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Everyone Point and Laugh at Team Biden Hating the NYT for Not Being Liberal Enough

by | Apr 26, 2024

By Curtis Houck

In need of a laugh? Check out this unintentionally comical story running 3,850 words from Thursday in Politico about the Biden regime’s apparently disgust with The New York Times“The Petty Feud Between the NYT and the White House; Biden’s people think they’re ‘entitled.’ The Times says ‘they’re not being realistic.’”

In short, Politico’s Eli Stokols revealed the Biden campaign and White House are up in arms with The Times for being what they’ve come to believe are insufficiently loyal to The Cause of liberalism and not antagonistic enough toward Donald Trump given democracy supposedly being on the line in November.

The comical tale of liberal eating themselves began with a seemingly innocuous mix-up between a Times reporter not on the White House beat being unaware with how to attribute quotes from a junior White House press aide becoming a hissy fit that resulted in the Times temporarily being kicked off the administration’s “‘tier one’ email list for background information about various briefings and other materials”.

“Biden’s closest aides had come to see the Times as arrogant, intent on setting its own rules and unwilling to give Biden his due. Inside the paper’s D.C. bureau, the punitive response seemed to typify a press operation that was overly sensitive and determined to control coverage of the president,” Stokols explained.

Stokols further summarized his tome as based on “interviews with two dozen people on both sides” about “the relationship between the Democratic president and the country’s newspaper of record — for years the epitome of a liberal press in the eyes of conservatives” that’s become “remarkably tense, beset by misunderstandings, grudges and a general lack of trust.”

Here came the first of many laughers as Stokols proclaimed that “the Times is unique, reflecting the resentment of a president with a working-class sense of himself and his team toward a news organization catering to an elite audience — and a deep desire for its affirmation of their work.”

Biden? “[W]orking-class sense of himself”? Please.

Not surprisingly, Team Biden must think they’re owed Obama-like snuff pieces seeing as how, in their mind, The Times has “fall[en] short in a make-or-break moment for American democracy, stubbornly refusing to adjust its coverage” away from “impartial neutrality, often blurring the asymmetries between former President Donald Trump and Biden when it comes to their perceived flaws” when America itself is at stake.

Stokols further explained with more hilarious prose and revealed the resentment dates back to Biden not being The Times’s preferred candidate in the 2020 Democratic primary:

Biden aides largely view the election as an existential choice for the country, high stakes that they believe justify tougher tactics toward the Times and the press as a whole. Some Times reporters have found themselves cut off by sources after publishing pieces the Bidens and top aides didn’t like. Columnist Maureen Dowd, for example, complained to colleagues that she stopped hearing from White House officials after a column on Hunter Biden. For many Times veterans, such actions suggest that the Trump era has warped many Democrats’ expectations of journalists.

 

“They’re not being realistic about what we do for a living,” Bumiller told me. “You can be a force for democracy, liberal democracy. You don’t have to be a force for the Biden White House.”

[A]ides to Biden…said they didn’t know anyone on the politics team well. “Unlike some outlets, the Times just never invested in a reporter who really knew and understood Biden and his appeal,” said one former campaign staffer. “And the coverage reflected that.”

(….)

While Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was gaining ground in early polls and enjoying positive early coverage, stories about Biden in the Times frequently depicted him as a relic, out of step with younger, more liberal primary voters and, following defeats in the early contests, poorly organized. Although it had nothing to do with the newsroom, the Opinion page’s double endorsement of Warren and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota….helped cement Biden world’s view that the Times was out of touch with the broader electorate — an electorate personified by the Times security guard who gushed over Biden in the Times elevator as he was headed up for his interview with the editorial board.

(….)

Biden aides, who spent months privately imploring the paper’s editors and reporters not to write him off too early in the cycle, still hold a grudge under the belief that the paper was institutionally aligned toward Warren and progressives.

Worse yet, Team Biden resented the fact that The Times would even acknowledge Hunter Biden’s life of ruin (even if they were part of [https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/curtis-houck/2022/03/17/networks-punt-massive-hunter-biden-story-nyt-confirms-laptop] the 2020 coverup of Hunter’s laptop).

