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Thursday, March 2, 2023
CNS Covered State Of The Union Speech Through An Anti-Biden Lens
Topic: prepped for President Biden's State of the Union address with a little pre-speech grousing:

  • A Feb 6 article by Micky Wootten complained that "In preparation for President Joe Biden’s 2023 State of the Union (SOTU) address, security fences have been erected around the perimeter of the U.S. Capitol building, a practice that has become commonplace since the Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021."
  • A Feb. 7 article by Susan Jones carried the editorializing headline "White House: 25 Guests 'Personify' Liberal Agenda That Biden Will Address Tonight," but the article itself did not use the word "liberal" at all to describe the guests or the agenda.Jones did, however, insist on referring to same-sex marriage as "homosexual marriage."
  • An article by Craig Bannister hyped that "A gaming site is giving two-to-one (2-1) odds Pres. Joe Biden will say the word 'Trump' during Tuesday night’s State of the Union (SOTU) address – and even greater odds he’ll use less flattering terms to refer to his predecessor."

The main after-speech article, by Patrick Goodenough, carrired the derogatory headline "Biden Inexplicably Shouts About Chinese Leader, in an Address Light on Foreign Policy":

In a State of the Union address that was otherwise almost entirely devoid of foreign policy, President Biden on Tuesday night did devote several hundred words to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and to the challenges posed by China.

On the first, he said America had united NATO, confronted Vladimir Putin’s aggression, and stood with the Ukrainian people.

On China, too, Biden touted U.S. leadership on his watch, declaring, “Before I came to office, the story was about how the People’s Republic of China was increasing its power and America was failing in the world.”

“Not anymore,” he added with a small grin.

So talking about Ukraine was "foreign policy"? Weird. That was followed by a raft of Republican and CNS (but we repeat ourselves) attacks on Biden and the speech:

That was followed by a few articles nitpicking the speech, as CNS is prone to do on Biden but didn't for Trump:

And like its Media Research Center parent, CNS threw a fit over Biden pointing out that Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare. Melanie Arter complained:

President Biden claimed Tuesday during his State of the Union address that Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare, but his words prompted boos and outcry by Republicans during his speech.

“Some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage. I get it. Unless I agree to their economic plans. All of you at home should know what those plans are. Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans, Some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset,” Biden said, which prompted outcry from Republicans in the audience.

“I'm not saying it's a majority. Let me give you Anybody who doubts it. Contact my office. I’ll give you a copy. I'll give you a copy of the proposal. That means Congress doesn't vote. I'm glad to see you. No, I tell you I enjoy conversion. It means if Congress doesn't keep the programs where they are, they go away,” he said.

“Other Republicans say, I'm not saying it's a majority of you. I don't even think it's even significant— but it's being proposed by individuals. I'm not— politely not naming them, but it's being proposed by some of you. Folks. The idea is. That we're not going to be, we're not going to be moved into being threatened to default on the debt if we don't respond,” Biden said to boos from the GOP. 

Then the president recognized that Republicans don’t want to cut Social Security and Medicare.

Another article by Arter complained that Biden said he got Republicans to agree to not cut Social Security and Medicare by calling them out:

One day after accusing Republicans of trying to cut Medicare and Social Security during his State of the Union address and then relenting, President Biden was at it again during a speech on the economy in DeForest, Wis.

He talked about the Republican outcry to his remarks, then called out Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) for proposing cuts in both programs, but he said the “good news” is that he made a “deal” with Republicans on the House floor not to make cuts to either program.

A Feb. 9 article by Arter quoted Scott -- the very Republican Biden was effectively calling out -- playing whataboutism: "Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) accused President Biden of lying about his intention to sunset Medicare and Social Security, pointing out that it was the president himself that proposed that very thing in 1995 when Biden was a senator." Arter also gave Scott space to explain how hisproposed economic plan doesn't actually advocate for cutting Social Security and Medicare even though it demands that all federal programs be sunsetted in five years.

An article by Bannister the same day let Scott rant:

“You pick the time and the place,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) offered Thursday, challenging Joe Biden to a debate, during the president’s visit to Florida, regarding Biden’s claim that Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare.

Scott tweeted the invitation to Biden just before one in the afternoon, saying he wanted an opportunity to dispel Biden’s lies:

Arter also tried to play gotcha in a Feb. 9 article: "President Joe Biden has been accusing Republicans of trying to cut Social Security and Medicare, but it was Biden who proposed that very thing back in 1995 when he was a senator debating the Balanced Budget Amendment." But a Feb. 10 article by Jones featured Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell emphatically making the point that Scott's plan is "not a Republican plan," going on to complain that "The issue of benefit cuts, which came to the fore in the 2022 election (thanks to Rick Scott), looks to be a main argument for Biden and his fellow Democrats in 2024 as well."

(A week later, Scott amended his plan to specifically exclude those programs, a development CNS has yet to tell its readers about.)

Arter went into stenography mode for a couple articles that weren't anti-Biden, repeating statements from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre:

Bannister devoted a Feb. 9 article to cheering allegedly low ratings from Biden's speech:

State of the Union viewership fell 28% this year, setting the record for the lowest audience for an official State of the Union address in the 30 years Nielsen has been reporting the statistic.

Biden’s 2021 address to Congress was lower, but it wasn’t an official State of the Union address, because he had been in office for only a few months, instead of a full year.

The complaints continued days later, as demonstrated in a Feb. 13 article by Jones:

President Biden continues to insist the Republicans wants to cut Social Security and Medicare programs, pointing to the plan of a single Republican -- Sen. Rick Scott of Florida.

Republican leaders in both chambers say there's no way they'll cut those benefit programs, and two Republicans emphasized that on different Sunday talk shows:

"We're not going to cut Social Security or Medicare. We've been very clear about that," Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told ABC's "This Week."

Jones didn't mention that Republicans can be easily found on the record advocating for cutting Social Security and Medicare.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:56 AM EST
Updated: Monday, March 6, 2023 12:36 AM EST

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