Members of the press, for example, seemed more excited than the Biden campaign last week when the former vice president announced Harris as his running mate. Reporters dedicated an enormous amount of ink and airtime trying to convince audiences that the California senator is an amazing and historic choice for vice president. The overwhelmingly positive coverage of Biden’s running mate announcement, at times, sounded more like in-kind campaign contributions than straight news reporting. Some media organizations have gone as far as to pitch the California senator as a “moderate” and a “centrist,” which is a talking point that not even the Biden campaign or its allies have tried using.
And it is not just Harris for whom members of national media wag their tails. Many appear to be all-in for the actual Democratic nominee himself. The lopsided pro-Biden coverage is apparent in the generally positive press the former vice president enjoys, but it is really apparent when newsrooms downplay or outright ignore Biden incidents that would otherwise be dayslong news events were a Republican found guilty of the same offense.
There was no uproar, no outraged fact-checks or snarky on-air graphics, after the presumptive Democratic nominee tried to whip up racial resentment by misleadingly tying the 2014 shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri, resident Michael Brown to the need to tackle “systemic racism” and corrupt law enforcement. News outlets similarly went out of their way to mischaracterize in the gentlest terms possible the moment when Biden said that “unlike the African American community,” the “Latino community is an incredibly diverse community.” Rather than suggest that the former vice president’s remarks are proof of America’s long history of white supremacy, as the press surely would have done had the president or a member of his administration uttered similar remarks, major media instead reported that Biden merely drew a “distinction,” “contrasted” communities, and compared “diversity.”