Biden and Putin conducted frank conversation, while the mainstream media praised his efforts. Sadly, Biden’s lashing out at CNN’s Kaitlan Collins barely registered coverage.
President Joe Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday in a bilateral meeting also attended by key aides, with the “appropriately low” bar having been met by Biden according to one foreign policy expert.
- One area of agreement was the resumption of ambassadorial posts, which both sides recalled after Biden’s contentious public remarks calling Putin a “killer” in March.
- Biden’s goal was apparently to point out Russia’s self-isolation on the international stage, warning Putin that if he kept on his current path, he’d be a pariah “squeezed by China.”
- Putin appeared to enjoy having Biden’s and the world’s attention, with his press conference being described as “relaxed and even, on occasion, jocular” while Putin critics argued the seeming normality of it all meant “Putin had got what he wanted.”
- The day ended on a sour note for Biden who lashed out at a CNN reporter for asking about Biden’s confidence in Putin “changing his behavior.” Biden was forced to apologize afterward.
- CNN’s broad coverage of the summit was largely sympathetic to Biden, in which they argued he found “his comfort zone on the world stage.” One CNN analysis argued the opposite and that “Putin is a man so secure in his absolute power at home that he can walk into a meeting with the most powerful person on earth with virtually nothing to lose.”
- CNN barely mentioned their own reporter being berated by Biden (contrast this with the ritual self-congratulatory chest-puffing of their previous White House correspondent Jim Acosta)
- The New York Times’ reporting on the summit entered some weird territory, comparing Biden and Putin to “two skilled boxers describing the other’s prowess” when both leaders gave their assessment of the bilateral meeting.
- Huffington Post focused on Biden’s estimation that Russia needs the rest of the world a lot more than the world
- Sean Hannity interviewed former President Trump who criticized Biden for caving to Putin and argued Biden’s approval of a Russian pipeline to Germany while canceling Keystone XL was detrimental to the United States.
- OAN highlighted criticism of Biden and the summit from Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty who said Biden’s low bar meant Putin “doesn’t have to concede anything.”
- RedState focused on Biden’s verbal assault on a reporter and the media bending over backwards to praise the president for apologizing and effectively saying “Biden got mad but orange man bad.”
That every network and newspaper is not calling out President Biden for his behavior is outrageous but hardly surprising. I think we all know exactly what would dominate the headlines if it was Trump who had berated that reporter. In fact, we don’t have to imagine, it’s right here. This is isn’t “whataboutism”, this is about the media’s willing complicity to defend Biden at every turn. The fourth estate continues to beclown itself with its increasingly partisan coverage.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021