Media Misinformation or Protection? Pro-Biden Media Figures Clash Over Pressing Biden On Immigration Surge

In the first White House press conference held with President Joe  Biden, many noted that the second question was given to “PBS NewsHour” correspondent Yamiche Alcindor who has been previously criticized for breathless accounts of Biden and what she called “the super heros” of his cabinet. Alcindor raised the issue of the crisis at the border with a massive increase in unaccompanied minors. However, she framed her question as to whether Biden can resolve the “tension” of having people come to the United States because he is such a “moral” and “decent” person. One critic however objected that the question was unfair to Biden and based on disinformation. That of course was Jennifer Rubin, who has been repeatedly criticized for false postings from congressional hearings to court decisions to even Shakespeare. She even once attacked me  for a theory that I did not agree with in a column that I did not write.  However, during the week of the House hearing on calls for expanded censorship on the Internet of “disinformation and misinformation,” the ensuing disagreement between Alcindor and Rubin shows how fluid these concepts have become where Alcindor could be accused of spreading misinformation for just asking the question.

Biden was challenged for his statistical claims and even NBC News found that he was incorrect.

Alcindor prefaced her question by first giving Biden’s stated defense and then emphasizing the appeal of this moral character as the reason why parents are “trusting” him with their children:

“You’ve said over and over again that immigrants shouldn’t come to this country right now … That message is not being received/ Instead, the perception of you that got you elected — as a moral, decent man — is the reason a lot of immigrants are coming to this country and are trusting you with unaccompanied minors. How do you resolve that tension and how are you choosing which families can stay and which ones can go … and is there a timeline for when we won’t be seeing these overcrowded facilities run by CBP when it comes to unaccompanied minors?”

For critics, the question (and mild treatment of Biden by the media) was a continuation of the cushion of protection offered by the media. Indeed, before the press conference, both Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan and Rubin publicly discouraged reporters from being too tough on Biden in the press conference.

Even Alcindor’s fawning, convoluted question was too much for Rubin who objected that “Yamiche makes the statement unproven that his words set off the surge. This is factually wrong.”  The problem for Rubin is that Alcindor made any connection at all between Biden and the surge.  Rubin apparently believes that the media should have refused to make any such connection — unless it was to declare that such connections are factually wrong.

That led Alcindor to fire back that Rubin was ignoring widespread reporting that families are coming due to Biden: “Perhaps you haven’t interviewed migrants & asked them this Q, but reporting bears out what I said, which is that some migrants are coming because of the perception that Pres[ident] Biden is more humane & is allowing unaccompanied minors to stay. So unfortunately, you’re factually wrong.” (In addition, many immigrants are wearing teeshirt with Biden’s name on it and the Mexican President also said that Biden is the draw for the surge).

My interest in the squabble is how it captures the seemingly endless flexibility of the terms “misinformation” and “disinformation.” Rubin believes that Alcindor was spreading false information, the basis for calls for increased censorship on the Internet.  She fired back the Alcindor needs to read the news: “Perhaps you haven’t interviewed migrants & asked them this Q, but reporting bears out what I said, which is that some migrants are coming because of the perception that Pres[ident] Biden is more humane & is allowing unaccompanied minors to stay. So unfortunately, you’re factually wrong.”

The latest hearing followed the same pattern, as was evident in the prior hearing in which I testified.Prior hearings have shown that censorship is now a touchstone for Democratic politicians. That was evident in the Senate hearing with the Big Tech CEOs. Rather than addressing the dangers of such censoring of news accounts, Senator Chris Coons pressed Dorsey to expand the categories of censored material to prevent people from sharing any views that he considers “climate denialism.” Likewise, Senator Richard Blumenthal seemed to take the opposite meaning from Twitter, admitting that it was wrong to censor the Biden story. Blumenthal said that he was “concerned that both of your companies are, in fact, backsliding or retrenching, that you are failing to take action against dangerous disinformation.” Accordingly, he demanded an answer to this question:

“Will you commit to the same kind of robust content modification playbook in this coming election, including fact checking, labeling, reducing the spread of misinformation, and other steps, even for politicians in the runoff elections ahead?”

