Last week brought some of the most serious challenges of Joe Biden’s presidency, as Americans have become sharply critical of his handling of Afghanistan, the U.S. economy, and numerous other issues.
Three major stories show the depth of those challenges — but you would know little about them if you read only certain legacy media outlets.
While some outlets covered these stories sparingly, many ignored all three. Let’s examine:
President Joe Biden’s Phone Call with the Fmr. President of Afghanistan
President Joe Biden’s poll numbers have plummeted thanks in large part to the televised fall of Kabul. Adding to his trouble are reports that during a phone call with the president of Afghanistan, he conditioned U.S. aid on changing the “perception” of Afghanistan, “whether it is true or not.”
On July 23, President Biden reportedly told then-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani: “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban. And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
“In the call, Biden offered aid if Ghani could publicly project he had a plan to control the spiraling situation in Afghanistan,” reported Reuters, which broke the story.
Despite the importance of the story, many outlets failed to cover it, and others virtually covered it up.
The Washington Post omitted the most serious details and buried the rest in a story about how Biden misjudged the might of the Afghan army. Their report does not mention the president’s apparent conditioning of continued military support on Ghani’s changing the “perception” of his faltering regime.
The Wall Street Journal covered the phone call’s contents on the op-ed page, with James Freeman writing, “Perhaps Mr. Biden should have been accounting for the reality of the people who were sitting in the path of this martial hurricane.”
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) and 26 other Republican congressmen agree, writing in a letter that the president “may have deliberately misled the American people leading up to and during this disastrously executed” evacuation.
Some commentators have tied the call to President Donald Trump’s 2019 discussion with the then-President of Ukraine, which led to Trump’s first impeachment over an alleged quid pro quo. While many legal analysts say Biden’s call does not rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” others point out the different ways Democrats — and the media — responded to each call.
In 2019, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki demanded more details about Trump’s call, tweeting: “It is not just the call transcript. The whistleblower complaint would likely have more details. We need both. And not just the call.” Yet she declined to discuss President Biden’s call with Ghani last week during a White House press briefing.
It is not just the call transcript. The whistleblower complaint would likely have more details. We need both. And not just the call.
— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) September 24, 2019
Conservative analysts were outraged that no reporter asked Psaki about her apparent double standard. Unlike President Trump’s Ukrainian call, “this phone call ended up with 13 dead American soldiers, stranded Afghan allies, stranded Americans,” Psaki’s predecessor, Kayleigh McEnany, told Sean Hannity last Thursday. “Not even to be asked about your own standard, that you yourself said in that tweet, is amazing.”
President Biden Invents a Visit to Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue
President Joe Biden apparently invented a memory of visiting Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the site of a 2018 mass shooting that left 11 people dead. During a meeting with Jewish leaders on Thursday before the High Holy Days, which begin with the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah, the president said in a halting manner, “I remember spending time at the — you know, going — going to the, you know, the Tree of Life Synagogue, speaking with them — just — just is amazing these things are happening. Happening in America.”
Here’s Joe Biden talking about visiting Tree of Life synagogue after the massacre there. The executive director of the synagogue says Biden is lying — he never visited. Totally normal. pic.twitter.com/GcFjU2u50i
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) September 2, 2021
But the synagogue says that President Biden did not visit the synagogue, either before or after taking office. President Trump, on the other hand, visited the synagogue within the week of the October 27 shooting. Rabbi Jeffrey Myers said he was “pleasantly surprised by a warm and personal side” of the president.
To its credit, CNN fact-checked President Biden during the 6 a.m. Eastern hour of Friday’s “New Day” program.
CNN noted that the White House “has not disputed” the synagogue’s denial that President Biden ever visited the house of worship in person. “CNN has found no news articles or anything else that would serve as evidence that Biden did visit.”
President Biden “said something that appears to be just false,” said Daniel Dale, concluding, “There’s just no evidence this is actually true.”
CNN seemingly stands alone in verifying the president’s often-faulty memory. A search of MSNBC, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News on Friday morning turned up no stories. The world’s largest news service, the Associated Press, apparently did not find it newsworthy, nor did Reuters. The story appeared to be ignored by both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal alike. The Washington Post overlooked the story, although it mentioned the Pittsburgh synagogue last week in a story about the spread of anti-Semitism on TikTok.
Curiously, Biden’s memory gaffe appears to be absent even from the area’s local, left-of-center newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
During the past five years, virtually every legacy media story contained an assertion that President Trump made “baseless claims,” asserted something “without proof,” or spoke “falsely.” The omission is all the more shocking, since this is not the first time Biden has seemingly shared false memories. He claimed he met victims of the Parkland high school shooting “when I was vice president” (although the shooting took place more than a year after he left office), insisted that terrorists “forced down” his helicopter during a trip to Afghanistan, and asserted he was arrested while trying to visit Nelson Mandela in a South African prison.
Biden’s Historically Low Approval Polls
With the cascade of bad news, arguably triggered by bad decisions, the Biden administration’s popularity has sunken to a new low. “President Biden’s approval rating slid to just 43% in the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. That is down 6 percentage points from a survey conducted in July and is the lowest mark for Biden in the poll since taking office,” reported NPR (at your expense). Reuters reported Monday on its own poll, which found 51% of Americans disapprove of President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
One in five Biden voters says he/she regrets voting for Biden, according to a recent Zogby poll.
Meanwhile, an NBC News survey last month found that Vice President Kamala Harris had a lower approval rating than any vice president in the history of the poll, dating back nearly 30 years to Al Gore.
Yet there is little evidence of these polls in the legacy media.
To his credit, CNN’s Chris Cillizza reported the NPR poll under the headline, “This poll number will send Democrats into a panic.”
ABC News coverage presented Joe Biden as the victim of events beyond his control. Its Friday story, titled “Biden battered by wild political turns,” blames “a wild month of national, international, meteorological and epidemiological events” which “leaves Biden at the low point of his presidency.”
Other media outlets have chosen to focus on the one area where polls show the American people view Biden favorably: ending America’s 20-year-long military presence in Afghanistan. The Washington Post’s story on the poll Friday morning began by emphasizing that “Americans overwhelmingly support President Biden’s decision to end the war in Afghanistan,” adding that “they disapprove of how he handled the chaotic and ultimately deadly withdrawal.” Only in the second paragraph does it mention the “drop in Biden’s overall approval rating, which for the first time in his presidency is net negative.” Similarly, MSNBC’s Chris Jansing noted that “the American people, in poll after poll, support the withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, and CBS News have had nothing to say — a marked contrast with the way they covered his Republican predecessors. The legacy media could hardly contain themselves in reporting on the polls of former Presidents Trump and George W. Bush throughout their presidencies.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.