MIXED BAG: Networks Still Figuring Out How to Cover Biden Disaster

News & Politics

The Regime Media find themselves in uncharted waters as they attempt to provide somewhat adversarial coverage to a Democrat White House. But as tonight’s reporting shows, they are still figuring out how to do that.

Most emblematic of the mixed-bag reporting: ABC, which under normal circumstances is the most Biden-friendly network. Watch as Chief White House Correspondent Mary Bruce opens her report in an almost reflexively cheerleady manner, but then pivots to the story of the day:

MARY BRUCE: President Biden tonight defiant and fighting back, adamant he’s in this race for the long haul.

JOE BIDEN: The bottom line here is that we’re not going anywhere. I am not going anywhere.

BRUCE: Biden today aggressively rejecting calls to drop out and challenging his Democratic doubters.

BIDEN: I’m getting so frustrated by the elites. I’m not talking about you guys, but about the elites in the party. Oh, they know so much more. If any of these guys don’t think I should run, run against me. Go ahead- announce for president. Challenge me at the convention.

BRUCE: But The White House today forced to face questions about whether they are being honest with the American people about the president’s health, after visitor logs show a neurologist, a Parkinson’s expert, visited The White House eight times within an eight month span, including meeting once with the president’s doctor.

This was not your normal Mary Bruce report. In addition to the questioning of White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, ABC was the only network to report on First Lady Dr. Jill Biden chafing at having questions shouted at her, something that Edith Wilson never had to deal with. 

JILL BIDEN: Why are you screaming at me? You know me. Don’t scream at me, just let me talk.

CBS’s report was more matter-of-fact, which is to be expected given Ed O’Keefe’s exchanges with Jean-Pierre.

The softest report turned out to be NBC’s. Kelly O’Donnell’s entry also highlighted Biden’s defiance, and reported on some of the facts in discussion today. But the report also veered into what-about waters, by echoing President Biden’s complaints about former President Donald Trump’s radio silence throughout this fiasco, and spotlighting the RNC’s just-released platform:

KELLY O’DONNELL: While Mr. Biden is under increased scrutiny, he noted that former President Trump has been laying low.

JOE BIDEN: He hasn’t done a damn thing since the debate. He’s been riding around in the golf cart for ten days.

O’DONNELL: Tonight ahead of next week’s Republican convention, unveiling the party platform, which mirrors Mr. Trump’s positions on immigration and reproductive rights. Notably, it does not call for a federal ban on abortion.

This goes to show you that the media are still scrambling, trying to figure out precisely HOW to cover this ongoing slow-motion train wreck of whether or not Joe Biden stays on the ballot or in The White House before the election. And it is important to remember that the reason the media are scrambling now is because they got caught co-conspiring to hide, or looking the other way if we really want to be charitable, as the rest of the world saw Biden’s very obvious cognitive decline on full display.

Click “expand” to view the full transcripts of the aforementioned reports as aired on their respective evening network newscasts on Monday, July 8th, 2024:

ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT:

ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT 

7/8/24

6:36 PM

DAVID MUIR: We turn to the other major story this evening. President Biden insisting, quote, “I am not going anywhere”, saying he will stay in the race. Daring Democrats who doubt him to challenge him at the convention. And tonight, The White House now being pressed about a Parkinson’s expert who visited The White House eight times, including once meeting with the president’s doctor. And the First Lady today, Jill Biden, and her moment with reporters. Here’s our Chief White House correspondent Mary Bruce.

MARY BRUCE: President Biden tonight defiant and fighting back, adamant he’s in this race for the long haul.

JOE BIDEN: The bottom line here is that we’re not going anywhere. I am not going anywhere.

BRUCE: Biden today aggressively rejecting calls to drop out and challenging his Democratic doubters.

BIDEN: I’m getting so frustrated by the elites. I’m not talking about you guys, but about the elites in the party. Oh, they know so much more. If any of these guys don’t think I should run, run against me. Go ahead- announce for president. Challenge me at the convention.

