Joe Biden

Years of Media Misdirection Over Dementia Joe’s Mental State Are Unraveling Before Our Eyes

DCNF(DCNF)—Corporate media’s years-long effort to sweep questions about President Joe Biden’s mental fitness under the rug took a devastating blow after his debate with former President Donald Trump.

Voters have long been concerned about Biden’s mental fitness being insufficient to be president, and Republicans have repeatedly raised doubts about his cognitive competence, including during the 2020 campaign as he made numerous gaffes. Despite concerns from Americans, legacy media outlets have consistently downplayed their legitimacy and criticized those who voiced them, even suggesting the narrative of incompetence stems from Russia.

WATCH:

CNN published an analysis in August 2021, concluding that concerns about Biden’s cognitive capabilities were mostly a “moot” issue. The analysis suggested it was primarily Republicans who were pushing the narrative that Biden is diminished.

“This is the sort of gross, lowest-common-denominator politics that drive people away from public life,” the analysis by former CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza stated. “If Republicans have some sort of proof that Biden is declining, they should bring it forward. If they don’t, they should stop doing what they’re doing. Immediately.”

The NYT published an opinion piece in November 2020 titled “Stop Worrying About Biden’s Age. We Need His Wisdom Right Now” that stated, “I can’t be bothered with the despicable Sleepy-Joe canard that the right is peddling, except to say that if this is what dementia looks like, I don’t know what to call my own flashes of forgetfulness, in which words, keys and hair scrunchies regularly desert me.”

Moreover, The Hill published a piece in November 2019 suggesting Biden’s frequent gaffes are due to a stutter he has had since he was a child rather than cognitive decline.

“Some have been quick to question Biden’s mental fitness, hinting at a possible age-related cognitive decline (he just turned 77 years old), but it’s important to consider that many of those missteps could have been caused by his lifelong struggle with a speech impediment,” The Hill stated.

Special counsel Robert Hur published a report in February finding Biden mismanaged classified documents, but he opted not to seek charges against the president because of the improbability of obtaining a conviction based on the likelihood a jury may perceive the president as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Corporate media defended Biden’s lucidity and attacked Hur as partisan and deceptive after a transcript of their interview was published, revealing memory lapses, such as appearing to forget when he began and ended his vice presidency and the date of his late son Beau’s death.

For instance, the NYT reported that “Biden appeared clearheaded most of the time” and that he “went into great detail about many matters,” while The Washington Post noted that “Biden doesn’t come across as absent-minded as Hur has made him out to be.”

NBC News acknowledged Biden’s “memory lapses” during the interview, but highlighted the “detailed exchanges” that took place in its headline.

Several clips about Biden in June amassed attention for underscoring the 81-year-old’s diminished fitness and increased gaffes, including the president freezing and wandering off. The White House, in the month leading up to the debate, characterized concerning videos of Biden as “cheap fakes,” and the media picked up on the narrative.

“‘Cheapfake’ Biden videos enrapture right-wing media, but deeply mislead,” a headline by The Washington Post on June 14 read.

“The use of these clips is an especially pernicious couple of examples of manipulated video… because it’s intended to create a false narrative that doesn’t reflect the event as it occurred,” the outlet asserted, stating that the style of editing made them misleading. The NYT published an article titled “How Misleading Videos Are Trailing Biden as He Battles Age Doubts” on June 21, similarly claiming the cropping of the videos makes them deceptive.

The latest panic about Biden’s age and fitness has led to the president facing growing high-profile calls to drop out of the race, such as from a prominent columnist and a Democratic representative. Five significant media publications, including the NYT, called for Biden to withdraw, and two urged him to at least consider it, The Hill reported on Sunday.

“There’s ample speculation online about what the news media did and didn’t do with respect to covering the president’s age,” NYT executive editor Joe Kahn said in a note to NYT journalists on Wednesday that the outlet shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “What I’ve seen and what our readers have experienced from our team is steadfast, fact-based reporting on the subject that began a couple of years ago as we documented Biden’s age-related challenges in multiple, industry-leading articles. We have stayed on that story at every turn, always with nuance and context, through today’s outstanding report.”

The coverage of Biden’s competence should have been more intense, some reporters who cover the White House told CNN anonymously on Tuesday. One reporter told the outlet they erred by not probing more after Hur’s report.

“The right-wing media was calling him senile from day one, and that wasn’t true,” the reporter told CNN. “Then whenever you report on the age you were in some ways solidifying, giving credence to some people that were actually of bad faith.”

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough said in March that the current “version of Biden — intellectually, analytically — is the best Biden ever. Not a close second and I’ve known him for years… If it weren’t the truth, I wouldn’t say it.”

Scarborough asked on Friday, after the debate, if Biden should withdraw from the race, raising concerns about his capability to run the country and beat Trump.

The Washington Post, NBC and The Hill did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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