UNDER SIEGE: The Networks’ Slow Turn on Biden Continues

The Regime Media continue their slow turn against President Joe Biden. In manners of both style and substance, previously sycophantic coverage has turned skeptical and borderline adversarial. Humiliated by their failure to report on what the American people plainly beheld, President Biden’s accelerating cognitive decline, the media are now scrambling to play catch-up.

Consider this sequence from ABC World News Tonight, which under normal circumstances  could reasonably be considered the most Biden-sycophantic network. The times, they are a’changin’:

SELINA WANG: Today, the president joining an all-staff campaign call, telling them, “I’m in this race to the end, and we’re going to win.” He’s spent the last few days largely out of sight, holding few events, reading off a teleprompter. His aides have blamed his poor debate performance on a cold, but overnight, the president offering a new explanation, saying he “wasn’t very smart” for taking two trips to Europe before his faceoff with Trump. This, even though he returned to the U.S. 12 days before the debate.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: There’s a cold, there’s a jet lag. You combine that and he continues to work for the American people day in and day out around the clock. Things happen. Things happen.

WANG: The White House says the president is, quote, “as sharp as ever”, but tonight, a second Democrat in Congress calling on Biden to drop out. Congressman Raul Grijalva of battleground Arizona telling The New York Times, “If he’s the candidate, I’m going to support him. But I think that this is an opportunity to look elsewhere. What he needs to do is shoulder the responsibility for keeping that seat and part of that responsibility is to get out of this race.”

This, in a nutshell, is your thematic summary for today’s evening packages across the dial. The on-air talents made sure to note that Biden is meeting with the governors, that he met or had calls with senior Dem leadership on The Hill, and his statements of intent to remain in the race.

There was, of course, universal mention of Rep. Raul Grijalva’s call for Biden to step down. Each of these calls to step down will be reported as a drip, drip in order to create a preference cascade. It’ll be like singing “The 12 Days of Christmas”, but with names of dissenting Members of Congress.

But where things shift is that they also checked Biden on the reasons he proffered as underlying causes for his terrible debate performance: a cold, initially, and now also jet lag. Prior to the debate, this would have been covered very lightly, if at all. There were also mentions of the teleprompter Biden is reliant upon, and mentions of the brutal post-debate polling that has emerged. 

The CBS Evening News just ran a likely gaffe and let it out there to marinate on its own instead of concealing it or wrapping it in friendly framing:

Then, NBC Nightly News took it one step further:

You know full well that the mere mention of Hunter Biden is inflammatory, given everything that’s going on. 

Coverage of the ongoing Biden saga has been revelatory. Democrats, with their mouths, continue to press fealty to Joe Biden. But the media that they whisper to are ready to play Paul Ryan to Biden’s grandma, per the old campaign commercials, and roll Biden off a cliff.

They would’ve already done so had they not gaslit the American public into thinking Biden was fit as a fiddle. As I’ve said repeatedly, Biden’s decline is the 2024 version of Hunter’s laptop: an inconvenient and devastating story that was suppressed or hidden from view because the media didn’t like the people advancing the story. In both cases, the right. 

One last bit of news: ABC is bumping the full Stephanopoulos-Biden interview to Friday night, where it will air as a prime-time special. How Stephanopoulos plays the interview will also be a bellwether of sorts. 

Click “expand” to view the full transcripts of the aforementioned reports as aired on their respective network newscasts on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2024:

ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT:

ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT

7/3/24

6:32 PM

WHIT JOHNSON: But we begin tonight with President Biden, sending new signals about the future of his campaign, amid calls to drop out of the race against Donald Trump. Tonight, the president meeting with Democratic governors from across the U.S., trying to ease concerns about his ability to lead, shore up support for his campaign, and gauge where they stand. Sources telling ABC News the president has privately admitted the coming days are critical. The White House today insisting President Biden is absolutely not dropping out of the race. Sources always say the president and Vice President Kamala Harris called into an all-staff campaign meeting to offer a pep talk. President Biden speaking with top Democrats for the first time since the debate, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and longtime ally Congressman Jim Clyburn. The president will sit down with George Stephanopoulos on Friday for his first interview since that debate performance ignited the firestorm now consuming his campaign. ABC’s Selina Wang leads us off at The White House.

