Media that repeated 'cheap fakes' talking point witnessed costly reality

Media that repeated 'cheap fakes' talking point witnessed costly reality

Pictured: CNN commentator Van Jones

Media that repeated 'cheap fakes' talking point witnessed costly reality

President Joe Biden’s army of media allies is having a collective meltdown after his disastrous debate performance, now even suggesting a political coup against the man they have praised and defended for weeks and months.

“This was a game-changing debate,” CNN’s John King told fellow panelists, “in the sense that right now, as we speak, there is a deep, a wide and a very aggressive panic in the Democratic Party.”

That panic, he added, started “minutes into the debate and it continues right now.”

In another post-debate reaction Thursday night, NBC political director Chuck Todd summarized what had just happened on an Atlanta stage: The public saw a frail man who can’t serve a second term as U.S. president.  

“At the end of the day, Joe Biden looks like the caricature that conservative media has been painting,” he conceded. “There were no clips tonight. You saw it before your eyes.”

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Todd’s reference to “clips” is likely referring to just one week ago, when reaction to Biden’s frail, bizarre behavior was called “cheap fakes” by the White House. One clip showed Biden wandering away from world leaders in Normandy, France. A second clip showed Barack Obama grip Biden on his forearm arm to move him off stage.  

Numerous media allies – MSNBC, CBS News, and The Washington Post – willingly ran with the “cheap fakes” talking point from the White House, even suggesting the clips had been dishonestly edited.

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace warned her audience last week about "a growing and insidious trend in right-wing media" to take "highly misleading and selectively edited video" of Biden, according to a related op-ed by media watchdog Tim Graham.

In a post-debate article, independent journalist Bari Weiss pointed out The New York Times - her previous employer - had assigned three Times reporters to review those video clips. Their conclusion was the public was being tricked by "distorted" and "manipulated" clips of the President. 

Weiss also pointed to a recent Wall Street Journal article that warned about Biden's age. The article quoted 45 people, she pointed out, but it was called a "hit job" against Biden. Some Democrats demanded that it be pulled. 

Now, one week later, Democrats woke up Friday morning to “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough sounding the alarm about Biden’s performance.

“We saw last night why this race has been close,” Scarborough shared, “and why I fear Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States, unless things change.”

Over on CNN, commentator Van Jones appeared distraught when he told the panel he loves and respects Biden but the debate was “painful” to watch. There are a lot of people, he said, “who are going to want to see him consider taking a different course now.”