“That was four days ago, five days ago!”
President Joe Biden, employing Rationalization #52. The Underwood Maneuver, or “That’s in the past,” to brush off an interviewer’s reference to desperate Afghans falling from U.S. transport plans in their desperate efforts to escape a Taliban onslaught.
President Biden, who has been avoiding questioning from the news media over his self-made national and international crisis in Afghanistan, took the weird but telling step of sitting for an interview on the matter with a single journalist—sort of–that has yet to be broadcast. Not surprisingly, the journalist chosen was career Democratic Party operative George Stephanopoulos, who hosts ABC’s talking heads Sunday news show as well as “Good Morning America!” where he is more like a performer. As Ethics Alarms regularly pointed out until I got sick of it, George has no business interviewing political figures like Hillary Clinton, since he has a flaming conflict of interest, nor can he be trusted to cover any political story involving partisan divides. Virtually all TV journalists are Democrats, but Stephanopoulos was a professional Democrat, and has proven repeatedly that he lacks the integrity and courage to overcome that bias.
So, naturally, since this is what aspiring totalitarians do, when Biden leaped head first into, well, in the words of Ian Malcolm…
…the White House worked to control the narrative by conspiring with State-bolstering news media. It chose an interviewer who has proven himself sympathetic to party agenda items, and who was arguably the most unlikely to ask tough questions followed by critiques of evasive answers. What ABC broadcast was obviously edited. In a podcast, Rep Jim Banks (R-IN) told conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt that “if ABC was going to agree to an exclusive interview with the President, who refuses to answer questions in any public setting, then ABC owes it to the American people to release the entire video.” He’s absolutely right, and that is what a news organization that is dedicated to the public good rather than to the government would do. The public has a right to know, after all. I know journalists have a good laugh when they hear that.
In response to the criticism of Banks and others, ABC released the full transcript, but not the raw footage. They aren’t the same thing necessarily, and there is no reason to trust ABC. Would ABC News transcribe asides by the interviewer to assist Biden, or moments when Biden appeared confused?
In the exchange that produced the Unethical Quote of the Month above, George had traitorously referred to the chaos Biden’s incompetence had created, prompting Biden’s Kevin Spacey impression:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But we’ve all seen the pictures. We’ve seen those hundreds of people packed into a C-17. You’ve seen Afghans falling–
BIDEN: That was four days ago, five days ago! According to the edited cut (and the transcript) , George had no response to that, rather than saying, for example “What? Whether that horrific scene occurred four days ago or four minutes ago, your decision was the cause of it! Those are human lives, and people we had a duty to protect. Don’t you acknowledge your responsibility for their plight?”
Oh—when Joe said this, it was just two days ago. But you know how you lose track of time on vacation.
The callousness of Biden’s response, which was essentially a shrug, should spark bipartisan outrage, But I don’t see any from my progressive Facebook friends, who managed to produce waves of contempt every time Donald Trump had a nasty comment in a tweet, or even a typo. Bias doesn’t just make you stupid, it makes you repulsive. This is a prime example.