NBC Downplays ‘Biden’s Struggles’ by Harping on Trump’s ‘Torrent’ of ‘Dodges and Lies’

On Friday morning, NBC’s Today acknowledged reality that Thursday night’s CNN presidential debate showcased a “tough night” for President Biden, who was nursing not only a “hoarse and raspy” voice, but showed he’s in serious cognitive decline with “concerns growing” about his fitness for office. 

That said, however, the Comcast network shamelessly minimized Biden’s porous night by bemoaning it “overshadow[ed]” a “torrent of lies” and “grievances from former President Trump”.

Co-host Savannah Guthrie started a tease with Biden’s impairment: “Fallout. Concerns growing this morning among Democrats after President Biden’s debate performance against Donald Trump…From the spin room, Biden allies calling it a slow start, but behind the scenes, rising worry, even talks of a change to the ticket”.

She threw a bone to her fellow lefties as well: “Donald Trump under fire of unleashing a torrent false and misleading claims. We will break it all down just ahead.”

Guthrie and co-host Hoda Kotb gave both equal footing moments later with the former saying “[t]his was not the commanding performance that Team Biden wanted and needed to put to rest concerns about the President’s age and ability” as Biden’s “voice often sound[ed] hoarse and raspy” and the latter fretting “Trump came under fire for repeatedly making false claims.”

Senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson played Biden spokeswoman by kvetching that “Biden’s struggles in some ways overshadowing the multiple lies an grievances from former President Trump as both candidates now look ahead to rallies today”.

“On stage in the presidential debate, missteps from the current president and misleading attacks from the previous one. From President Biden who is battling voter concerns about his age, a shaky start with a raspy voice, seemed to lose his train of thought when asked about the national debt,” she then added.

After conceding “First Lady Jill Biden escorting him off stage” once the debate ended, she deployed a classic conservative drinking game word: “Former President Trump pouncing on his rivals slip ups.”

She then reiterated the focus of the debate was also “a series of dodges and lies about the 2020 election” from Trump.

Jackson’s segment then played out like a typical debate recap with a slew of clips before conceding “multiple Democratic lawmakers [told] NBC News they’re concerned about the President’s performance with some wondering anonymously whether he should remain on the ticket.”

Her conclusion was nothing but pure Biden spin a la Kevin Bacon from Animal House:

Biden himself stopping at a Waffle House overnight for some food, responding to some of those concerns, telling reporters it’s hard to debate a liar. And his campaign is now pointing to some internal data suggesting that they believe independent voters responded well to President Biden and were turned off to Mr. Trump pointing to what they describe as the biggest grassroots funding day of the campaign so far[.]

Meet the Press moderator Kristen Welker followed with analysis mostly focused on what she’s heard from liberal sources, emphasizing “you cannot overstate the level of concern” about what “was really a tough night for President Biden” and few options to replace him as, other than the First Lady or former President Obama, no one could have the influence to tell Biden to call it quits.

Guthrie and Welker made sure to do some Trump bashing, fretting he “unleash[ed] a torrent of lies, false statements and misleading claims” for “almost every single answer” (click “expand”):

GUTHRIE: Because, if it were looking sheerly at performance, [Trump] had a go ahead night.

WELKER: Mmhmm.

GUTHRIE: But, on sustenance he did, again, unleash a torrent of lies, false statements and misleading claims.

WELKER: Torrent the right word for it, right? In almost every single answer. In one case he was talking about abortion. He said some states allow abortion after birth. That’s just not the case. That’s not true. It went un-fact-checked. In part, you could argue because the mics were muted. So, he was allowed to kind of have those torrent of lies. On January 6, he continued to lean into this idea that those who have been convicted have, in some ways, been wronged despite the fact that more than 100 of them have pleaded guilty to their crimes. And he yet again, Savannah refused to unconditionally refuse to commit to accepting the election results. Democrats say that’s going to drive away independent voters. Focus groups showed that voters were turned off by those types of statements. But we will have to see how this all plays out in the coming days and weeks.

In the show’s second hour, Guthrie and Jackson rehashed their original talking points, including Jackson’s complaint that “President Biden’s struggles in some ways overshadowed the multiple lies and grievances from former President Trump on debate night.”

To see the relevant transcript from June 28, click here.

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