SELINA WANG: Tonight, the first sign President Biden may be reconsidering the future of his campaign. Sources tell ABC News the president has privately acknowledged that the next few days will be critical. That he has told at least two people close to him he knows he’s in a tough spot. Sources familiar with his conversations say the president told one ally that, though he still views himself as the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump, he’s keeping, quote, “an open mind about the path forward”. Still, today the White House press secretary insisting the president is absolutely not dropping out. 

Is the president clear-eyed about what it takes to stay in the race? And what it would take for him to drop out?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: The president is clear-eyed, and he is staying in the race. I don’t have anything else beyond that. He is staying — he’s staying in the race.

WANG: Today, the president joining an all-staff campaign call, telling them, “I’m in this race to the end, and we’re going to win.” He’s spent the last few days largely out of sight, holding few events, reading off a teleprompter. His aides have blamed his poor debate performance on a cold, but overnight, the president offering a new explanation, saying he “wasn’t very smart” for taking two trips to Europe before his faceoff with Trump. This, even though he returned to the U.S. 12 days before the debate.

JEAN-PIERRE: There’s a cold, there’s a jet lag. You combine that and he continues to work for the American people day in and day out around the clock. Things happen. Things happen.

WANG: The White House says the president is, quote, “as sharp as ever”, but tonight, a second Democrat in Congress calling on Biden to drop out. Congressman Raul Grijalva of battleground Arizona telling The New York Times, “If he’s the candidate, I’m going to support him. But I think that this is an opportunity to look elsewhere. What he needs to do is shoulder the responsibility for keeping that seat and part of that responsibility is to get out of this race.” Other House Democrats are frustrated, saying they need more answers from Biden and his team.

KATIE PORTER: Most Democratic leaders are situated in the same way the American people are, which is, give us that reassurance, give us that confidence. And to do that, this campaign is going to have to — this White House is going to have to be way less insular than they have been.

WANG: For the first time since the debate, the president has started reaching out to top Democrats on Capitol Hill. Over the past 24 hours, speaking with the Senate and House Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries, as well as his close allies Delaware Senator Chris Coons and South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn. And tonight, Biden holding a meeting with more than 15 Democratic governors to discuss the aftermath of the debate.

ANDY BESHEAR: I think the governors just want a direct and candid conversation with the president. We want to make sure he’s doing okay. We all know him.

JOHNSON: Selina Wang joining us now from The White House. And Selina, the Biden campaign on damage control now, as sources say the president knows just how critical these next few days will be.

WANG: Exactly, Whit. The president is trying to reassure his allies and donors, but they’re closely watching new polls that show Trump’s lead widening over the president’s after that debate. A New York Times poll out tonight shows that Trump is now six points ahead of Biden among likely voters, now 49% to 43%. That poll also shows 74% of voters think Biden is too old for the job. Whit.

JOHNSON: Selina Wang. Thank you.

CBS EVENING NEWS:

CBS EVENING NEWS

7/3/24

6:31 PM

ADRIANA DIAZ: But first, at this very moment, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are set to meet with more than 20 Democratic governors at The White House. The pivotal meeting comes as concern and defections grow within his own party after that disastrous debate performance. But the president tonight is defiant, spending the day talking to campaign staffers, congressional leaders, and radio hosts.

JOE BIDEN: I had a bad night. And the fact of the matter is that, you know, it was — I screwed up. I made a mistake. That’s 90 minutes on stage. Look at what I have done in 3.5 years.

DIAZ: CBS’s Weijia Jiang reports from The White House on how the president is working to prove he’s up to the job for another four years.

WEIJIA JIANG: Tonight, President Biden is trying to squash doubts about his reelection efforts, telling campaign staffers on a call, “Let me say this as clearly as I possibly can and as simply and straightforward as I can: I am running. No one is pushing me out. I’m not leaving.” On the campaign trail in Michigan, First Lady Jill Biden stressed the same.

