Donald Trump and Joe Biden stand at debate podiums
(Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

Every Media Outlet Contributing to This Gross Presidential Debate Narrative Should Be Ashamed

The dangerous normalization.

Let me start off by saying one thing: I hope Joe Biden wins the Presidential Election. He’s my guy and I will ride with him as long as he’s the nominee. But I also have to admit that Biden gave a terrible debate performance. I watched in horror because I knew how it would be perceived, and I was right. 

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Personally, I think Biden is never the orator we would ideally want, but his speech impediment has a lot to do with that. It seems America has forgotten that rather large part of his life and history, that he has addressed directly and thoughtfully in the past. Yes, Biden is old. That also plays a factor. Trump is old too though! Not as many people want to talk about that. Trump bragged and bragged about how fit he is physically and cognitively and we are just supposed to believe it … Anyway. I am not delusional enough to think that this was a great performance from the President. I do wish he seemed more energetic and on top of his game. I wish he hadn’t used anti-abortion rhetoric or made false statements about military deaths. I am sure his campaign behind the scenes was panicking. I think this is more indicative of this country though, and what we think is important.

President Biden undoubtedly is qualified. He had been a U.S. Senator for basically his entire adult life before first being Obama’s VP and then the President. Trump has no experience aside from those four years in the White House where he has been regarded as one of the worst Presidents of all time. (Which Biden did at least bring up.) And Biden, importantly, will continue to surround himself with amazingly talented people from VP Kamala Harris down through every advisor and member of his cabinet and even further down the list. Trump will only look to have loyalists on his team—and possibly making up the entire federal government. Trump does not care about experience or qualifications, he only cares if people will be his yes-men. That is not a way to run a country. 

While watching the post-debate coverage in real-time, I was disappointed but not surprised by how much of the negative attention was on Biden. And again, most of it by far was over the aesthetics and the oratory abilities. His age did seem to play a role in his performance but the reactions to the debate have veered into ageist and ableist mockery.

Among it all, where is talk of Biden’s policies? What about his actual achievements so far, for which there are a lot? Does anyone care? Listening to people last night and today you wouldn’t think so. 

The media does a horrible job of playing out scenarios and providing important context. Elections are about choices. It is not about creating the perfect person or candidate. Not everything is equitable. For example, Biden stuttering over some words or having trouble verbalizing his thoughts without pause is NOT the same as Trump spewing lies constantly. For instance, talking about babies being killed after they were born? A huge lie. And what about him saying that he’s “the best on the economy” of any President ever? How can that be backed up? By what standards? What about saying that Pelosi took all of the blame for the January 6 insurrection? What about blaming every single problem on earth on migrants/immigrants? All of his rhetoric was just disgusting and deceitful. This is a guy who is still denying the results of the 2020 election and is still trying to say that his convictions are a sham. 

Yet, post-debate analysis from the media, which influences all of us to go along with certain narratives, would have us believe that Trump knocked it out the park! Or at the very least, that he didn’t say anything offensive enough to discuss at length. The focus on Biden does nothing but help bolster Trump and his criminal campaign.

Speaking of, where was that discussion? A convicted felon running for President should have been mentioned FIRST and often. Instead, it only got a small mention in the 90-minute debate. Is this being normalized, already? Of course it is. This is something that has never happened and the majority of the media is already seemingly tired of talking about it. What kind of country are we living in? Why are all of the horribly disqualifying things about Trump glossed over? Why do people love to sensationalize and not focus on what really matters? If the debate analysis I have seen from all over is any indication of what we are in store for as we inch closer to the fall, we are in big trouble as a nation. 

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