Joe Biden, Oval Office, debt ceiling
Joe Biden in the Oval Office. Photo credit: The White House / Flickr (PD)

Journalists have found a new way to screw up their election coverage: Knowing about Joe Biden’s frailty but keeping quiet about it.

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Say what you want about the DC media establishment, they are an innovative bunch… every four years they find a new way to screw up covering the presidential election.

In 2016, they gave Donald Trump a free platform worth billions of dollars without ever figuring out how to effectively cover him and his endless lies. And then, the major news outlets boosted his chances to defeat Hillary Clinton by publishing endless articles about “her emails” and becoming a willing pawn in helping to disseminate stories about Democratic National Committee and campaign communications.

It’s very possible that there have never been so many stories written about something with so little substance. The main takeaway of that endless coverage was that the Democratic Party preferred and supported Clinton, a Democrat, over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

In 2020, news outlets still hadn’t figured out how to convey the unique threat to democracy Trump posed.

This year, they are trying something new: Not coming clean on just how frail President Joe Biden has become.

Here is something you need to know about Washington, DC. It is very cliquish. There are lots of cocktail parties and other social events in which government officials, lobbyists, and journalists get together.

Keeping Biden’s deteriorating condition secret would have been impossible. While his aides tried to shield him from scrutiny and carefully scripted his appearances, there are lots of events where it would have been apparent that he was declining.

In her much-talked-about article on “The Conspiracy of Silence to Protect Joe Biden,” Olivia Nuzzi admitted as much.

“In January, I began hearing similar stories [about Biden’s frailty] from Democratic officials, activists, and donors,” she wrote. “All people who supported the president and were working to help reelect him to a second term in office. Following encounters with the president, they had arrived at the same concern: Could he really do this for another four years? Could he even make it to Election Day?”

Those seem like valid questions.

Here is another: If Nuzzi knew about this in January, why did it take six months to write about it… and why publish the article only after Americans witnessed firsthand that Biden did not seem to be in any condition to last another four years?

There are two potential answers: The first is that DC journalists tried to “protect” Biden from stories that would be harmful to him if the truth came out.

The second is that they were saving this information for book deals.

Either way, this is information that Americans deserved, and not providing it is a dereliction of duty. That is especially true because there was still plenty of time in January to have a real primary instead.

Finally, just in case reporters save their best stuff for their books: Why not tax the profits journalists make on “tell all” books at 99 percent? That way, they would at least do something for the common good.

Speaking of the common good, if you want to support non-profit journalism, you can go here to sign up for our newsletter, or here to make a donation.


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