President-elect Joe Biden has yet to take office, but the media is already giving Americans a glimpse of what kind of coverage they should expect.
During President Donald Trump’s four years in office, the media often made mountains out of molehills, whether it be the “Sharpie-Gate” controversy that earned days of media coverage or wondering what in the world “beef-loving Trump” would eat on his trip to India.
Now, after the media called a win for Biden in the 2020 election, coverage on the presidency has already changed – and it won’t be surprising to see less scrutiny and more fluff pieces like these over the next four years:
Americans may see more hard-hitting news like this: Mass coverage of Biden’s pets
Media members gushed over Biden’s two German Shepherds, named Major and Champ, upon learning that they would be moving to the White House. The New York Times, NPR, CNN, NBC News and others ran to the presses with the big news.
The NYT wrote that Major would be the first rescue dog ever to live in the White House – CNN, however, wrote that the dog will not be the first rescue animal. Regardless, media publications covered this news far and wide.
The Daily Beast even went so far as to speak to a pet psychic who says she’s communicated with the dogs. Major and Champ, according to that article, believe “their master will be ‘a great president.'”
“Both dogs say Joe Biden’s troubles with Donald Trump are far from over, but that their master is calm and focused enough to steer America forward,” The Daily Beast added.
Breaking news for the media also equals Biden getting a cat
To continue on the Biden-pet headlines, news that the former vice president plans to add a cat to the household also made the rounds. “CBS Sunday Morning” was the first to report on the “breaking news,” writing that the Biden’s told them “exclusively that soon they’ll be joined by a cat.”
And now some breaking news on #SundayMorning…
President-elect @JoeBiden and his wife @DrBiden won’t just be bringing their German shepherds, Major and Champ to the White House. The Bidens tell us exclusively that soon they’ll be joined by a cat. #sundaypets pic.twitter.com/KCkNV6jNpH
— CBS Sunday Morning ???? (@CBSSunday) November 28, 2020
Once again, the announcement sparked mass coverage by the media, with the NYT reporting that “the Bidens will be restoring a tradition of presidential pets when they move into the White House in January, as President Trump opted not to have a pet during his term.”
HuffPost also reported the comparison, noting that the animals “will reinstitute the tradition of presidents keeping pets in the White House” after “Trump opted not to have a pet” – which leads Americans to the next fluff piece.
The media may continue going to great lengths comparing Biden and Trump – even over something like a sprained foot
When Biden slipped and sprained his foot last month, at least one prominent media figure took the opportunity to compare the incident to Trump’s presidency. CNN’s editor-at-large Chris Cillizza explained how “Biden’s broken foot reveals how different his White House will be from Donald Trump’s,” using the injury as an opportunity to praise the upcoming administration’s “transparency.”
“The point is this: Transparency in matters of health and, well, everything else, is fundamental to a functioning democracy,” according to Cillizza, who began by criticizing Trump’s “unannounced and previously unscheduled trip to Walter Reed medical center” last Thanksgiving. “And we have had the opposite of that for these last four years.”
“The transparency coming from Biden’s transition team about hairline fractures in the President-elect’s foot suggests that the effort by the Trump White House to actively obfuscate when asked basic questions about the President’s health is over,” Cillizza continued.
Don’t forget about Biden’s socks, another important news update
Bloomberg News’ Jennifer Epstein took time on Nov. 23 to tweet about Biden. But it wasn’t about his policies, who he plans to include on his team, or any past issues during his time in the Obama administration: it was about his socks.
“George H.W. Bush was known for his socks, maybe Biden will be too?” Epstein, a White House reporter, wrote on Twitter. “Today he wore dark blue socks adorned with lighter blue dogs. (Yes, there are plenty of more substantive things to tweet about but we can have some fun sometimes too.)”
George H.W. Bush was known for his socks, maybe Biden will be too? Today he wore dark blue socks adorned with lighter blue dogs. (Yes, there are plenty of more substantive things to tweet about but we can have some fun sometimes too.) pic.twitter.com/8xxTusXafQ
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) November 23, 2020
Epstein faced criticism for her tweet, with some pointing out various other topics that they said could be better suited for a journalist to discuss with regards to an incoming president.
The media has already decided that Biden’s administration will be “delightfully boring”
Although Biden has yet to pick everyone in his administration, the media has already decided it will be “delightfully boring” and that “of the Georgetown dinner variety,” as Politico’s Playbook recently reported.
“THIS ADMINISTRATION will be of the Georgetown dinner variety. A return to briefing books and policymaking by political professionals who aren’t likely to try to burn down the White House over petty disagreements and jockeying to get in the good graces of the president,” Playbook wrote.
THIS IS AN ADMIN filled with people who have deep experience in government and in the agencies they will be running. THE POST puts it this way: “By design, they seem meant to project a dutiful competence, as Biden creates a government overseen by those who have run it before.”
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) November 24, 2020
Politico’s Playbook is far from the only one to swoon over the upcoming administration. A Washington Post story wrote that Biden’s choices “seem meant to project a dutiful competence,” while Axios announced that the president-elect “is obsessed with bringing stability and conventional sanity back to governance.”
The articles fail to dive into the fact that many of Biden’s picks previously worked for Obama, an administration that many would argue was far from being free of scandal. (RELATED: Several Now-Former CNN, NBC Analysts Are Going To Work For Biden After Networks Complained Of A ‘Trump-Fox Revolving Door’)
As Biden takes office and begins his presidency, it won’t be a shock for more fluff pieces to come out – a complete change from how the media covered the Trump administration.