JILL BIDEN: Joe is the Democratic nominee, and he is going to beat Donald Trump.

JIANG: But today, a second House Democrat reportedly called for Biden to step aside. Arizona congressman Raul Grijalva. Now Biden is scrambling for party support, with personal outreach to leaders on Capitol Hill, and a meeting with Democratic governors at The White House late this evening, including governor John Carney of Delaware.

JOHN CARNEY: Hopefully, some of the concerns that they are hearing from their constituents, understandably, can be answered tonight.

JIANG: Nearly one week after Biden’s disastrous debate performance, he is blaming it on jet lag. At a fundraiser, Biden said, “I decided to travel around the world a couple times. Then I almost fell asleep on stage.” Biden traveled to France, Italy, and California the first half of June, but he returned to Washington 11 days before the debate.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: It’s not an excuse, but it’s an explanation.

JIANG: The White House says Biden wants to turn the page.

Is president Biden considering stepping down?

JEAN-PIERRE: Absolutely not.

WANG: Is there anything, Karine, that would change his mind?

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, I cannot lay out something that would change the president’s mind. He has been very clear.

JIANG: Tonight, the Biden campaign is out with a new fundraising email, subject line, “I’m running” from President Biden. Earlier today, a morale boost from White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zeints, who had an all staff call urging officials here to, quote: “stay together and have each other’s back.” Adriana.

DIAZ: Weijia Jiang. Busy day at The White House today. Thank you.

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS:

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS

7/3/24

6:38 PM

TOM LLAMAS: Let’s turn to Washington. Tonight, we have several new post-debate polls and they  all show the same thing. The president’s performance is proving disastrous in the minds of voters. But president Biden is making it clear he’s staying in the race, even as more Democrats call for him not to run again. Here’s Kelly O’Donnell.

KELLY O’DONNELL: Facing doubts from within his party and new polling that shows the president falling further behind former President Trump, today candidate Biden telling his team, “no one is pushing me out”. The president and vice president held a conference call with campaign staff. Officials say he was direct, saying to aides, “let me say this as clearly as I possibly can, as simply and straightforward as I can, I am running.” Nearly a week after the debate that The White House labels “a bad night” the president called key congressional Democrats, officials here acknowledging the strain.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: That the last few days have been challenging.

O’DONNELL: With more troubling signs in new polling done after the debate. President Biden now trailing former President Trump by six points. 80% of those surveyed said they consider the president too old to run again. Biden allies say the president must counter that perception.

DEBBIE DINGELL: President Biden has got to go out there and on a sustained basis  show he has the stamina and can do the job.

O’DONNELL: But a second House Democrat, Arizona’s Raul Grijalva, has now called on Mr. Biden to drop out. The president’s only public event today, a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room. Son Hunter Biden in attendance. The president ignoring reporters’ questions.

REPORTER: Mr. President —

REPORTER: Mr. President —

O’DONNELL: The White House says the president is now feeling great after citing a cold on debate night. The president told donors Tuesday evening that he had jet lag too, though the debate was 12 days after his return from Europe. The president said that this is not an excuse, but an explanation. Meanwhile, The White House is also trying to blunt any signal the president is even talking about an exit and rejected a report from The New York Times not confirmed by NBC news that the president told an ally he is weighing whether to continue.

O’DONNELL: Is the president telling people he’s evaluating the race–

JEAN-PIERRE: Absolutely false,That is absolutely false.

LLAMAS: All right, Kelly, that poll you cited, just one of several new polls showing the debate did real damage to the Biden campaign.

O’DONNELL: And the Biden campaign is responding to the polling saying that they argue the race is incredibly tight while tonight the president and vice president continue outreach with a meeting with more than 20 Democratic governors on video call and some are here in person, looking to shore up support and to address their concerns. Tom.

LLAMAS: Kelly O’Donnell, from The White House.

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