Stokols later pointed out The Times has “devoted pages of coverage to the president’s early legislative successes”, but none of that has mattered to the regime as a “focus on Biden’s advanced age and his low numbers in the NYT’s approval poll have frustrated the president and top aides to no end.”

Once again, the White House is apparently gnashing its teeth over the paper even entertaining the slightest allusions to Biden’s age and other concerns or critiques because, in their eyes, their friends in the media should be wholly focused on the danger of Trump.

In other words, stories like thesethese, these, and these are verboten (despite stories like this one and this one that do what their elected overlords want).

Along with those gripes, check out the hilarious quotes from two Times leaders about their supposed impartiality, including claims they “don’t” “put [our] thumb on the scale” and instead “hold power to account” everyday:

 

The Times’ chief White House correspondent, Peter Baker, whose stories about Biden’s age have regularly strummed a particularly sensitive nerve, told me that the administration’s frustrations over his and his colleagues’ coverage wasn’t all that unique. “Every White House I’ve covered complains about our coverage. It comes with the territory,” he said. “But because of Trump, there’s this new assumption that the New York Times and other media are supposed to put their thumb on the scale and take sides and we don’t do that.”

Privately, other Times reporters who have engaged with the Biden White House and campaign view the frustration with the paper as a misguided effort to control its coverage. Beyond that, they believe writing about Trump with the stronger language Biden aides seem to want would likely do more to affect the newspaper’s brand, and the public’s trust in it, than Trump’s.

“We haven’t been tough enough on Trump? I mean, give me a break,” Bumiller responded when I asked about that oft-heard complaint. “Have they read our coverage? I don’t have to go through all the things we have covered on Trump so I just — we just do our jobs.”

Still, the White House and campaign officials most incensed by the Times’ coverage often trace their outrage back to Trump, who they see as a true threat to American democracy and, by extension, a free press…[t]hey viewed the matter as bigger than their or even Biden’s self-interest, expressing aggravation over the Times’ determination to maintain its neutral voice of God approach to an election that, in their view, is a matter of democracy’s survival.

When describing their grievances with the Times, almost every Biden administration and campaign official used the word “entitled” to characterize the institution writ large and several of the individuals within the newsroom, where “Timesian” is an adjective routinely deployed without irony. Those officials described reporters who refused to correct minor errors or mischaracterizations in stories or those who haven’t been willing to engage with anyone besides the most senior administration officials. That said, many White House officials maintain productive working relationships with most of the Times reporters who cover the beat.

Bumiller and other Times White House reporters note that it’s always been the newspaper’s prerogative to determine what to cover and how. “This is pretty much par for the course,” Bumiller said. “No White House has ever been happy with our coverage and I don’t see why they should be. Our job is to hold power to account.”

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The end of Stokols’s piece revolved around a story in Semafor [https://newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/curtis-houck/2024/01/08/team-biden-goes-full-dictator-demands-loyalty-media-gripefests]about off-the-record visits by news organizations to Biden’s reelection headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware to meet with staff and specifically that details of The Times’s visit leaked out.

Times reporters believe the leak had to have come from the campaign, the only ones who’d have had knowledge of all the meetings. And it led to conversations on the politics staff about whether to even engage with Wilmington in an off-the-record capacity. But campaign aides are certain the leak came from the Times side,” he explained.

But the most public backlash to the piece on Thursday came from the other half of the piece, which alleged The Times’s coverage of Biden has been dictated by publisher AG Sulzberger’s annoyance with the President refusing to sit for an interview with Times reporters.

On that, he would admittedly have a point as Biden has only given two print interviews thus far with one going to AP backscratcher Josh Boak and the other to his own personal biographer, Evan Osnos, to publish in The New Yorker.

In response, multiple Times personalities have lashed out and denied these claims of retribution and a spokesperson sent out a lengthy statement pushing back.

Go figure.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters [https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/curtis-houck/2024/04/25/everyone-point-and-laugh-team-biden-hating-nyt-not-being-liberal] and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Joe Biden