BRUCE: But The White House today forced to face questions about whether they are being honest with the American people about the president’s health, after visitor logs show a neurologist, a Parkinson’s expert, visited The White House eight times within an eight month span, including meeting once with the president’s doctor.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: So, to give you some answers here, has the president been treated for Parkinson’s? No. Is he being treated for Parkinson’s? No. He’s not. Is he taking medication for Parkinson’s? No. So those are the things that I can give you full blown answers on. 

BRUCE: But The White House refusing to say if this neurologist ever evaluated the president or consulted on his care during his visits to The White House residence clinic, citing privacy concerns. 

But you could clear this all up just by saying what he was doing here and if it was connected to the president, yes or no —

JEAN-PIERRE: I am not going to confirm th… a particular neurologist, anybody.

BRUCE: The same neurologist also appeared on the visitor logs during the Obama years more than two dozen times. The White House today not providing a reason for the recent visits. The press secretary today adamant Biden has only been evaluated by a neurologist three times, each as part of his regular annual physicals. 

Just to be clear, yes or no, has his physician seen a reason to re-evaluate him for Parkinson’s since the February physical?

JEAN-PIERRE: No. The comprehensive report that you all have stands.

BRUCE: The president himself out of the public eye today. The First Lady out rallying crowds in North Carolina and Florida.

JILL BIDEN: For all the talk out there about this race, Joe has made it clear that he’s all in.

REPORTER: Dr. Biden, do you have any message to House Democrats who are calling for your husband to drop out of the race? How are you feeling about the state of the race?

JILL BIDEN: Why are you screaming at me? You know me. Don’t scream at me, just let me talk.

BRUCE: This as the president scrambles to contain the defections on Capitol Hill, telling Democrats in a letter he’s staying in this race, adding — “The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end.”

MUIR: So let’s bring in Mary Bruce, live at The White House tonight. Of course, Mary, all eyes on the president again tomorrow when he hosts the NATO summit in Washington. Of course, world leaders will be here. And then on Thursday, a live news conference and a president who says he’s staying in this race.

BRUCE: And David, this will be his first solo press conference in eight months. Look, these next few days are critical. The president’s goal is to show the American people that he is up to the task. He will be out there on the world stage at this NATO summit, and then fielding reporters’ questions. He’s well aware how high the stakes are, David.

MUIR: Mary, thank you.

CBS EVENING NEWS:

CBS EVENING NEWS

7/8/24

6:30 PM

NORAH O’DONNELL: But we’re going to begin tonight right here in Washington with the President of the United States, Joe Biden, facing a fresh round of questions about his health. 11 days after his disastrous debate performance, CBS News has learned a Parkinson’s specialist from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center has visited The White House eight times over the last year. Tonight the president’s press secretary saying Biden is not being treated for Parkinson’s. This is a critical week for the 81-year-old president, with dozens of world leaders in the nation’s capital for a high-stakes summit- NATO summit. House Democrats will meet tomorrow and discuss Biden’s future as the Democratic nominee. CBS’s Ed O’Keefe is at The White House with the new reporting.

ED O’KEEFE: The White House today facing repeated questions about President Biden’s medical history.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: Has the president been treated for Parkinson’s? No. 

Is he being treated for Parkinson’s? No. He’s not. Is he taking medication for Parkinson’s? No.

O’KEEFE: But the press secretary refused to confirm that Dr. Cannard, expert on Parkinson’s Disease, visited The White House eight times from last summer to this past spring. Public White House visitor logs show Cannard also met at least once with the president’s personal physician.

Did Dr. Cannard come to The White House…

(CROSSTALK)

JEAN-PIERRE: Let’s just answer. I also said to you, Ed. I also said to you for security reasons we cannot share names. We cannot share names.

O’KEEFE: Those questions came as the president lashed out at critics, saying he should exit the race. 

JOE BIDEN: I am not going anywhere. I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t absolutely believe that I’m the best candidate to beat Donald Trump in 2024. We had a Democratic nominating process where the voters spoke clearly.

