The Big Biden Speech Meltdown
The ConWeb simultaneously -- and unsurprisingly -- had fits over President Biden's speech calling out the extremism of MAGA Republicans.
By Terry Krepel
The ConWeb moves in ideological lockstep on many things, and hatred of President Biden is one of them. So when Biden gave a Sept. 1 speech using tough language against right-wing Trump supporters who refuse to accept that the indisputable fact there was no fraud in the 2020 federal election and pointing out the threat that poses to the country, the ConWeb rose up to attack the speech with everything they had.
First up, CNSNews.com, which did a lot of whining about the speech:
When Biden did make that speech, CNS worked hard to portray it as negatively as possible. Jones was first up to complain:
"Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal," President Joe Biden said Thursday night in Philadelphia, as he called for the nation to "come together," even as he disparaged Donald Trump and his supporters, saying they "represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic."
Jones offered no fact-based rebuttal to anything Biden said, but she made sure to give space to Republican attacks:
In a speech in Scranton on Thursday, a speech billed as a "pre-buttal," House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said since Biden became president, he "has launched an assault on the soul of America and its people and its laws -- on its most sacred values.
Then the cherry-picking began. Patrick Goodenough groused that "On a day when President Biden in a combative speech lumped opposition to abortion with other purported characteristics of the “extremism” represented by “MAGA Republicans,” a DNC Twitter post on the subject prompted a plaintive question from the advocacy group Democrats for Life of America: “What about pro-life Democrats?” We don't recall CNS giving pro-choice Republicans similar deference. Jeffrey brought his anti-abortion obsession as well:
President Joe Biden delivered an address in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Thursday night--that the White House described as remarks on the “battle for the soul of the nation”--in which Biden advocated for same-sex marriage and killing unborn babies through abortion.
Since it had trouble rebutting Biden on the facts, CNS then moved to optics. An anonymously written article complained that "Biden used two members of the U.S. Marine Corps as props to stand behind him outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Thursday night as he delivered a speech attacking what he called “MAGA Republicans.” But the anonymous reporter censored the fact that Trump had no problem using the military as props for his political purposes.
Craig Bannister devoted an article to repeating right-wing attacks on the "ominous" lighting of the stage from which Biden gave the speech:
Ominous images from President Joe Biden’s “battle for the soul of America” prime-time address Thursday night went viral on social media, as the angry, animated president stood before a striking blood-red background with Marines on either side in the shadows behind him during a "dark and divisive" speech.
In a separate article, Bannister cheered that "Broadcast networks ABC, NBC, and CBS aired their regularly-scheduled programs Thursday, instead of President Joe Biden’s angry, divisive speech attacking Make America Great Again (MAGA) Americans."
There were still more attack articles as well:
For all their political attacks, none of these articles offered a fact-based rebuttal to anything Biden said in his speech.
Media Research Center
Like its "news" division CNS, the Media Research Center did not like Biden's speech. In a pre-speech post, Nicholas Fondacaro set up the right-wing narrative of Biden (and not the highly divisive Donald Trump) as the real divider, and whine about CNN as well:
In another example of his open defiance of new CNN boss Chris Licht’s order to be less egregious in their partisanship, Don Lemon spent part of his eponymous show on Wednesday arguing with Republican Scott Jennings and absurdly claiming that President Biden was “unifying” the country by calling Republicans fascists. He even suggested it was “the truth about what is happening in the country” and asked, “where’s the lie?”
After the speech, the pro-Republican Bill D'Agostino started the whinefest by complaining that people outside his right-wing bubble liked it:
President Biden’s Thursday night speech was a big hit on the pro-Democrat TV networks. CNN, MSNBC, and NBC News Now all carried the event and heaped effusive praise on their favorite president’s rhetoric.
Curtis Houck insisted it was "GROSS" (as he stated in all-caps in his headline) for Biden to call right-wing extremists what they are:
The “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC eagerly reported Friday morning how President Biden spent Thursday evening declaring former President Trump and his 74-million-plus voters not only dangerous but threats to national security (despite Biden’s attempts to walk it back).
Alex Christy piled on CNN's Lemon again:
Don Lemon responded to President Biden’s Thursday partisan screed by accusing GOP critics of playing word games, because in his mind there is a big difference between allegations that Biden called Republicans fascists and the fact that he called MAGA a semi-fascist ideology. Lemon further alleged that anybody who doesn’t appreciate this difference is suffering from hearing loss.
Scott Whitlock huffed: "Doing the dirty work of Joe Biden, MSNBC vilified half the country on three separate shows, comparing the Democrat to Abraham Lincoln’s fight to save the union or Franklin Roosevelt’s rhetorical fight in 1940 against fascism."
P.J. Gladnick tried to establish an alternate narrative, claiming that "As a reflection of just how poorly Joe Biden's dark speech in Philadelphia on Thursday about what he labeled as MAGA extremism was received, even a number of liberals criticized it." But he named only one person, a Washington Post columnist whom he did not prove was a "liberal." Tim Graham's podcast predictably stuck to the narrative:
President Biden gave a nasty primetime speech on Thursday night on how 'MAGA Republicans' are a threat to American democracy, and the media celebrated it as "reclaiming patriotism." He explicitly called out the entire Republican Party as threatening the future of democracy in America.
Christy joined the whine brigade against another CNN commentator:
CNN’s S.E. Cupp traveled over to CNN International’s Amanpour and Company on Friday, which is broadcast in the United States on PBS, to discuss President Biden’s “semi-fascist” remarks. The allegedly conservative Cupp proclaimed the label to be “correctly” applied and it was “courageous” of Biden to do so.