“Robust content modification” now includes “disinformation and misinformation” on a wide variety of subjects from climate change to election fraud to immigration to gender issues.

The difference is that objections to statements by figures like Alcindor are likely to be confined to Twitter while others are subjected to cancelling campaigns.  Such “friendly fire” incidents however show the subjectivity of such labelings in our cancel culture.

102 thoughts on “Media Misinformation or Protection? Pro-Biden Media Figures Clash Over Pressing Biden On Immigration Surge”

  1. This is a sadly typical attempt by news media to distort their own reporting to support a narrative.

    “Anti-Asian Hate Crime Crosses Racial and Ethnic Lines”
    https://www.voanews.com/usa/anti-asian-hate-crime-crosses-racial-and-ethnic-lines

    Stupid headline. Aren’t racial hate crimes by definition across ‘racial and ethnic lines’. They phrase it that way to avoid saying blacks commit more Anti-Asian hate crimes than any other ethnic group.

    In the text of the article they point the accusatory finger at whites:

    “Nevertheless, noting that most hate crime perpetrators tend to be white, McDeVitt added that “other communities have modeled their attacks on what we white folks have been doing for a long time now.”

    Yet, in their report most of the perpetrators in their small sample are actually black:

    “In New York City, where anti-Asian hate crime soared nearly nine-fold in 2020 over the year before, only two of the 20 people arrested last year in connection with these attacks were white” Eleven of them, more than half, were black.

    That is embarrassing. They are pushing the idea that whites do most hate crimes but in their report only two out of 20 perpetrators were white.

    They wriggle. “African Americans are more frequently arrested than whites.” Also they try to explain it by saying New York has a more diverse population.

    What they don’t say is that FBI statistics show that race-based assaults on Asians nationwide are committed more by blacks than by any other race despite blacks being just under 14% of the population.

    But, despite the actual data in their own report they try to accuse whites to maintain the rabid anti-white narrative prevalent in academia, government and media.

    They lie.

      1. Good article. Time to treat these big-tech bullies like utilities that cannot decide what we are allowed to say so long as laws aren’t broken. And, yes, the vaccine is experimental and nobody knows what it might do in the long term because there hasn’t been a long term. It might actually be safe, but the government and media and big tech have forfeited most of the trust on these issues–on most issues in fact.

        1. I’ve been on this issue of so called “Safe & Effective Vaccines” for decades, it’s far worst the many people can imagine a future dystopia nightmare horror film & it’s upon us all now it seems. Just one sure angle is the side effect of their “Gene Therapy” could be the out of control creations of mutant diseases that those Nut Job billionaires, “Bill Gates” & scientist/doctors, “Dr. Josef Mengele” are creating & implementing their plan/s.

          There is no legal immunity for what they’re knowingly doing to the people of the world. Biggest News Ever.

          **

          Gates Foundation Virologist Warns World Of Catastrophic Effects Coming From COVID Vaccine

          Mar 25, 2021

          https://banned.video/watch?id=605d233d0214bc6190ee1cb8

  2. “a moral, decent man” who covers for his son having sex with his 14 year old granddaughter?!

    This has traveled so far down the Rabbit hole that not even the Cheshire Cat knows where he is anymore.

  3. They’re starting to eat their own – just like tiger sharks, spiders, hamsters, parasitic wasps and chickens do.

  4. Wondered aloud last week how long it would take for Rubin to be next up on the deflection list, JT. Guess I have my answer: one week. Ha.

    EB

    1. Elvis Bug wants to kick people in the teeth and Rubin wants to burn them to the ground. Now Elvis comes to Rubin’s defense. Buzzards of a feather flock together.

  5. Man I believe in free speech but it’s hard not to tell social media to block the disinformation from the President of the United States. On the other hand, we need the comedic relief.

  6. I’m enjoying what Professor Turley is doing. Point out when they contradict each other and sit back and watch the rending of flesh from the bone. Soon, all of Joe’s horses and all of Joe’s men won’t be able to put this circus back together again. The audience is uproariously laughing. Even on CBS and NBC.

