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Tuesday, November 1, 2022
MRC Obsesses Over Biden Gaffe
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center M.O. is to cherry-pick an issue (or follow orders to cherry-pick one), flood the zone with outraged posts about it, with the goal of forcing the story up the right-wing media food chain -- a ploy that usually works, given how slavishly devoted people in the right-wing bubble are to regurgitating established narratives.

And so it is with President Biden's gaffe of calling on a congresswoman for recognition who had died a few months before. We've noted the MRC's Curtis Houck berating White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for doing her job in taking questions "after President Joe Biden called out to Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN) at a global hunger event despite the fact that Walorski died nearly two months ago" and being mad that she wasn't furthering the right-wing narrative that the gaffe was "a sign of cognitive decline."

Because the MRC (or whatever shady Right-Wing Narrative Production Office that dictates what the MRC must cover) decided this was a story that could be exploited by pushing the narrative that he's mentally incapacitated, this was just the beginning. A Sept. 28 item by Kevin Tober pushed the usual the-non-right-wing-media-aren't covering-this-story-that-advances-our-narrative angle (but praising Fox News, of course, for sticking to the narrative):

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden proved once again he's not mentally with us anymore when he called out for Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN) during a speech on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health despite the fact that Walorski died in a car crash in August. While Biden may not be capable of remembering events that far back, we know he was notified of her death since he and the First Lady both put out a statement and lowered the American flag in her honor when she passed along with two staffers. 

All three evening newscasts ignored the latest gaffe from our apparently senile President and instead focused on a reported Methane spill in the Baltic Sea (CBS Evening News), and Katie Couric's cancer diagnosis (ABC's World News Tonight). meanwhile, NBC spent the entire half hour of NBC Nightly News covering Hurricane Ian. 

During Fox News Channel's Special Report White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich covered Biden's latest gaffe and the subsequent firestorm at the White House press briefing on whether Biden even remembered that Walorski died.


The terrible combination of Joe Biden's almost daily gaffes and Karine Jean-Pierre's stunning inability to put together a coherent sentence makes it obvious why the leftist news networks have no interest in covering the administration's never-ending list of incompetence and failures. 

That was followed by Alex Christy praising Trevor Noah of "The Daily Show" for noting "Biden’s latest moment of indignity" and whacking other late-night hosts for not doing so.Scott Whitlock quickly followed that with another lack-of-coverage-of-our-narrative post headlined "Biden Gaffe Watch Day #2":

As we noted on Wednesday night, the networks avoided the cringe-inducing moment when the President asked where a recently deceased Congresswoman was, wondering of Jackie Walorski: “Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie?” All three evening newscasts censored the President’s latest awkward moment.  

How about Thursday? Despite an available six hours of air time, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS Mornings and NBC’s Today all avoided it as well. But what about Hurricane Ian threatening Florida, you might ask? Would there be time? The networks rightly offered detailed coverage on this dangerous storm and all who were impacted by it.

But there was still time to cover Biden’s latest example of being confused in public. For instance, ABC’s Good Morning America managed to devote five minutes and six seconds to Hocus Pocus 2. Sounding like a commercial for his Disney overlords, co-host George Stephanopoulos enthused that the original has “come to define Halloween for a generation of kids and their parents.” Shilling for his corporate parent, he reminded, “[Hocus Pocus 2] starts streaming tomorrow on Disney+!” 

At least Whitlock managed to restrain himself from (hypocritically) calling ABC "whores" for promoting Disney content.

Curtis Houck tried to mix in another narrative to Biden's "mental flatulence" regarding Vice P{resident Kamala Harris misspeaking, whining that "Naturally, the broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC all ignored this story despite the fact that all three had at least three segments of other stories not related to the devastation caused in Florida by Hurricane Ian."

Nicholas Fondacaro lashed out at "The View," as he is wont to do, for calling out the MRC-pushed anti-Biden narrative:

President Biden’s cognitive decline was catapulted into the spotlight on Wednesday after he called out for a member of Congress that had been dead for nearly two months, with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre getting grilled by the liberal likes of the Washington Post and ABC. But ABC’s The View was in full gaslight mode Thursday as they suggested the questions were attacks launched by the “right-wing” media trying to “weaponize” Biden’s “brain fart” because America was evil and “ageist.”


Co-host Sara Haines also spoke out in Biden’s defense claiming he had a “brain fart” or “mommy brain” moment and tried to blame Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for how badly it went over:

I think her explanation made it worse though because in that moment, I probably would have just said, “Okay, guys. He had a moment. Who in this room hasn't?” And then just move on. The fact she kept kind of repeating the same words –

Behar interjected to defend Jean-Pierre, suggesting she was dealing with hostile media that “has weaponized his gaffes!” “I mean, they have weaponized the gaffes, They’ve said that he’s senile,” she raged.


