August 4, 2021

WELL, IT’S NOT: Journalists Must Stop Covering the Biden Presidency Like It’s Normal: ‘Politics as usual’ approach to reporting won’t cut it, will only enable our norm-defying commander in chief.

Every American, especially the ones with journalism degrees, understands the critical role journalists play in sustaining our democracy. If politics is the moral equivalent of war—and most experts agree that it is—journalists are the elite commandos operating behind enemy lines, risking it all so the rest of us don’t have to.

One shudders to imagine the wretched authoritarianism that might have befallen our great nation if, for example, CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter had lacked the courage to spellcheck former president Donald Trump’s tweets. Nevertheless, the threat to American democracy persists.

Political journalists have yet to prove they are up to the challenge of covering Joe Biden’s norm-defying presidency. Instead, they cling bitterly to “objectivity,” the arcane notion that defined the journalism industry in the years before its largely blue-collar workforce could be replaced by educated intellectuals.

As Margaret Sullivan writes in the Washington Post: “Mainstream journalists want their work to be perceived as fair-minded and nonpartisan. They want to defend themselves against charges of bias. So they equalize the unequal. This practice seems so ingrained as to be unresolvable.”

Given the unique challenge Biden and his allies pose to the American democratic experiment, a “politics as usual” approach to journalism is not only inadequate—it is downright dangerous. Effective immediately, our nation’s journalists—whose heroism is beyond dispute—must stop covering this moment in history as if there’s anything “normal” about it. There isn’t!

Biden promised to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the virus continues to decimate the population. Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, elite enclaves frequented by Biden supporters, have become hotbeds of contagion. Democratic politicians have waged biological warfare on Washington, D.C., where the Democratic mayor continues to put lives at risk by ignoring safety protocols.

This is not normal. And they’ll admit that as soon as they’re instructed to do so.

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