With the election just 44 days away, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are both campaigning as hard as they can; with Trump giving hour-long speeches to stadiums packed with energized supporters, and Biden struggling to read from a teleprompter to mostly empty rooms – rarely taking questions and routinely arguing with voters when he does.
Joe Biden’s idea of ‘campaigning’ is hopping on his private jet once a week, traveling to a state he can’t remember the name of, reading a speech to a near empty room, and taking 0 questions.
— Abigail Marone (@abigailmarone) September 18, 2020
When the former Vice President does interact with the press, they throw him absolute softballs. As The Hill‘s Niall Stanage notes, during a recent CNN town hall event, the questions were “overwhelmingly sympathetic.”
“The event’s moderator, Anderson Cooper, was also respectful toward Biden, offering little by way of interrogation of the former vice president,” Stanage writes.
Biden is doing very well, yes. But this is not exactly getting him ready to face tough questions from a Chris Wallace or Jake Tapper (should he decide to do so).
— Jeff Greenfield (@greenfield64) September 18, 2020
Here’s Brian Stelter really journalisming it up on why the media routinely throw softballs to Biden pic.twitter.com/TAlCJBNXpA
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 18, 2020
With Trump, it’s a different story.
The contrast to an ABC News town hall featuring President Trump several days earlier was stark. Trump faced stern questions from audience members and from the moderator, George Stephanopoulos.
Politico’s Christopher Cadelago contrasted Trump’s “icy grilling” with the Biden event’s resemblance to “an affable reunion of old acquaintances.” –The Hill
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) September 18, 2020
When Politico accuses CNN of a softball Interview, you know there’s a problem.
This man might become POTUS, yet still, too many reporters think their role is to help make that happen instead of asking hard Qs.
The media is broken. https://t.co/VOUUJ0KR8D
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) September 18, 2020
“I think the old formulas of campaign coverage have fallen apart, and reporters don’t have a clear idea” of how to replace them, according to NYT media columnist Ben Smith in a statement to The Hill.
Many on the left, such as Stelter, have justified Trump’s grillings as a response to the president’s ‘20,000 false or misleading statements’ that the Washington Post claims he’s made during his tenure.
In tonight’s CNN newsletter of hate, Oliver Darcy defends Biden getting softball questions and not getting fact-checked because he’s not the President and he’s not AN UNPRECEDENTED liar like Trump.
This isn’t journalism. This is propaganda. pic.twitter.com/TaTujEK5WS
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 18, 2020
Another angle is that the press hurt Hillary Clinton by focusing on her email scandal – helping Trump win in 2016.
“I think many in the mainstream press corps regret the time they spent on Hillary Clinton’s emails and Benghazi in 2016, because they believe that coverage ultimately helped President Trump win the election,” said former White House correspondent for Fox5 D.C., Ronica Cleary.
“So, in this race, those same reporters are saying to themselves, ‘We can’t risk it this time.’ There is an undeniable willingness for them to be less tough on Biden. And I believe their thinking is, ‘We tried to be tough on Clinton and look where it got us,‘” she added.
Read the rest of the report here.