“Joe Biden’s eye just started bleeding? This isn’t a joke what in the hell just happened,” tweeted one individual who for some reason had nothing better to do than to watch CNN’s “climate change town meeting.” Indeed it had, and in some universes, like social media, this was the big story of the night. The Washington Times and Washington Examiner reported it; so did Fox News and The New York Post. If you couldn’t figure it out from those clues, it was the conservative news media that thought this was an event worth knowing about. In the parallel an corrupt universe of the mainstream news media—you know, the ones determined to influence the election so Donald Trump is a one-term President? That one?—it was “Eye? What eye?”
The New York Times hasn’t mentioned it yet. On Memeorandum, the useful news aggregator that I thought was non-partisan but now I’m wondering, didn’t have a single link about it. Even CNN, which hosted the debate, ignored the moment. I couldn’t believe it, so I searched for “eye” in the debate coverage on the CNN website, and got only “At times, candidates waged a bidding war to show liberal activists their plan was the most audacious — and even expensive. But with an eye on November 2020, others warned against throwing the economy out of the window.” The story was headlined “What happened during CNN’s climate town hall and what it means for 2020,” so as far as CNN is concerned, nothing happened. Politico, the left-leaning website, at least alluded to the eye by joking, “Even the shallow matter of what we now call “optics” went badly for Biden. He chose to sit through his appearance—Harris, Sanders, and Warren all stood—and by the end of it, a burst blood vessel in his left eye was noticeable.” Optics, get it? AOL, which I would call anti-Trump, distingished itself by importing coverage from the Wrap headlined, “Biden’s mysterious bloody eye overshadows CNN climate town hall.”
Wait: how could something “overshadow” the event, and simultaneously not be worthy of news coverage?
You know, I’m sick of writing these stories, and I’m sure many of you are sick of reading them. These smoking gun episodes where the news media deliberately tries to manipulate the news for a partisan agenda rather than fairly informing the public and allowing the metaphorical chips to fall where they may happen again and again, and yet journalists still deny their obvious unethical practices. Democrats, who benefit, look you right in the eye and say, “Oh, no, that’s just a right-wing talking point!” and friends and associates I once thought had brains and integrity but now emulate Sgt Schulz on “Hogan’s Heroes,” on the topic of news media bias…
[An aside: My father, who never forgave the German people for denying that they were complicit in Hitler’s crimes (“We couldn’t find a Nazi after we marched into a German town,” he said. “Not one. Ever.”), felt was not merely the clown he was portrayed as on the sitcom, but a dark metaphor for all of the Germans who enabled the Nazis by perfecting wilful blindness. Make what analogies you like to your friends who now channel John Banner’s character routinely…]
Conservative wag Jim Treacher, who has been pointing out media bias for years and is really good at it, writes of the absurd lack of coverage regarding Joe’s eye…
Which makes sense, because Biden is a Democrat and the job of the press is to protect Democrats. This can’t be used against the Republicans, so the media will just ignore it and hope it goes away. That’s what they did when Hillary Clinton collapsed in the street and had to be tossed into a waiting van like a sack of potatoes. They just pretended it never happened, until they were forced to finally cover it. They want a Democrat in the White House, and they’ll ignore any story that interferes with that, as long as they can.
I’m afraid to post this matter on Facebook (where I can’t just link to Ethics Alarms, because Facebook, which also isn’t biased, regards my essays as unfit for the web), because I’m afraid someone I care about and once respected will defend it, and I will have to unleash my infamous, unrestrained invective on them, which I never use here. (“You won’t like me when I’m angry…”)
Of course this is news. Biden is 76, he has had health problems, including aneurysms, and looks and sounds like a man in precipitous decline. Sure, the episode could be minor, but it could also be a sign of something serious. Do not insult my intelligence by claiming that if Richard Nixon, or Ronald Reagan, or Trump, or John McCain, or any Republican going all the way back to President Eisenhower suddenly had an eye fill with blood in a TV appearance it wouldn’t have been considered newsworthy. The Today show, which along with NBC News buried the story in the health section rather than report it straight, noted that the condition could be serious, especially in old people, not that this would have anything to do with Joe, of course.
Here’s what Treacher didn’t say, but should have. It isn’t just that Biden is a Democrat. He’s the only Democrat the news media thinks can beat Trump, so it is committed to carrying him across the finish line to the nomination if that’s what it takes. If what it takes means that “Democracy dies in darkness,” as the Washington Post hypocritically intones, so be it.