Graham then ran to his favorite "news" channel to whine about the speech some more:
NewsBusters Executive Editor Tim Graham discussed President Biden's primetime speech decrying 'MAGA Republicans' endangering democracy on Friday's Fox News at Night. Fox host Kevin Corke noted The Washington Post editorial board criticized the speech as more partisan than patriotic.
Mark Finkelstein complained about MSNBC guest host Tiffany Cross and guest Roland Martin endorsing Biden's speech, adding: "And note that Martin wasn't singling out ultra-MAGA Republicans as 'evil.' In inviting Martin to comment, Cross explicitly said that Trump's followers are 'mainstream, establishment Republicans [who] are echoing these calls for violence. All but threatening it.'"
Christy returned to whine some more, this that that "CNN’s John Avlon approached Tuesday’s so-called reality check on New Day claiming to be a man of data as he defended President Biden’s recent speech denouncing “MAGA Republicans.” Yet, as Avlon lamented the “gnashing of teeth” from Republicans in response, Avlon again claimed Republicans are more extreme than Democrats."
Biden's speech didn't go over well at WND, which hurled all the invective it could find or invent to attack it. Bob Unruh parroted the response of right-wing evangelist Franklin Graham, who called the speech an attack on "freedom-loving Americans," followed by attacks from more of Unruh's fellow right-wingers. Unruh followed that by quoting the response of Donald Trump, who is the lead instigator in threatening democracy, and insert his own non-journalistic bias:
President Donald Trump, known for his blunt and often insulting social media comments while in office, was on familiar ground responding to Joe Biden's Philadelphia speech, in which the Democrat blamed patriotic Republicans for trying to kill democracy.
Then came the hyperbolic reactions from WND's columnists. Here's a sampling:
That speech given by Biden was intended to incite civil war in America. Biden and his communist comrades want violence and a badly divided nation. They're daring us to start a civil war.
-- Wayne Allyn Root, Sept. 2 column
After hearing the president criticize the people who do not agree with him politically, I was left with a feeling of disgust. It seems to me that the man who is in the office of president of my country, declared the winner of the prior election, and considered the leader of the free world, would have more decency than to accuse his political opponent and his supporters of undermining democracy.
-- Barbara Simpson, Sept. 2 column
-- Joseph Farah, Sept. 5 column
In front of a creepy dark red backdrop, with men in military uniforms standing several feet behind him that has since been compared to a scene from George Orwell's dystopian "1984," Biden accused "the extreme MAGA ideology" of engaging in an "ongoing attack on democracy."
-- Rachel Alexander, Sept. 5 column
Biden believes he is historically a "messianic" figure like Lincoln during the Civil War and FDR in World War II. I personally pray for him daily but believe he is cognitively deficient, living in a state of denial and devoid of a moral compass to protect human life in the womb, on the border or in war-torn Afghanistan where multitudes were callously left behind as the Taliban reconstitutes, enslaves masses and puts women back into slavery. Where is the outcry from the women of the world?
-- Larry Tomczak, Sept. 6 column
To anyone not living in Joe Biden's Bizarro World it is clear that the Americans who do care about limited constitutional government and the rule of the law are the nation's conservative, those and a few stray friends.
-- Jack Cashill, Sept. 7 column
But this was no mere speech-writing misfire; the panic-pimping is deliberate.
-- Laura Hollis, Sept. 8 column
Could OBiden's Nazi-themed speech of Sept. 1 have been subtle psychological preparation of the American people for imminent war with Russia and a not-so subtle taunt and mockery of Vladimir Putin's pledge to de-Nazify Ukraine (and the West)?
-- Scott Lively, Sept. 8 column
Nope, they didn't take it very well at all, and they're projecting -- pretending that their beloved Trump was never polarizing or hateful toward his political opponents.
Newsmax did what it could to attack Biden's speech. A "news" article, apparently a Reuters piece that was "contributed" to by Newsmax, led off its coverage under the headline "Divider-in-Chief?":
President Joe Biden charged Republican allies of Donald Trump with undermining the country's democratic foundations and urged voters on Thursday to reject extremism ahead of midterm elections in November.
Newsmax also devoted an article by Charles Kim complaining that "Progressives appear to be very happy with President Joe Biden's speech."
Jeffrey Rodack served as the servile pro-Trump stenographer of Trump's rage-posting in a Sept. 2 article:
Former President Donald Trump is blasting Joe Biden's prime-time speech, calling it "awkward and angry," and saying the president "must be insane or suffering from late stage dementia."
Then came the usual transcriptions of Newsmax TV appearances by right-wing activists and Republican politicians:
Newsmax's own resident Trump toady, Dick Morris, chimed in as well:
President Joe Biden's dark and divisive Thursday speech was not about America, but more about former President Donald Trump to try to turn the attention of the midterm voters to the past president rather than the struggles of the sitting one, according to presidential adviser Dick Morris on Newsmax.
The faulty library-book excuses comes straight from Trump's lawyers.
Newsmax columnists unsurprisingly hated the speech as well. Michael Dorstewitz issued a litany of complaints, only some of which had to do with the speech:
President Joe Biden pointed his finger in the wrong direction during last night’s prime-time speech when he purported to describe an "ongoing attack on democracy."
Dorstewitz didn't explain why it was a bad thing to do what needed to be done to try and limit the spread of a deadly virus, and he failed to mention that the COVID vaccine was developed under Trump (and is not "experimental").
Newsmax was still attacking the speech days later. A Sept. 6 article transcribed a Newsmax TV appearance by Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin, who declared that ''I think President Biden owes every patriot American out there that's from a red state that voted for President Trump an apology, and he should do it now,'' and another article gave space to GOP Rep. Ralph Norman to whine that "Joe Biden did what he always does, which is use his voice to basically lambaste anybody that voted for President Trump. His hatred is that big."