President Biden made headlines recently after tripping over a sandbag and falling onstage at the US Air Force Academy commencement. What did NOT make news was how the incident vividly illustrated the bias of the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party, aka, The New York Times.
In a June 1st article about Biden’s accident, the Times reporter began the fifth paragraph of the story by noting that “Embarrassing moments are not uncommon for presidents, who spend much of their tenure in front of cameras. President Gerald Ford was repeatedly roasted by comedians for frequently tripping during his presidency.”
The next line introduced The Times’s favorite subject: President Donald J. Trump, a day before his 74th birthday in 2020, appeared slow and unsteady as he walked down a ramp from the stage after the West Point commencement ceremony, prompting online speculation about his health.”
You see?! Ford was a klutz and Trump doddered hither and yon. So Biden’s onstage header, well, no biggie! He’s just like other presidents! Nothing to see here, move along!
But actually, there is plenty to see, though we doubt the Gray Lady intended it. (Editor’s note: We assume The Times has not modified its nickname to reflect a gender change, but apologies in advance if we missed its transition to a more gender-neutral sobriquet.) For the Biden article helpfully provided a hyperlink to the story written in June 2020 about Trump that, when compared with the Biden article, clearly reveals the blatant bias of The Times.
Let’s start with the 2020 article, which in painstaking detail describes Trump’s purported challenges while visiting West Point, to wit:
“Mr. Trump — who turned 74 on Sunday, the oldest a U.S. president has been in his first term — was recorded hesitantly descending the ramp one step at a time after he delivered an address to graduating cadets at the New York-based academy on Saturday. The academy’s superintendent, Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, walked alongside him. Mr. Trump sped up slightly for the final three steps, as he got to the bottom.”
The article continued:
“Another video circulated of Mr. Trump taking a sip of water from a glass tucked inside his lectern on the dais at West Point. Mr. Trump held the glass with his right hand and brought it to his mouth, but appeared to momentarily have trouble lifting his arm farther. He used his left hand to push the bottom of the glass so that it reached his lips.”
The reporter later wrote, “The videos again raised questions about the health of Mr. Trump.”
So Biden – who has fallen up the stairs of Air Force One, has stumbled down the stairs of Air Force One, has fallen off a bike – is described as having an “embarrassing moment,” not unlike other presidents, while Trump’s incident raised questions about his health.
One didn’t even have to read the bodies of the 2020 and 2023 articles to appreciate just how skewed The Times is, as bias permeated the headlines.
Here’s the headline from the Biden article: “Biden Falls Onstage at Air Force Commencement.”
Now here’s the headline from the Trump article: “Trump’s Halting Walk Down Ramp Raises New Health Questions.”
Fascinating. The Biden headline simply documents what happened, while the Trump headline worrisomely “raises new health questions.”
The subheadings – the smaller headlines below the main headline – are examples of partiality as well. From the Biden story: “A White House official said President Biden was feeling ‘totally fine.’ He was helped up and walked back to his seat after stumbling.”
And from the Trump story: “The president also appeared to have trouble raising a glass of water to his mouth during a speech at West Point a day before he turned 74, the oldest a president has been in his first term.”
Remarkable! Trump is barely capable of hydrating himself and is old – the oldest first-term president ever! But even though Biden was 78 when he was sworn into office – which just happens to be “the oldest a president has been in his first term,” to borrow from the Trump subheading – there’s no mention of Biden’s age in the subheading of the 2023 article.
Fortunately, Biden wasn’t hurt by his most recent fall. We are totally glad that he is, as his press secretary put it, “totally fine.” We just wish we could say the same about the reporting standards at one of America’s supposedly flagship newspapers.