    1. JEG, can you imagine the shaking hands of the fact checkers at the NYT when they had to write that Joe Biden was not being truthful. However, they realized that to maintain what little reputation they have left they could not go along with such blatant disinformation spewed from the mouth of their previously favorite boy. It can’t bode well for Joe when even the New York Times can’t cover your a—.

  7. How the “press” conducted itself yesterday reminded me of how family members gingerly treat other members who have dementia.

    1. “Social Hour in the Dementia Wing of the Nursing Home”

      The Deep Deep State says that Joke Biden is exactly the kind of president in absentia it needs in office.

    2. Exactly! But … in the case of a USA president and the fake “news” media: slobberfest. (Not my contribution. I heard/read it somewhere awhile ago describing the worse-than-kid-gloves treatment of SloJo.

  8. The so-called media in general and the so-called main stream media in particular function as the American Oligarchy’s Pravda.
    The Federal government and the media work hand in hand as the American Oligarchy’s Politburo.
    The visual images and verbose verbiage create the “Circus” and Federal debt and annual Federal deficits provide the “Bread.”
    We obviously live in Best of All Possible Worlds.
    (Candide)
    dennis hanna

  9. OT

    “China is missing 500,000,000-7000,000,000 tax payers, potential military and labor under forty years old because of their famous One Child Only Policy. Their labor force began to shrink for the first time two years ago and their demographic dividend will certainly fade. Theoretically China could fix this issue with immigration but they would have to annex Indonesia completely, three times. And besides they are xenophobic. Their decline will be slow and certain and cannot be reversed. Regarding their apparent success in all categories, consider the source of the data.”

    – Kenneth W. Gronbach
    ___________________

    China is Doomed

    1. “China Flu, 2020” was deliberately released by China, from its Wuhan Institute of Virology, to reduce its population of elderly people as China is doomed by its one-child policy from the past. China will move further in the future to reduce its elderly population. China’s population is terminally out of balance by its overabundance of old people – China has no workforce or Social Security and Medicare to address this segment of the population.

    2. “China Flu, 2020” was released 9 months prior to the U.S. presidential election to support the malleable Joe Biden and remove President Donald J. Trump, China’s adversary and nemesis.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    “The end [justifies] the means…”

    – Leon Trotsky
    ____________

    The Chinese Communist Party is not hindered by law or morality; by brutality and violence.

    They are merely tools; means to an end.

  10. I recall when Obama made the statement: We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. Of course that begged the question; Into what? And it was never asked.

    Fast forward to yesterday’s presser with Biden when he said: I will commit [to transparency] when my plan, very shortly, is underway to let you have access to not just them, but to other facilities as well, Once again, left dangling out there was the obvious question; what is your plan? Nah, you can’t ask him that. And so they didn’t. Instead, Biden informed everyone that they will only get transparency once his plan is underway. And then crickets. It’s as if the entire press corps (those permitted to ask questions) were given a political ruphie and Joe is taking them for a ride.

    1. That is what his “minders” put on his crib sheets/notecards. He is so mentally fragile that he can do nothing but say what they provide for him to read.

      1. It’s disgusting what they’re doing with Biden. He’s clearly not functioning as anything more than a hostage with a bomb vest. My guess is the radical agenda is not his, but likely Harris and others. They need his face on it though, because the useful idiots that love Joe would not be so useful if Harris kicked Joe to the curb in the first 100 days.

    2. “I will commit . . .”

      That was a great evasion. Translated into English, Biden’s reply was: “We’ll allow media access after we’ve cleaned up the mess we created.”

      And nobody asked the obvious follow-up question: I’m talking about “transparency” right now, not when it’s convenient for your administration. Why can’t the media have access NOW?

      1. We’ll allow media access after we’ve cleaned up the mess we created.

        That would be the best case scenario. But they’re Democrats and it’s far more likely the mess is part of the plan. What I don’t understand is why the courts have been used to stop this tragedy on the southern border. Trump puts in a ban and they’re in the courts yesterday. Biden opens things up and all we get is feigned outrage.

