CBS reported the story as an “exclusive.” Multiple Washington Post writers were more excited about this than they were for the first steps toward peace in the Middle East in decades.
Many of us love animals, including those that go to the White House to live with presidents, but media fawning over the announcement that Joe Biden would get a cat for his administration shows exactly what kind of coverage we can expect of the Biden administration over the next four years. CBS Sunday Morning tweeted Friday evening that not only would the Bidens bring their two German shepherds to the White House, but that the family “tell us exclusively that soon they’ll be joined by a cat.”
And now some breaking news on #SundayMorning…
President-elect @JoeBiden and his wife @DrBiden won’t just be bringing their German shepherds, Major and Champ to the White House. The Bidens tell us exclusively that soon they’ll be joined by a cat. #sundaypets pic.twitter.com/KCkNV6jNpH
— CBS Sunday Morning 🌞 (@CBSSunday) November 28, 2020
An exclusive. About a White House pet.
Even for someone who loves cats, this is a bit much.
James Hohmann, the national political correspondent for The Washington Post (an opinion page position) tweeted the news about the Biden cat with emojis and a shot at President Donald Trump.
“Huge news for ailurophiles: The Bidens reportedly plan to get a cat!” Hohmann wrote. “Trump busted so many norms. One is his refusal to have any White House pets. As Far as I can tell, from some digging, Trump is the first U.S. president since Andrew Johnson to never have any pets.”
Hohmann followed up that tweet with one naming cats that have resided in the White House during previous administrations, including Socks, who belonged to President Bill Clinton and his family. Another cat on the list was one who belonged to President Jimmy Carter, named Misty Malarky Ying Yang (seriously).
Chelsea Janes, another Washington Post reporter who covered the 2020 presidential campaign, suggested Biden should name his own cat “Malarky,” based on one of his catchphrases, adding then that Biden’s cat wouldn’t be the only presidential cat to carry the name.
“Honestly one of the most underrated plot twists in American history is that Joe Biden’s cat wouldn’t be the first feline named Malarky in the White House,” Janes wrote.
Amy B. Wang, a Post reporter who also covered the 2020 presidential campaigns, asked “who tipped [Hohmann] off because he was READY with the White House cat history!” Hohmann responded that the history “was all prewritten” and labeled in the Post’s internal publishing system as “BIDENCAT-IF,” just in case Biden did decide to get a cat.
Cathleen Decker, a Post editor, responded to all of this by tweeting: “I’m on Team Malarkey but only if it’s a bad cat so everyone in the White House has to run around screaming ‘No, Malarkey!’”
No one thinks reporters shouldn’t have fun or that silly stories like White House pets shouldn’t be covered. It’s simply the fact that reporters never once fawned over anything regarding the Trump administration like they do with Democrats. Even Melania and Ivanka Trump’s beautiful clothes were largely ignored by reporters and commentators, and they were attacked any time they posted a photo with their families.
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