O’KEEFE: President Biden blasted the “elites”, who he says want him out.

BIDEN: If any of these guys that don’t think I should run, run against me. Announce for president. Challenge me at the convention.

O’KEEFE: Washington state Democrat Adam Smith was one of four top House Democrats who called for the president to step aside on a private conference call Sunday night.

ADAM SMITH: We would be better off with another nominee, okay? I believe that in my heart, my soul, my brain. I am 100% convinced of that.

O’KEEFE: In a letter to House Democrats, the president acknowledged the growing dissent and said it’s time for it to end. First Lady Jill Biden, seen as the only confidant who could ever convince her husband to step aside, agreed.

JILL BIDEN: Joe has made it clear that he’s all in. That’s the decision that he’s made. And just as he has always supported my career, I am all in too.

O’KEEFE: But a growing number of Senate Democrats are also raising doubts about the president’s fitness to run again. He’s set to speak with black lawmakers tonight to shore up their support. And tomorrow he begins hosting the NATO summit here in Washington. The eyes of the world will be on him. Norah.

O’DONNELL: Ed O’Keefe, from The White House. Thank you very much.

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS:

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS

7/8/24

6:36 PM

LESTER HOLT: Let’s turn to the Biden campaign with both the president and first lady saying again today that Mr. Biden will stay in the race. It comes as we learn that a Parkinson’s specialist has been to The White House multiple times. Kelly O’Donnell has more.

KELLY O’DONNELL: The message from President Biden today, the debate over his debate is over.

JOE BIDEN: I am not going anywhere.

O’DONNELL: The president says he has now assessed the country’s mood after visiting voters across battleground states. Today he phoned in to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

JOE BIDEN: I wanted to make sure I was right, that the average voter out there still wanted Joe Biden. And I’m confident they do.

O’DONNELL: The first lady amplifying his message in three states.

JILL BIDEN: For all the talk out there about this race, Joe has made it clear that he’s all in.

O’DONNELL: And to Democrats on Capitol Hill, the president sent more than 1,200 words to get on board. “Any weakening of resolve only helps Trump and hurts us.” Nine Democrats in Congress have now called on Mr. Biden to drop out, including Adam Smith.

ADAM SMITH: I think he should step aside. I think it’s become clear that he’s not the best person to carry the Democratic message.

O’DONNELL: Tonight, new questions surround why a Parkinson’s specialist has visited The White House eight times in eight months, according to visitor logs. One visit indicated a meeting with the president’s doctor. Questioning during today’s briefing grew tense.

KARINE JEAN_PIERRE: Has the president been treated for Parkinson’s? No. Is he being treated for Parkinson’s? No, he’s not. Is he taking medication for Parkinson’s? No.

O’DONNELL: NBC News has reached out to the specialist, who has not responded. The White House would not discuss why he visited, citing security, and noting the medical unit also cares for military staff here. But regarding the president, the press secretary said definitively he has only been checked by a neurologist during his formal annual exam.

JEAN-PIERRE: He has seen a neurologist three times. Three times. Not more — not more than that. Not more than that.

O’DONNELL: While Mr. Biden is under increased scrutiny, he noted that former President Trump has been laying low.

JOE BIDEN: He hasn’t done a damn thing since the debate. He’s been riding around in the golf cart for ten days.

O’DONNELL: Tonight ahead of next week’s Republican convention, unveiling the party platform, which mirrors Mr. Trump’s positions on immigration and reproductive rights. Notably, it does not call for a federal ban on abortion.

HOLT: And Kelly, the president trying to calm critics as he’s heading into a major week on foreign policy.

O’DONNELL: Very much so. Tomorrow he welcomes 38 world leaders to Washington for the NATO summit here, with one-on-one meetings and a press conference Thursday, and then hits the road to Michigan Friday, and to Texas and Nevada next week. Lester.

HOLT: Kelly O’Donnell. Thank you.

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