  11. Joke Biden – Fake President – Corrupt/Criminal Election Thief – Destroys America

    Joke Biden Holds Fake Press Conference

    Joke Biden Brags About Historic Trump Vaccine

    Joke Biden Ignores Destruction of Energy Sector – Gas Price – Keystone Pipeline

    Joke Biden Deflects on Disastrous Mexican Invasion lll, The Sequel – Drug Cartel and Human Trafficking

    Joke Biden Commits to “Voting Rights” to End the “Burden” of Voter Identification and Actual Voting at Polling Places

    Joke Biden Commits to “Voting Rights” to “Fundamentally Transform” Americans Into Extinction

    Joke Biden Commits to “Voting Rights” to Secure the One-Party Foreign Hyphenate Communist State Dictatorship

    1. After I read or heard someone call him “SloJo,” I thought that was good. I will now alternate with JokeBiden; thanks, George.

  12. This Senile Lord Darth Biden of chyna presser was a complete hot mess that even Joe’s depends couldn’t hold back from running down his leg. The sycophant press was there to clean up the mess – well attempted to – and “lickspittling” it up all shiny like massa wants !. The charade was a farce of suck “uppityness” unparalleled since the days of obammy. Only now it’s a senile white fraudster with enough bonafide KKK jim crow south baggage they should have puked and burned him at the alter. But nope , they lap it all up in the name of their socialist dogma regardless of the hate filled flawed fraud of “their chosen puppet”. The hypocrisy knows no limits with the zeig heil demoratzi party let alone with their Pravda press apparatchiks.

    1. Thanks for using one of my favorite words, lickspittle! I read it in a crime fiction set in/about Victorian England; I thought it an outdated word, but looked in the dictionary and found it is still out there for us to use, along with today’s toady and sycophant.

  13. The lefties are dishonest; to us, to each other, and to themselves.

    I get a kick out of some posters (eg joe friday) who actually are proud of paying for a WaPo subscription which has many lies.

    Politics lie – both sides – but the left seems to revel in mendacity.

    Another source of amusement are those posters who spend hours telling Turley what to write.

    They wouldn’t dream of starting their own blog, but p-ssing on our host is somehow acceptable?

  14. If it wasn’t so serious, it would be funny. Trump was supposed to be a clown but the real clown show is the one currently in charge of the government – along with Congress and everything else. They’re revealing themselves as beyond stupid and patently dishonest.

  15. Professor Turley is being too kind and diplomatic on this subject. The new Socialist/Marxist Democrat Party and it’s media comrades, are destroying free speech. The fact that they will argue that asking a question which states some semblance of fact is harmful to Pres. Biden, is a sick and sad new page in our history as a freedom loving nation.

  16. Onward christian soldiers..
    Marching off to war…
    With the cross of Hey Zeuz …
    Let the border wall fall.

    Or:
    Hey Zeuz. Full of juice. Don’t let your meat loaf!

  17. Let em all in. All of south and central america. Put em in DC. Make it a spanish speaking state.

    1. Biden lied several times in his press conference. He said Trump sent kids to the desert to starve, that his administration is turning away a majority of families and that the filibuster is a relic of Jim Crow (it dates back to the early 19th century and has been used for many purposes by all sides, not just by Southern Democrats to oppose civil rights legislation). This is disinformation. A rigorous application of the new principles would prohibit circulation.

      In my view, a platform should lose 230 protections if it “moderates” content that the Government would be prohibited from stopping under the 1st Amendment. In other words, “moderation” could only apply to speech that falls into one or more of the limited judicially recognised exceptions to the protections of the 1st Amendment. False speech is not one of these exceptions.

      Here is a separate question. Changing the cloture rule itself would require a 2/3 vote. The way the filibuster would be changed through a majority vote is by a point of order on the applicability of the cloture rule being raised, the presiding officer deciding that it is applicable and then a majority deciding to overrule the presiding officer’s decision. I believe this was how it was done for nominations. Is it certain that the VP gets to break a tie if there is a 50/50 vote in the Senate over this kind of interpretation by the Senate of the applicability of its own rules? I have seen one article that cites the views of earlier Senators that a VP does not get a casting vote on matters related to the Senate’s rules. Does anyone know?

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