According to [Alyssa] Farah Griffin, Biden’s constant mental slips weren’t a cause for concern but they were instead “endearing.” And she too thought Jean-Pierre was the problem:“The cover-up was worse than the crime.”

Farah Griffin also used the incident to pose the question to the table: “Do you think Joe Biden is the strongest candidate to beat Donald Trump in 2024?” “If this is any indication, I do,” Goldberg proclaimed.

Tim Graham devoted a Sept. 30 post to complaining that a non-right-wing writer wasn't parroting the MRC's right-wing spin by parrotingh a fellow member of his right-wing bubble:

John Sexton at Hot Air identified some terrible spin trying to defend Biden forgetting Rep. Jackie Walorski is dead. USA Today columnist Jill Lawrence, a longtime political reporter and a former editor of the paper's Commentary section, suggested the memory lapse demonstrated Biden's decency, unlike Trump.


The headline in Friday's paper is "President's lapse says volumes about his generosity: Biden recognizes his 'duty to care' for all."  Barf. 

Yes, Graham's slavish devotion to his narratives is quite barf-worthy. Indeed, later that day, he devoted his podcast to rehashing the MRC's narrative thus far as "a week of Biden-Harris gaffes -- and the media energetically ignoring Biden-Harris gaffes."

Tober returned for an Oct. 2 post of more whining that right-wing narratives weren't being parroted in non-right-wing media:

On Sunday’s NBC Meet the Press, anchor Chuck Todd excused the latest example of President Biden’s mental incapacity when this week he called out for Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN) at an event, despite the fact that she died in a car accident a month prior. According to Todd, it wasn’t a big deal because “people make mistakes.” 


Illustrating that she’s nothing but a Biden apologist, [Symone] Sanders-Townsend advised everyone “just acknowledge he had a slip of the tongue, move on, it's unfortunate, again, life is here. He understands, and empathizes,” adding “that's what’s most important here.” 

Instead of pushing back and saying this shows Biden has serious cognitive issues, Todd agreed with Sanders-Townsend that “people make mistakes and you try to go from there.” 

A mistake would be forgetting someone’s name for a split second or something similar. Forgetting that a member of Congress died in a well publicized car crash isn’t a mistake. It is yet another long list of evidence of Biden’s rapidly declining brain function. 

Chuck Todd is only fooling himself.

Graham whined the next day: "On Sunday'sMediaBuzz on Fox News, host Howard Kurtz discussed President Biden's Jackie gaffe with Brian Kilmeade and Democrat strategist Laura Fink. Kurtz underlined CNN and MSNBC completely ignored the gaffe, but Fink claimed ABC, CBS, and NBC all covered it. That is false." Mark Finkelstein took his shot at advancing the narrative in an Oct. 4 post complaining that "Morning Joe" didn't advance his preferred narrative.

That makes 11 posts over a seven-day period, with at least one post every day but one -- and the MRC still wasn't done. Graham devoted his Oct. 7 column to complaining that his anti-Biden nbarrative wasn't followed, and then oddly played Trump whataboutism:

By now, everyone who follows politics should recognize that the liberal media will deliberately ignore embarrassing gaffes by Joe Biden, especially if they suggest he’s not mentally sharp enough to be the president. Biden asking “Where’s Jackie?” about a congresswoman killed in a car crash two months ago was a TV black hole: nothing on the morning and evening newscasts on ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS, and nothing on CNN or MSNBC.

This week offered a tidy contrast, and an inevitable reminder that these same networks can never stop obsessing over Trump tweets – even after he was banned by Twitter.

The taxpayer-funded PBS NewsHour took after Trump on Monday in a segment with two liberal political pundits – NPR’s Hillary-coddling reporter Tamara Keith and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report.

PBS White House reporter Laura Barron Lopez read from a Trump post on “Truth Social,” his Twitter imitation, where he said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “has a death wish and must immediately seek help and advice from his China-loving wife, Coco Chow.” This mysterious outburst is referring to Elaine Chao, who Trump named his Secretary of Transportation.

Lopez added: “Today, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney said that rhetoric like that could cause violence. She also called it racist. But the vast majority of Republicans have not condemned this. So, Tamara, what does this silence among the GOP say about the party today?”

Rather than admit the simple fact that Trump is being kinda racist -- and, thus, have to explain why he and the rest of the MRC  still remains a devoted supporter of such a vile man -- Graham attacked PBS for bringing it up, huffing that "PBS is always making sure Trump’s trash talk is in the news, and Biden babbling like he’s lost a marble or two is spiked." Of course, Graham would never have mentioned Trump's sleazy remark at all if he couldn't play whataboutism with it. But he's also making a hollow and hypocritical criticism, given that the MRC runs a highly biased "news" division,, that completely censored the "Coco Chow" story and any other story that reflects badly on Republicans, such as the Herschel Walker abortion scandal.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:25 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2022 10:28 PM EDT

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