The worst of it was that it was barely a joke.
When President Joe Biden took the stage Saturday night at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, it was a glad-handing moment of a meeting among friends — the president who doesn’t belong in the White House yukking it up with the press corps that helped put him there.
And when he compared the gathering to his time in the White House, with a line about how he ignores the establishment media with impunity, it was one of the rare occasions he actually told the truth since he’s been president.
The moment came about halfway through Biden’s speech, when he said the gathering reminded him of his own presidency:
“In a lot of ways, this dinner sums up my first two years in office,” he said, as the self-appointed tribunes of the people laughed and applauded. “I’ll talk for 10 minutes, take zero questions, and cheerfully walk away.”
None of the august crowd seemed to realize how damning that statement — or the reaction to it — was.
This was a United States president basically talking down to the men and women who are actually supposed to cover his administration — from many of the same news organizations that pitted themselves against the Donald Trump presidency in an adversarial relationship that somehow made a “free press” a de facto propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.
As infuriating as that was for four years, it might have been at least acceptable had those same correspondents showed the slightest stomach for confronting Trump’s Democratic successor with anything near the ferocity they treated the Trump White House, but any American who takes even a passing interest in public affairs knows that isn’t the case.
(Trump, to his credit, never attended one of these White House Correspondents’ Association chow downs.)
The press corps during the Biden administration is an unabashed cheerleader for the White House — as we evident by the applause that punctuated Biden’s speech Saturday night more than the “boos” from Marjorie Taylor Greene interrupted his State of the Union address in February.
In fact, they sounded more like a fawning audience at a campaign rally than they did professional journalists as the president of the United States mocked them to their faces.
Because Biden was describing his modus operandi perfectly:
He makes pronouncements, pretends they’re for the good of the country, then, if the reporters who are listening dare to ask questions, he doesn’t answer.
And on Saturday night, they cheered him for it — a moment of masochistic debasement that insults every man or woman who ever called journalism a way of life — and every man or woman who used to trust what journalism used to be.
Fortunately, there were some observers on social media who weren’t as charmed.
As one wrote: “It’s insulting at this point.”
It’s insulting at this point
— slowtunes.eth (@realslowtunes) April 30, 2023
They are throwing it in your face at this point
— Nick Massian (@NMassian) April 30, 2023
He summed it up right with a bad joke. It has been a bad joke for the last 2 years.
— TS Nelson (@TanyaNe00441025) April 30, 2023
Contrary to the way the president would no doubt like to remember this moment — assuming he can remember this moment — it didn’t look good for him. It didn’t look good for the establishment media. And it looked worse for the country both should be serving.
The sad reality for Americans is that Biden knows — and more importantly, Biden’s handlers know — that the establishment media has too much invested in this presidency to let little things like incompetence, incoherence, evident cognitive difficulties or evidence of corruption get in the way of Biden’s continued tenure in office.
They attacked Trump relentlessly for his entire term. They pimped non-stories like “Russia-collusion” into threats to the Republic, and they engaged every weapon in the considerable propaganda arsenal to make sure the Nov. 8 election went Biden’s way (and ensure it would not be questioned.)
Outside of Fox News’ Peter Doocy, few Washington correspondents challenge the administration or its talking head Karine Jean-Pierre. None, again outside Doocy, challenge him with anywhere near the level of skepticism that was aimed regularly at Trump and his press secretaries.
In fact, just the opposite is true: Biden is evidently being assisted by a press corps that appears willing to submit its questions in advance for a prepared president to answer. (And he still blows it.)
Biden has made babbling a hallmark of his presidency. His all-too-frequent bumbling incoherence can’t help but mystify American allies and encourage its enemies.
And instead of calling him out on it, instead of highlighting the very real danger this doddering, almost certainly corrupt shell of a Washington insider poses to the country, the White House Correspondents Association laughed and applauded like a hopped-up audience of “The View.”
But it wasn’t anything to laugh at.
It’s never going to be.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.