KERNS: NBC Doubles Down On Protecting Joe Biden
In the game of chess, one must always remember to protect the queen.
Or in the case of the 2020 Democratic primary, the seemingly already-crowned king.
After a weekend of bruising news coverage and #CreepyUncleJoe photo montages on social media, the left has gone “all in” on downplaying former Vice President Joe Biden’s naughty behavior.
One network in particular — from their hosts to actors and even their reporters — appear to be taking a lead role in the defense of Biden.
Despite three more women coming forward to share their stories that they, too, were victims of Biden’s inappropriate touching, in their cold open on “Saturday Night Live” NBC portrayed him as a folksy guy while actor Kenan Thompson’s character nervously excused Biden’s behavior simply as “touchy-feely stuff.”
On NBC’s sister network, MSNBC, host Stephanie Ruhle has been jumping through hoops to downplay allegations against Biden — now totaling a whopping seven women who say they were touched inappropriately by him.
On her show “MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle” she explained, “I have to make it clear again, there are no accusations of sexual harassment or assault,” she said. “It’s about people saying they were uncomfortable.”
Uncomfortable? Ruhle doesn’t seem to understand that “uncomfortable” is at the very root of sexual harassment and sexual assault. In fact, it’s the textbook definition.
One definition of sexual harassment is “behavior characterized by the making of unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in a workplace or other professional or social situation.” Certainly Biden’s behavior at political fundraisers fall into that category.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has its own definition. “Harassment can include ‘sexual harassment’ or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” (One would think that a man smelling a woman’s hair and kissing her from behind at an official business event would fall under this category.) The EEOC guidelines continue, “Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature… Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment.”
In its “Glossary of the #MeToo movement,” Glamour magazine declared this: “Sexual misconduct is a broad term that encompasses any type of unsolicited — as in, unwanted and not asked-for — behavior, committed through force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation. Both men and women can be guilty of sexual misconduct.” Under that definition of “unwanted and not-asked-for behavior,” Biden appears to have met the magazine’s definition of sexual misconduct.
However, Biden’s reported offensive behavior didn’t stop Ruhle as she continued to excuse it by citing that he may not know that “norms have changed” in the last 20 years, and she even joked that it was recently “National Hug a Newsperson Day.” What’s a guy to do?
Surprisingly, even NBC’s national political reporter Heidi Przybyla also came to Biden’s aid, sounding more like a political analyst than a straight-news reporter.
“If this is just a few women saying he touched them on the shoulder and it made them uncomfortable,” she said, patting her shoulder innocently so as to presume that’s what Biden did to the seven women, then he has nothing to worry about in the long run. As to whether his actions would rise to the level of derailing Biden’s campaign the reporter said, “I doubt it.”
Stacey Abrams, former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, also protected her fellow Democrat. She told MSNBC that we cannot expect “perfection” from our candidates.
“We cannot have perfection as our litmus test,” the failed candidate said.
Funny, that’s not what she said about then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Last fall, Abrams said that all women should be believed regardless of a lack of evidence. In fact, she told Marie Claire magazine, “It is incumbent upon our leaders to treat sexual assault … and building a culture of consent as a public health issue, and to ensure that survivors who wish to come forward can do so safely, and be believed.” She even participated in a national walkout in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in opposition to Kavanaugh.
Lastly, we can’t forget the network’s “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski, who has been Biden’s fiercest defender.
Brzezinski has been railing against at least one of Biden’s accusers, accusing the woman of being politically motivated — despite never asking the same question about motivation when Dr. Ford accused Kavanaugh of inappropriate touching 35 years prior.
At a time when trustworthiness of the news media is near a 20-year low according to a Gallup Poll, it’s remarkable that TV hosts — at NBC, in particular — haven’t gotten the memo on toning down bias and utter hypocrisy when it comes to their party of choice.
In fact, by jumping to conclusions on allegations against Republicans while giving Democrats a pass, NBC is playing right into President Trump’s claims that today’s political media is “fake news.”
In the world of high-stakes media chess games, Trump could easily call that a checkmate.
Jen Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party; spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as a Fox News writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.