so comfortable in the knowledge that her husband doesn't spend all day rage-tweeting that she could tweet this photo without worrying about him seeing it. He's a real president. He's actually busy.
But the affectionate tone of these recent stories is a far cry from the initial coverage of Trump.
The one-term loser attacked the press straight out of the gate, so that might've had an impact.
The same goes for the gauzy People cover story on the Biden family, a gift never bestowed on the Trumps.
Oh? About that:
The lack of interest in sitting for an interview, out of privacy and concern for what might be asked and require an answer, was for Trump a paramount strategy, according to [former aide Stephanie Winston] Wolkoff. Now Trump, according to multiple people familiar with her thinking, is second-guessing that tactic.
But the former first lady is not blaming herself in hindsight, she's blaming others -- former staff members, magazine editors, and corporations and foundations that opted not to work with her because of the former President's political rhetoric. Trump has recently been noting to acquaintances that she thinks she could have participated in more media opportunities and policy events had her staff been more accommodating to her needs.
Melanie didn't even move into the White House until June 2017 because she was renegotiating her prenup at the American taxpayer's expense. It cost $300,000 a day for her to remain in New York for the first five months of her husband's presidency. That's quite a gift.
And that fuels the feeling in a major chunk of the country that the new first family, however nice they may be, is already benefitting from coverage as buttery as an English muffin.
No, garbage articles like this one are what's fueling the conservative victim mentality. As Republicans are quick to lecture actual marginalized people: Maybe the Bidens have received better coverage because they've earned it. Not every first couple will generate great press, especially if that first couple sucks.
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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).