Some establishment media outlets are celebrating President Joe Biden’s rhetorical attack on Fox News’ Peter Doocy this week, calling for more “trash talk” — after describing then-President Donald Trump as a threat to press freedom every time he criticized a journalist.
Politico published an essay on Thursday titled “How Trash Talk Can Save Biden’s Presidency.” It suggests that far from being condemnable, Biden’s attack on Doocy could restore the “vitality” of his flagging presidency:
“What a stupid son of a bitch,” the president muttered, as though to himself, even as a hot mic assured that this sulfurous thought bubble did not stay with himself.
As it happens, Biden’s lapse of presidential decorum hints at a path toward restoring presidential vitality.
The whole encounter — including Doocy’s genial refusal to get all huffy about Biden’s flash of huffiness — was in its own way quite winning. It was also a reminder of how many memorable Biden moments feature casual profanity or bursts of authentic emotion amid the pervasive phoniness of contemporary politics.
There was the famous time when he whispered to President Barack Obama at a White House podium that the passage of health care reform was “a big fucking deal.” Or when he told an Iowa voter who pressed him on his ethical and physical fitness for the presidency that, “You’re a damn liar, man,” before challenging him to a pushup contest. Perhaps Biden’s most memorable moment during the fall 2020 presidential debates was when he responded to former President Donald Trump’s incessant interruptions by rasping, “Will you shut up, man?”
Biden’s long history of bullying journalists and critics is thus transformed into a “winning” and “authentic” style, where Trump’s denunciations of “fake news” were portrayed by Politico as an attack on the First Amendment that invited lawsuits.
Similarly, Fox News’ liberal competitors and critics are using the episode as an excuse to attack the network.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 25, 2022
Notably, Fox News defended other outlets, including rival CNN, against Trump — a courtesy now long forgotten.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.