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Biden in Cahoots With the Media to Bolster His Brand Image

An issue that should raise serious concerns.

During a recent trip to the West Coast, President Biden met reporters for an off-the-record chat, which, according to Politico, was not just meant to field questions. In fact, the president had, above all, a message to deliver: be better, he told them, criticizing “the quality and tenor of press coverage of his administration.”

The president is apparently frustrated at not receiving positive coverage from the American media, the one he believes he deserves. As if The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post worked night and day to boost the Republicans’ fan club.

It is the second time Biden and his entourage try to push reporters to change their tune. Last year before the Christmas holidays, the White House had orchestrated secret meetings with major U.S. media outlets to convince them to upgrade their coverage to sway public opinion in favor of Biden. According to CNN, the White House was very unhappy with the media at a time when the Biden administration was already beating record levels of unpopularity. Henchmen, in particular from the National Economic Council, had therefore been dispatched to make their sales pitches to the media in order to bring them into line.

If we rely on CNN’s report, the approach proved positive, which was confirmed in an op-ed published on Dec. 3 in The Washington Post, where Dana Milbank denounced his colleagues who, he said, were “serving as accessories to the murder of democracy” because of their negative coverage of the Biden administration. In other words: if you are not nice to President Biden, you are not true Democrats.

A Collusion That Will Not Help the Democrats

This approach is certainly not the best way to restore the trust of Americans in their media. A trust that has hit a historic low, for that matter. Axios last year cited Edelman’s annual trust barometer that showed that 56% of Americans agreed with the statement that “Journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations”, while 58% thought that “most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public.”

No surprise, it is the Republicans who are the most dissatisfied with the work of the mainstream media: only 18% still trust them, while this figure rises to 57% among Democratic supporters. This gap shows the extent to which the American right is increasingly turning away from the media whose Democratic bias has been erected into a system.

Several studies have indeed confirmed that members of mainstream media newsrooms are more likely to vote for left-wing parties. One such study, conducted in 2013 by Indiana University journalism professors Lars Willnat and David H. Weaver, showed that if a large majority of American journalists declared themselves independent, 28.1% said they supported the Democrats while only 7.1% were more sympathetic to the Republicans.

These conclusions are also reflected in election funding. According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics in 2010, senior executives and employees of the ABC, CBS and NBC networks donated $1,020,816 to Democratic candidates that year, compared to a meager $142,863 to Republicans. President Obama alone received 710 contributions totaling $461,898 from the same senior executives and employees of the three major American networks. His Republican opponent was not that lucky: John McCain had only managed to collect 39 contributions, totaling $26,926.

Things had hardly changed during the 2016 campaign. A study by the Center for Public Integrity found that more than 96% of political donations made by journalists went to the Hillary Clinton campaign. You read that right: 96% went to Lady Clinton.

Sources

Axios, Black List, CNN, Politico, The Federalist, The New York Post

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