Douglas Andrews / May 17, 2021

Biden’s Leftmedia Super PAC

When it comes to covering the Biden administration, the mainstream media has thoroughly compromised itself.

Imagine the uproar if former President Donald Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, had insisted that the media could only quote her boss or members of his administration if they first sent the quoted material to her to approve, fix, or nix.

Because that’s exactly what Joe Biden’s communications team is doing — and has been doing since the 2020 presidential campaign. So while Trump was out there on the White House lawn, fearlessly taking on all comers, old Scranton Joe and his staff were cowering behind a team of media fixers.

We might call that an in-kind campaign contribution to Team Biden. And we might also call the mainstream media what they essentially are: a Biden administration super PAC.

The practice is called “background with quote approval,” and it’s tailor-made for an authoritarian administration whose policies are indefensible and whose communications are incoherent. Indeed, when Biden says something stupid to a reporter, or when one of his cabinet members accidentally utters an inconvenient truth, the Biden poop-scoopers insists on being able to approve, edit, or veto it before it ever sees the light of day. So if you think Team Biden has trouble getting its story straight now, imagine what its unexpurgated effluent would sound like.

Clean-up on aisle two … and on aisle six … uh, and aisle three!

The policy runs so contrary to the notion of a free and independent press that even the New York Times’s chief White House correspondent, Peter Baker, is disgusted by it. As Politico quotes him, “What started out as an effort by reporters to get more transparency, to get people on the record more, to use fewer blind quotes, then got taken by the White House, each successive White House, as a way of taking control of your story. So instead of transparency, suddenly, the White House realized: ‘Hey, this quote approval thing is a cool thing. We can now control what is in their stories by refusing to allow them use anything without our approval.’ And it’s a pernicious, insidious, awful practice that reporters should resist.”

But let’s not tip our caps to Baker or the Times just yet. He admits that he’s guilty of the very practice he decries — even though his paper barred the practice back in 2012. That was when a Times reporter embarrassed the cage-liner of record by noting that quote approval had become “standard practice for the Obama campaign … in Chicago and at the White House.” And this is the same paper that made Biden campaign-dictated edits to its belated coverage of Tara Reade’s allegations that Biden sexually assaulted her. Talk about an in-kind contribution.

As for the authors of the Politico piece, they’re not squeaky clean, either. Both Alex Thompson and Theodoric Meyer admit to having prostituted themselves to White House communications director Kate Bedingfield. “Close to deadline and with our editors giving us side-eye about filing late, we agreed.”

Uh-huh.

The Trump team apparently used the practice, too, but Thompson and Meyer report that they “did so less frequently than Biden’s team.” How much less frequently? They don’t say.

What’s perhaps most remarkable about the corrupt practice, though, is that Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki makes it sound like she’s doing the normally supplicant Leftmedia a favor. “We make policy experts available in a range of formats to ensure context and substantive detail is available for stories,” she said. “If outlets are not comfortable with that attribution for those officials they of course don’t need to utilize those voices.”

Translation: If you don’t like our rules, we know plenty of other lickspittles who’ll be more than happy to play along.

Retranslation: Pound sand and like it, you toadies.

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