Politico Scoop: Biden Uses ‘Thumbs Up’ Emojis

President-elect Joe Biden gestures as he leaves an event to name his economic team at the Queen Theater on December 1, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden is nominating and appointing key positions of the team, including Janet Yellen to be Secretary of the Treasury.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

In what Politico describes as “tomorrow’s conversation, tonight,” the outlet spent quite a bit of time gushing over former Vice President Joe Biden’s reading and news habits.

In its nightly newsletter, Politico described “what Joe Biden reads and watches” in a positive light, unlike the way left-leaning media outlets spent years deriding President Donald Trump for watching Fox News.

“In the Biden administration, the foreign policy establishment is expected to return to its usual position of influence for the occupant of the Oval Office. But so is the news media establishment,” the outlet began, with seemingly no qualms about how the media part could be read by readers with different viewpoints.

Biden, we’re informed by “five current and former aides,” gets news packages curated for him like every other politician, and those sometimes includes tweets and “moments from late-night shows that break through.”

Jay Carney, Biden’s communications director when he was vice president, told Politico that “Biden reads a lot, but doesn’t watch a lot of TV news.”

Well, except “Morning Joe,” which Biden watches while he gets ready in the morning.

While the media excoriated Trump for watching Fox, it turns out Biden watches the network, too:

And he will sometimes catch glimpses of TV coverage between meetings and is particularly interested in how Fox News covers him. “It’s instructive for how a certain slice of the country is being told how to interpret what he does and what he says,” said one longtime Biden aide.

Biden also watches CNN at night if he’s home in time.

So, Biden doesn’t watch TV news, except MSNBC in the morning, CNN at night, and Fox News whenever he’s mentioned.

Oh, but old-school Biden loves the newspapers!

“He gets the New York Times delivered to his house every day, so he can read it in print. He also loves to read the Delaware News-Journal and the Philadelphia Inquirer. ‘He’s still in many ways Delaware’s senator,’ said the longtime Biden aide. ‘He’s still very acutely focused on his local papers,’” Politico reported. “He often reads The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and the Atlantic magazine.”

But something Politico found fascinating enough to include in bold in the newsletter was the fact that Biden sometimes uses the thumbs-up emoji in response to links that are texted to him. Politico explained that this suggests Biden is “fluent, or at least proficient, in emoji.” Saying Biden is “fluent, or at least proficient” in emoji because he uses one emoji sometimes is like saying someone is “fluent, or at least proficient” in Spanish because they regularly use the phrase “¿Cómo estás?” and can answer it in Spanish as well.

Biden also apparently calls up authors when he likes their columns. He like a David Brooks column from October 2017 so much he called Brooks to discuss the piece and then cited it repeatedly in his stump speeches. Recall that Trump used to send notes to authors when he liked their articles, but didn’t receive the same positive coverage.

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