When newly-elected President Trump escalated his attacks on journalists as purveyors of “fake news” and an “enemy of the people,” Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron didn’t take the bait. “We’re not at war,” he said. “We’re at work.”
By the end of Trump’s term, much of the liberal mainstream media seemed to relish its daily skirmishing, if not open warfare, with the 45th president. No longer confining its editorial views to the opinion pages, The New York Times devoted its entire pre-election “Review” section to essays on why Trump should not be reelected. Its ban on reporters’ public expressions of private views about the officials or subjects they cover was routinely ignored. “Would you keep working for a boss who consistently refuses to distance himself from virulent racists, anti-Semites, and white supremacists?” a Times reporter tweeted about Trump White House officials, a violation of the paper’s prohibition on such social-media pronouncements.
With Joe Biden’s victory, if not before it, many of those same liberal reporters switched gears. Rather than ask tough questions of Biden, they quickly became his messengers. Only conservative media outlets have pressed Biden about how he will handle alleged efforts by his son, Hunter, to cash in on his father’s clout, even after the younger Biden acknowledged he is being investigated for tax violations. Nor has the president-elect been grilled about his contradictory campaign promises, or why he has granted little access to the press. While the mainstream media published forests-worth of inaccurate stories about Trump and “Russiagate,” the same reporters have demonstrated little curiosity about the Biden family’s China business dealings.
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