At almost the same time President Biden was searching a White House crowd for a deceased congresswoman, Harris was delivering a speech at the DMZ in an effort to assure South Korea of U.S. support and cooperation.
“The United States,” she told reporters, “shares a very important relationship, which is an alliance with the Republic of North Korea.”
Putting that mistake in context, Curtis Houck of Media Research Center tells AFN it’s not the worst diplomatic blunder of the Biden administration. It’s not nearly as bad, he says, as Biden checking his watch when military caskets were being unloaded after those Marines were killed by a suicide bomber at the Kabul airport.
“It wouldn't necessarily dominate it,” he says of news coverage of her DMZ visit, “but it would be a fact mentioned as part of the trip, as part of a major moment that happened.”
Houck says MRC watched the network news channels – ABC, CBS, NBC - for a mention of the blunder, but none of them mentioned it.
A story by The Washington Post, where “Democracy Dies in the Darkness,” didn’t mention the blunder at all in 18 paragraphs of a 650-word story.
On the NBC News website, a lengthy and flattering complimentary story about her visit went on and on for 26 paragraphs without mentioning the blunder, either. That oversight can technically be blamed on another news outlet, The Associated Press, since NBC News used the wire service for coverage of the visit.
A CNN story about her visit mentioned the blunder in the ninth paragraph.
Teasing the vice president over the gaffe would normally be an easy layup for the late-night comedy shows, which mocked Donald Trump, Houck points out, but the fact it’s not being mentioned says a lot.
Asked why Harris appears untouchable, Houck says Election Day is coming and Democrats are worried, and both Biden and Harris remain unpopular among voters and even in their own party.
“So they're trying to just stash her away,” he says, “in the background.”